Chapter 1596 - Soul Refining Sect’s Karmic Effect
“Could it be that my Soul Refining Sect has no chance of rising again, no chance of continuing on…” The middle-aged man seemed to go crazy and began to laugh. However, just at this moment, his expression changed and he looked into the distance.
“Eh!” His eyes narrowed and his hands formed a seal. He began divinating like crazy.
“This is… This… This…” The man’s expression changed rapidly. He consumed large amounts of life force and divinated nine times, but the result of all nine times were the same!
This was an unbelievable and even absurd result to him!
While pondering, his body flickered and he disappeared without a trace. He used teleportation and charged toward the country of Zhao.
In a city inside Zhao, the world had become peaceful. In the second floor of an inn, Wang Lin stood before the window and his murmurs echoed.
“Karma, what is… Karma…”
The night slowly passed. Wang Lin unknowingly returned to the table and stared at the extinguished candlestick in a daze. That voice continued to echo in his mind until it replaced everything.
He had forgotten to close the window. There was no wind or rain anymore. The sun rose into the sky and light shined on the earth. The people that got up were surprised to find that the dark clouds that had shrouded them for over half a month had all disappeared.
The bright sky had no cloud as far as the eye could see. The sunlight gently shined on their bodies and gave people vitality once more.
It seemed the summer had come a bit early this year. It seemed the rainy season had left a bit early this year.
Big Fortune also awakened. He rubbed his eyes and looked at the sky outside the window. He immediately smiled, pointed out the window proudly, and began to roar.
“I had a dream last night. With a point of my finger, the thunder stopped. Haha, look how powerful I am. Hmph, hmph, it seems I’m indeed not ordinary. It is a pity.”
Wang Lin’s thoughts became hidden in his mind when the sun appeared. He hadn’t slept all night, but he didn’t feel tired. However, a swelling pain came from between his eyebrows.
He rubbed his brow and looked at Big Fortune. After seeing the smile on Big Fortune, he felt happy as well.
“You’re powerful. It was your dream that caused the thunderstorm to disappear, OK?”
Big Fortune became excited and felt even more proud.
Time quickly passed. The county imperial exam would be held in five days. All the scholars that had come to take the exam waited for these five days to pass. On the morning of the sixth day, the sky was still sunny and all the scholars rushed out from the various inns toward the different exam grounds.
During these five days, Wang Lin had gone to the office to submit his entry and find his exam location. Other than that, he didn’t leave his inn at all; he spent all his time reading. He was very nervous because if he passed, he could continue, but if he failed, he would have to start from the beginning. He would have to return to the village and silently wait for a few years before another test began.
Wang Lin didn’t want to fail, he couldn’t bear to see his parents’ disheartened expressions. He didn’t want his failure to cause his relatives to give his parents those fake comforting gazes that were in actually mocking them.
Big Fortune was suffocated during these five days. He was very active and had gone out by himself while Wang Lin was studying. He wandered the city and gradually met some people. He managed to learn to be even more stingy.
On the sixth day, Wang Lin bathed and burned some incense. He then changed into a white scholar robe and let out a sigh of relief. He put on the bamboo backpack and walked toward the exam ground.
He was going to the third exam ground that was on the west side of the city. The street was very lively and stalls filled both sides of the road. The stalls had been set out early so the students taking the exam could buy food.
At a glance, there were many scholars rushing toward the exam locations. They were in a rush, worried, or very nervous. Even when eating, they would often devour the food in a few bites and quickly leave.
Wang Lin took a few deep breaths and slowly calmed himself. After eating a few buns, he arrived outside the exam area with Big Fortune. The were many people here, but there was no noise. Most people had their eyes closed, recalling what they had read.
Two officials wearing robes coldly looked at the scholars. Because of them, there was a dignified atmosphere here. Wang Lin calmly stood there as he looked at the exam area, and he gradually calmed down.
Big Fortune looked around a lot, but the more he looked, the more gloomy he became. He saw that the other book boys were all a lot younger than him. In comparison, he was out of place.
After muttering a few words, Big Fortune took out some buns and took some big bites.
Shortly after, the exam arrived. A bell chime seemed to come from the distance and echoed across the entire city. It was a heavy sound.
The moment the bell rang, all the scholars opened their eyes and their expressions turned serious. The tension instantly reappeared.
One of the officials rolled his eyes and slowly said, “Enter the exam room! If anyone has notes, get rid of them yourself. Don’t be found later and get disqualified.”
