The Journey of Lightning Dragon (雷龍出道)
The road to Luoyang (洛阳:an old capital from pre-Han times) was not smooth.
About ten days have passed since I left Huangshan. I was stuck in a remote village in the mountains because of the heavy rain, so I had to stay without going out. I have experienced such heavy rain, but this time the problem was that the bridge was cut off and the crossing was flooded.
With Lightning Spirit Footwork (雷靈步法), I might be able to jump over the wide muddy water. But even if I crossed over the muddy water, there would be too many terrains that had become like islands in the land. If I did something wrong, I should also consider the possibility that I would starve to death in the wrong place.
I mumbled watching the raging rain in the building.
Even if I had a strange destiny with the Millennium Snow Ginseng, it would be no use before nature. Even if my Neigong were twice as much as I was, there would be no answer in this situation.
The power of a human being is helpless, standing against even the slightest amount of power that the nature represents. It has been decades for me to live being swept in the enormous nature, but I am still in awe of the magnificent world.
I was now almost out of travel expenses. So, I stayed in this small village and helped the village, doing its chores. As a matter of course, I was a man of great strength, and the villagers seemed to have no qualms paying the price for my services.
While it was raining heavily, I carried the rubble and the giant dodo trees to repair the exterior walls of the village, and I usually made up the share of twenty men. People in the town thanked me that there would have left only a few houses without me.
“It’s my daughter who just eats meals, how is she?”
The village chief even tried to weave me by introducing his daughter casually. The chief’s daughter looked like a normal country girl, not so pretty nor ugly. Like a farm girl, her breasts were very big, but it did not mean much to me. I laughed at the chief and dismissed his intention.
"I’ll leave soon. What’s more, she is a mismatch for someone who is ugly as me.”
"Hum… The man's appearance does not matter. It is no use looking like parasitic ducks.”
“Yes, and there’s something I need to do now.”
The village chief swept away the white beard and poured me a glass of raw rice-wine. When I drank, he said.
“I heard your destination is Luoyang (洛阳 – an old capital from pre-Han times). What are you going to do there?”
“I’m going to visit someone who knows all of the knowledge and languages of the world.”
“Huh … Luoyang would have someone like that …”
The chief thought intently for a moment and suddenly he remembered.
“Oh! I know one smart person!”
“What kind of person is he?”
“If you walk about forty miles west of here, you’ll find a Daoist (道師) named Wangliang Immortal Teacher (魍魎仙師). He is the most miraculous man around here, and he could answer your question.”
It’s the first name I’ve heard.
Daoism is a religious or philosophical tradition of Chinese origin which emphasizes living in harmony with Dao. Daoist is a being who is on the summit of the shamanistic faith. Usually, there are many Dao sects on the side of Nine Factions & Gaibang (九派一幇), but they are the martial Daoists who seek enlightenment through Right Dao (右道) rather than superstition. The general Daoists are Technique Daoists (術道師), and they foretell fortunes with mysterious divination, faith, ritual, and sometimes they do medical care.
Wangliang Immortal Teacher is probably one of those Technique Daoists. I believe in shamanism and techniques of Dao up to a certain point, but I think they are often frauds.
Since working as a guard, the Technique Daoist has been inconvenient to me.
However, I soon changed my mind.
Heavenly Dark Secret Book (天暗秘書) which I always carry in my bosom is the ultimate of the mysterious technique. As I look for the sage in the world, I should meet such a Daoist.
“By any chance, is Wangliang Immortal Teacher a Murim person?”
“No, I’ve visited him a few times, but I’ve never heard of it. But he is a miraculous being, so some high-ranking government officials from nearby also visit him.”
"He lives in a place called Jinrang valley, so check it out. It’s not even hidden, so you’ll be there in a minute if you ask.”
Now, my next destination was determined to Jinrang valley. Fortunately, the road to Jinrang valley did not significantly deviate from the road leading to Luoyang in the west, so there was no hesitation.
As soon as the rain stopped, I stepped into the mud. The chief gave me a brief map of nearby geography, so there was no need to get lost. As the heavy rain had passed, bridges everywhere were destroyed, so it was a real hassle to turn around.
Arriving at Jinrang valley, there was a small village at the entrance to the valley. Maybe his house, which the village chief mentioned, was near here.
When I entered the village, I asked a passerby for the house of Wangliang Immortal Teacher and a man pointed to the top of the mountain.
“The teacher lives on top of the mountain. There are a number of stairs, and if you take your time, you’ll be able to get there in two hours.”
“Are there a lot of people like me who visit him?”
The young man in the neighborhood then grinned.
