With Meiduo's help, it didn't take long before Li Yundong memorized every hand sign in the third scroll as well as the mantra associated with each sign . Once he was done, Meiduo put the book away, and they spent some time chatting with each other while the rest of the pilgrims roused . Meiduo kept asking him questions about what Tiannan City was like and what campus life back at Tiannan University was like . Despite Li Yundong's many attempts to dissuade Meiduo from wasting her talents at Tiannan University, the girl didn't seem deterred .
It was like she had already made up her mind to enroll herself at Tiannan University, which confirmed his suspicion that Meiduo had developed feelings for him that were beyond platonic . He knew he had to talk to her at some point before he parted ways with the pilgrims before he hurt the girl even more .
At one point, Meiduo steered their conversation towards dangerous territory . She began asking him questions about his personal life: his parents; his hobbies; his likes and dislikes; etc .
Li Yundong deflected her attempts by steering the conversation back into safer territory: Buddhism; her relationship with Changbagela; etc .
Then, just when the women were about to start prepping breakfast, there was a commotion . A group of men were rushing towards Changbagela as though they had some urgent business to report to him .
Meiduo craned her neck . "What's going on over there?"
Li Yundong activated Eryue and listened to the whispered words between Changbagela and the men .
"…The same foreigners who tried to save your life, Changbagela…"
"It doesn't matter . As Buddhists, we should mustn't be selective in the kindness we give others . Enlightenment will elude you otherwise . "
Changbagela turned and motioned to a few other men behind him .
Li Yundong deactivated Eryue . "There's trouble . I think we should go check…"
Meiduo was already leaping down from the wagon and running towards Changbagela .
Li Yundong sighed and climbed down from the wagon . Then, he walked over towards Changbagela and Meiduo . Along the way, he passed by curious and bewildered pilgrims, who kept sneaking glances at him .
Changbagela noticed his approach and gave him a smile .
"Good morning, kind sir!"
"Good morning . " Li Yundong nodded before stopping in front of Changbagela . Then, he jerked his chin towards a group of men who appeared to be hurrying in the direction downhill .
"Oh . Some tourists' car got stuck in a mud hole . " Changbagela smiled . "I've sent some of my men down to help . "
Ten minutes later, one of the men returned .
Mud covered the man's legs up to his shins . The man didn't seem all that happy, judging from the scowl on his face .
"Where are the other boys? We should get moving soon," Changbagela asked in Mandarin, much to Li Yundong's surprised . Perhaps Changbagela did that for Li Yundong's benefit .
The man stopped beside Li Yundong and gave Li Yundong a nod before turning to Changbagela . "They're still with the tourists, Changbagela . We… um…" The man gave Changbagela a sheepish look . "The jeep is still stuck . "
Changbagela raised his brows . "What have you guys tried so far?"
The man looked down at his dirtied feet . "Some of us climbed into the mud and pushed, while others pulled from the front . " The man shook his head . "Didn't work . "
"Did you try removing stuff from the vehicle to lighten the load?" Li Yundong remarked .
The man gave Li Yundong a glance . "The tourists didn't carry much . "
Changbagela frowned, then turned around . "Maybe we should ask the rest of the boys to help out too…"
"Um… Brother Li? Maybe you can lend a hand—" Meiduo yelped when Changbagela elbowed her . Meiduo muttered a quick apology, then rubbed her ribs .
"I think that's a good suggestion," Li Yundong said . "You should call back your men, Changbagela . They need to reserve their energy for the rest of the trip . I'll handle this . "
Changbagela opened his mouth to protest, but Li Yundong silenced him with a hand .
"It's not a problem, Changbagela . I'll just go down there and take a quick look," Li Yundong said . "Who knows? It might save us some time . " Then, he turned to the man . "Lead the way . "
The man nodded . "Follow me, then . "
Li Yundong followed the man under the curious stares by the other pilgrims . Meiduo and Changbagela followed closely behind him .
Upon their arrival on the scene, Li Yundong saw three of the pilgrims in the mud, pushing the jeep from behind . The two foreign man were on each side of the jeep, pushing at the jeep's center pillars . The Chinese lady, whom Li Yundong recognized as the foreigners' tour guide, was in the driver's seat .