After the scholar entered the exam room, everyone was searched. After making sure there were no notes, they were allowed in.
When it was Wang Lin’s turn, it was the same. After examining his bamboo backpack, they allowed him to enter.
Big Fortune waved his hands at Wang Lin and began to roar. Even though the surrounding people frowned at him and looked at him with disdain, he didn’t care.
Wang Lin smiled and waved at Big Fortune outside before heading in.
After finding the seat with his name, Wang Lin calmly sat down and paid attention to the inspector of the exam. Once all the scholars sat down, they turned over their exams and became focused.
Only when the inspector took out the sealed exam paper did the sounds of writing start to echo across the room.
Wang Lin calmly grinded ink and looked at the blank paper before him. He didn’t write for a long time. The exam would last for a whole day, giving people plenty of time to think.
The people that were meditating like Wang Lin had collected their thoughts and began to write. Soon, Wang Lin was the only one who was still pondering.
The subject of this test was a painting. The painting was very simple; there was a mountain with a single tree on top. There seemed to be wind causing the tree to shake.
There were a few sketches under the mountain. It seemed like there was a family guarding the mountain.
The intent of this painting was very clear: it basically meant that ability was the pillar. All the other scholars knew this, and the essays they wrote all revolved around this.
However, when Wang Lin saw the painting, the voice from five days ago appeared once more.
“Karma… What is it… Karma…”
Time slowly passed. In the blink of an eye, it was noon. Some people were already finished writing. They held up their papers and blew on them to dry the rest of the ink. Their faces were filled with joy as they shook their heads and began to mediate.
Only Wang Lin was still silently sitting there with confusion in his eyes and still hadn’t written anything. This kind of thing was rare, and the inspectors couldn’t help but pay more attention to Wang Lin.
People gradually began to leave the exam ground. Some were proud and some looked crestfallen. They either left alone or with their book boys.
The sun began to set and the exam room became dark. There wasn’t much time left, only half an hour. The last scholar aside from Wang Lin got up with a sigh. He looked at Wang Lin and shook his head before leaving.
“If you can’t do it, then leave quickly. Don’t waste our time.” An inspector frowned as he walked next to Wang Lin and knocked on the table.
Wang Lin didn’t look up but closed his eyes. A few moments later, he opened his eyes and added some water to his ink. His eyes shined brightly and he began to quickly write on the paper.
“What is karma? I seek a wooden house, but this mountain has no wood, so I plant this lone tree. During sunrise, I harvest the branches. During midday, I harvest the wood. And during sunset, I harvest the roots…” Wang Lin seemed to have forgotten what was going on in his surroundings as the ancient voice echoed around him. The painting filled his mind as he wrote down his thoughts and questions.
“Eh?” The inspector standing beside Wang Lin looked at at this paper and was startled before taking a closer look. Soon, more inspectors were attracted and came to look. Some scoffed at a glance and left. Soon, the remaining inspectors all shook their heads and walked away.
“... What is karma. Planting the tree is karmic cause and harvesting the wood is karmic effect… The day the house took form, it also became a karmic cycle…”
Wang Lin put down his pen and looked at it deeply. The brightness in his eyes dissipated and was replaced with confusion. He sighed as he clasped his hands at the last elderly inspector. He then cleaned up his stuff and left the exam area.
After he left, the old inspector picked up Wang Lin’s paper and carefully read it again. He seemed to enter a trance and gained some enlightenment. He remembered Wang Lin’s name on the paper.
“This kind of insight into karma can came from a teenager? This person might not become a pillar of the courts, but he will become great scholar!” The old inspector pondered for a long time before circling Wang Lin’s name.
Wang Lin walked out of the exam area. He spotted Big Fortune, who had been waiting all day and had fallen asleep leaning against a tree. He smiled and was about to wake him up when the world suddenly darkened. There seemed to be a ghostly howl, and the darkness shrouded Wang Lin and Big Fortune. It seemed to separate them from the rest of the city.
An middle-aged man wearing a black robe walked out of the black wind. A cold aura filled his body as he looked at Wang Lin.
“This old man won’t hurt you, you only have to answer one question.”
He was the the Soul Refining Sect’s Dun Tian’s senior brother! Almost all the scholars in this country had been found by him, and he had asked them the same question. Then he erased their memories in disappointment and searched for the next person.