“Haha, well. In fact, Wangliang Immortal Teacher is the pride of our town.”
I headed to his house with half of suspicion. Whatever the reason was, the people of the village trusted in him, so I wish I could hear from him the secret of Heavenly Dark Secret Book. And once I knew what it was, I would be able to live a life of pleasure.
As I went up the stairs to the top of the mountain, I could see a thatched house that looked like his main residence. There were some movements and a lot of shoes to show, for sure, there was someone inside. The closer I got, the odder my expression became.
I heard a strange sound.
The floor felt a stir, and a woman’s attractive, lovely voice was ringing inside. In addition, it was apparent that a man and a woman were embracing each other and having sex. When I looked at the situation, it seemed to be a vigorous sharing. It was not rape at all, when the man’s waist-moving was unusually intense and the woman’s response was high. It would be an adultery with consent.
‘This must be the house of Wangliang Immortal Teacher …’
It was a bother, but my hearing became much better, as my Neigong increased rapidly. I was listening to the sound of liquid, the woman's restless moaning, and the sound of waist-moving of the man, who was throwing his sexual desire all over her.
'Oh, no. In the daytime they have sex!'
Because I was not a eunuch, it was natural for me to react, but soon I let go of it and sighed.
When I spoke out, I could feel the man and the woman moving apart, as if they had been startled inside. The woman hurriedly dressed and the man seemed to be making up his bed. I thought it would be a lot of fun to open the door now, but I waited with my arms folded as I held back my laughter.
After a while, the woman ran away through the back door, and the man finished cleaning up before the door opened. From inside came out a Daoist with a solemn expression.
“Hum… What brings you here?”
From inside the room, the smell of sperm and vaginal lubrication was coming out.
'He should have cleaned at least a little bit before coming out.'
The room smelled like flat semen and fruit, but …
I had a strong desire to argue about it, but it was meaningless to talk to a person who I have never met. Moreover, I decided to give it away for now, as this man might be able to clear up my doubts.
“I am Baek Woong who is passing by. Are you Wangliang Immortal Teacher?"
Then, the Daoist in his thirties, whose face was slightly thin and flushed, nodded. He looked much younger than I thought.
"I am Wangliang Immortal Teacher."
“I’ve come to the right place.”
"Let’s sit down and talk over there."
He quickly turned my attention to the wooden headgear chair under the arbor. There was also a tile made of cutting wood, so I could see that it was a place made to play openly.
I sat on a wooden bench and observed him carefully.
'I don’t feel strong energy. I don’t feel like he is a martial artist. But, I can not afford to be careless. There are a lot of people in the world who are reclusive and can disguise their class. Moreover, if he is an excellent teacher of Dao techniques, I will face a predicament.'
Unusually, Wangliang Immortal Teacher did not have any symbolical staff, although he claimed to be a Daoist. Instead, he had a folding fan hanging around his waist. He dragged the water from the well nearby and poured me a glass.
“It must have been hard to climb the stairs, and have a drink.”
As he sipped his water, I began to speak.
“Are you familiar with all the languages of the world?”
He shook his head with a smile and said with confidence.
“Of course! I don’t know what you want, but I think you’ve come to the right place. I know all the languages and the dialects of the central continent, North Sea (北海 Běihǎi – a sect in Siberia), the south areas of Janggang, and all the western countries.
” … ”
I didn't know if this was true or false. Judging from the way he showed, it was very likely that he was a fraud, but I decided to believe in it and carefully reached out my hand to take out the Heavenly Dark Secret Book from my bosom.
“What is it? Heavenly Dark Secret Book? Huh …”
As soon as he handed over the first sheet of the book, he drew his breath. His eyes were dull, but suddenly they changed as if he had taken a pill, and he clung to the book as if he were driving in it. He, who kept quiet for half an hour, abruptly looked up.
“Hey, where the hell did you get this?”
“I want to ask you something before I tell you about it, but …”
I continued to speak with suspicious eyes staring at him.
“Have you ever seen that strange language? Or do you know that?"
“Well … give me a minute to organize my thoughts.”
With his arms crossed, he was lost in thought. He said before long.
“No, I can’t. Tell me first. Then I’ll tell you.”
“Do you think it's proper?”
He shook his head.
"Even though, I can’t help it. I’ll listen to you first.”
It was a sign that he did not want to yield. In my original personality, I would be absurd here and would threaten him with force. However, he did not learn any martial arts and he was a Confucianist. His attitude was strangely reassuring to me.
If he was a con artist, he would not say like that. That was not one of the fraud tactics of the swindlers I had experienced.