Li Yundong crouched down beside the jeep to examine the mud hole, which appeared to have formed when a large area of the trail's surface caved inwards . Cracks spread out from the edge of the hole, which he estimated to be at least several feet deep . Both of the jeep's rear wheels had sunk into the muddy hole .
Wait a minute…
Li Yundong rapped his knuckles at jeep and turned towards Miss Liu Xia, the tour guide .
"Step on the gas," he said .
The rear wheels spun a second later . Li Yundong tilted his head away just in time to avoid a piece of mud flying towards his face .
More grunts were heard as the men tried to push the jeep out of the hole . Li Yundong rose to his feet and chuckled . Now he knew what the problem was . The jeep was a two-wheel drive, so stepping on the gas wouldn't help at all since the rear wheels had no surface to generate any traction .
The rear wheels kept spinning, sending more mud into the air .
Li Yundong tapped the roof of the jeep . "Kill the engines . "
"How are we supposed to free the car then?"
Li Yundong gave the lady a look . "Right now, you're just wasting fuel . " He pointed at the rear wheels . "The engines aren't doing any work because your wheels are free spinning . "
Miss Liu Xia killed the engines immediately .
Li Yundong positioned himself beside the jeep once again and crouched down . Then, he activated his telescopic vision and zoomed in at the layer of mud that the rear wheels were resting on . The mud lacked firmness, so turning the wheels with the engine would just send more mud into the air . The solution was pretty clear . He had to lift the rear end of the jeep high enough to clear the depth of the hole .
One of the two foreigners said something to Miss Liu Xia in English .
Miss Liu Xia turned towards Li Yundong . "He asked if you have a solution . "
Li Yundong suppressed a smirk . If you call raw strength a solution, then sure .
Li Yundong turned towards Meiduo, then waved at the men who were knee-deep in the mud . "Ask the guys to step aside . "
Meiduo relayed his words to the men in Tibetan . At first, the man just looked at each other . But then they complied with his request moments later . Once the men were out of the mud, Li Yundong stood beside the jeep and tried to come up with a plan .
How should he do this? Well . He was afraid that there was really no way to do this without staining his feet with mud…
Or maybe there was .
He just had to do the same thing he did that night at Shengyuan Hotel, where he shaped a body of water into a sphere using his Qi . Li Yundong stared at the deep mud hole . Okay . The mud was pretty much fluid, so this would work .
On second thought…
There was a much better way, one that wouldn't appear as flashy, which was precisely what he wanted .
"Miss Liu, step out of the vehicle please," he said without taking his eyes off the mud hole .
The jeep swayed a little when the door slammed shut seconds later .
Li Yundong closed his eyes and mobilized his Qi to his legs—below knee level . The idea was simple . He just had to use his "Qi shoes" again, but this time turn it into a pair of "Qi boots" which covered up to his knees . He removed the shoes that Meiduo gave him and set it aside .
After that, he stepped into the pool of mud and then positioned himself behind the jeep as quickly as possible, just in case some sharp-eyed dude noticed that something freaky was going on below his knees .
Thankfully, everyone's gazes were fixated on the jeep, not him .
Reaching down, Li Yundong grabbed the bottom of the jeep's rear bumper .
His surroundings had suddenly gone eerily quiet . He didn't even need Xianjue to know that everyone's eyes were now on him .
He glanced down at his feet and shins, making sure that his Qi formed a thin film on the surface .
Well, it didn't feel heavy at all . The jeep's springs creaked when Li Yundong hefted its rear end upwards . Then, with a couple of pushes, the jeep was out . Li Yundong lowered the bumper until the rear wheels touched the ground, then pretended to clean his feet at a patch of grass nearby .
When he was done, he turned around and walked back towards the mud hole to grab his shoes . However, his movements stilled the moment he turned around . His jaw went slack at what he saw . Except for the two foreigners and Miss Liu Xia, everyone—including Meiduo and Changbagela—had prostrated themselves until their foreheads were touching the ground .
"Guys!" Li Yundong exclaimed . "What the hell do you think you are you doing?! Get up! Now!"
Meiduo raised her head from the ground, but made no moves to get up . Admiration and reverence filled her eyes as she looked at him now .
"Come on, get up already," Li Yundong said . "None of this is necessary!"
"Of course it's necessary! This is a show of respect!"
"Respe—" Li Yundong could feel his brows knitting together . "What?"
"You're the living incarnation of Mahakala, Brother Li!"