But now, he was laying some foundation for trading rather than fraud. The feeling came from my intuition that I have got from a lot of people for a long time. I determined and opened my mouth.
“I got it in a cave. And I still carry it with me.”
“Is that all?”
“I answered. Now it’s your turn.”
He sighed a long time later and said.
"Whoa. I had seen these letters once in my lifetime.”
“Where is it?”
He stared at me and said.
"What the hell are you doing? From now on, I’ll have to risk my life, and I’d like to know what you are.”
“Didn't I say that before? I am Baek Woong.”
"No way. You must be an Expert (高手) of the martial arts. It seems like you have great Neigong, but you have never been found yet.”
I tilted my head.
'Did he study martial arts, but never reveal it?
It was amazing how he recognized that I was an expert.
“What's the basis for your recognition?”
“You came up the stairs.”
“Everyone comes up the stairs."
He smiled weakly.
“No. I set up Net Cloud Formations (網雲陣) and people should be lured by an illusion where the stairs were divided into several sections. But you came up the stairs. It meant that you broke it up with the high skills or the illusion system did not work from the beginning because you had great Neigong."
As he spoke with such conviction, I realized that he was a specialist of Formations. Maybe he set up Formations on the way home so that anyone could not come up.
His chatter continued.
"My Net Cloud Formations is called the best one in Murim (武林); however, you passed it effortlessly and your level is similar to the elder or the lord of Nine Factions & Gaibang. So, I want to know who you are.”
“What are you going to do with?”
“I am risking my life to talk about it, but you can’t give me that?”
'Judging from the way he talks about his life earlier, he seems to be talking to me at the risk of being murdered. He seems to feel as if he is walking a tightrope. Since his Net Cloud Formations was broken and he is now at a loss.'
He pretended to be calm for a while, but I saw sweats forming on his forehead.
I judged him to be no cheat and opened my mouth.
“Once again, I am Baek Woong. I have no relationship with Nine Factions & Gaibang, and I am traveling after the training of a Martial Hall. I come to see you today solely to discover the secret of this book.”
“Can you swear to the Lord of Heaven?”
Only then, he seemed to be a little relieved. He looked around and said.
“The first time I saw the strange letters of the book…. in the Inside Imperial Court.”
“Inside Imperial Court?”
“It is a library only for the emperor and astronomy officers.”
When I looked at him with astonishment, he said constrainedly.
"I used to be an Astronomy Officer. I am now out of the imperial family and living as a Daoist.”
The officers tell the fortunes of a year, pray for the prosperity of the royal family, and oversee a ritual of Daoism. Although I don’t know in detail, they seem to be treated particularly well among the imperial family’s duties, and they are hereditary, rather than a position chosen through the imperial examination. The reason, why I know about the Astronomy Officer, is that Kim Man Jae used to make complaints about the imperial examination, saying, “I would be a honey-sucker if I were an Astronomy Officer.”
"Is it possible to quit the hereditary position?"
“I lacked the ability. My brother was more prominent, so I was thrown out of the capital city and moved on to live a romantic life.”
“Well … I’m glad you are not dead”
“There has been one kind or another.”
He, who smiled bitterly, continued.
“Anyway … I remember seeing these letters in the Inside Imperial Court. As I recall, the name of the book is Anonymous Ceremonial Book (無名祭事書). It is also made up of a strange language like Heavenly Dark Secret Book.”
“You would have studied astronomy, but couldn’t you interpret it at all?”
“Anonymous Ceremonial Book and Heavenly Dark Secret Book… They are not written by men.”
It’s not a human book!
What the hell does this mean?
“Rather, I was not only Jinshi (進士) but also Tanhua (探花).”a
“Excuse me? Really?”
Jinshi and Tanhua.
The meaning is never simple. Jinshi refers to a person who passed the final examination, for which millions of students challenge every year across the whole nation, and Tanhua means the third place.
After the examination, the emperor would give a glass of liquor to the successful candidates within the third place. Even the prince does not receive this treatment from the emperor. Therefore, the person from Jinshi is to be honored in the country as much as it is, and of course, the winner, who has received the glass, becomes the pride of life unforgettable and the glory of the family for many generations.
Wangliang Immortal Teacher, in front of me, is one of the most brilliant people in the whole central continent.
“I’ve been forced out of the capital because I had to protect the secrets of the hereditary astronomy officer, but I’m sure few other scholars in this continent are better than me. There are countless types of language I studied, and I can speak ten of them perfectly. Even I could not find any clue for the letters of Heavenly Dark Secret Book and Anonymous Ceremonial Book, and they are the perfect alien words.”
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