Chapter 1601 - Letter Home
In a flash, another 10 years passed.
Su Dao had died of old age three years ago, he left during the winter. He struggled to survive the winter so he could live for a a few more months and see the willow leaves next year.
However, although his mind could comprehend the world, his body wasn’t able to alter life and death. During the winter, the snowflakes fell, leaving the world and the river frozen with a thick layer of ice. He looked at the snow falling as if it would last for an eternality.
Wang Lin pushed his wooden chair and walked through the city of Su. Wang Lin, who was almost 40, gave off a steadfast aura. He wore a white shirt as he silently pushed Su Dao.
This winter was particularly cold. The falling snow was blown by the cold wind and fell on their bodies. Early in the morning, the bell in the temple leisurely echoed in the distance. The crisp sound could cleanse one’s heart.
“Lin Er, Teacher is about to leave… Teacher never have any children. Your three senior brothers inherited a lot of truths from me, but only your thoughts are similar to mine...
“I know you have already become aware of karma. Although still hazy, you will eventually understand. What you pursue is not just karma.
Teacher will gift this mansion to you.” Su Duo’s weak voice mixed with the wind and entered Wang Lin’s ears. Wang Lin remained silent and sorrow appeared in his eyes.
Su Dao had accompanied him for 17 years. During these 17 years, Wang Lin had gone from a 19-year-old young man to a middle-aged man. Following Su Dao, Wang Lin learned a lot and understood a lot.
The snow was heavy and covered their vision. As the bell echoed, the snow covered the entire city of Su.
The crunching sound of the wooden chair being pushed was weak. Only the the two lines of tracks left by the chair were visible. It was like life, and when you look back you could see how long it was. However, it only led to the present and you couldn’t see where it ended.
Snow fell and covered the tracks in the ground. Not even the starting point could be seen.
“Send me… to the Su Mountain outside the city…” Su Dao’s old voice was weak, but his eyes were bright. He looked at the world as if he was seeing his own end.
Wang Lin silently nodded as he pushed the wooden chair and walked forward toward Su Dao’s final goal.
The snowfall became even heavier. The wind and snow fell on his face. He allowed the snow to melt, and the coldness entered his heart. Wang Lin pushed the wooden chair through the ancient streets and out of the city of Su. He saw the small mountain outside the city.
The mountain wasn’t large, but it had spirit.
One couldn’t see this spirit, but if one closed their eyes, they would feel every tree and grass on the mountain. One could feel the mountain breathing, and that was enough.
Wang Lin pushed the chair up the path leading to the mountain. Su Dao slowly closed his eyes. He faintly felt like he couldn’t hold on anymore. However, his eyes were still as bright as they were 17 years ago.
The eye is the window to the heart. Su Dao’s body may rot, but this thoughts, the trajectory of his life, had already formed, so it would never disappear.
“Carry me to… that place.” Su Dao’s voice was even weaker. Wang Lin carried Su Dao on his back and walked off the mountain road. The snow continued to fall as he walked into the mountain step by step.
At the end, there was a solitary grave. This grave existed in the snow as if it was waiting for something. It seemed to have waited for several decades for this day.
Su Dao sat down before the grave and stared at it. There were no tears, but his gaze became gentle.
“I’m coming… You said you wanted to always look at me, so I buried you here so you could always see me below the mountain,” Su Dao murmured as he touched the grave. His expression was gentle and he seemed to forget the coldness of the grave.
Or it could be said that the coldness from the grave had turned to warmth in his heart.
He slowly closed his eyes and his face had a gentle smile as he lost his breath...
Su Dao died.
Wang Lin stood there for a long time. He turned around and looked down the mountain. From this position, he could see the city of Su and the Su Mansion.
A powerful sense of melancholy filled Wang Lin’s heart. He was confused. He was still thinking about what kind of existence this world was.
Was it his previous life, his reincarnation, or just a dream? It was just that there was no way to explain everything. Truth and false seemed to traverse in a permanent circle, making it impossible to tell where the start and end were.
Half a month later, another grave appeared next to the lone grave on the mountain. It was no longer lonely.
Three years after Su Dao died, Wang Lin was 39.
His parents had been brought here from the mountain village many years ago, but they couldn’t adjust to the life here. After several months, they returned to their hometown and lived an ordinary life.
In the winter when Wang Lin was 39, he was looking at the snow when he got a summon from the emperor of Zhao.
This was the fifth summon in the three years after Su Dao died.
The contents of the five summons were roughly the same, but each was more luxurious than the last. They said the emperor wanted Wang Lin to come to the capital to become the Imperial Teacher.
During these 20 years, Wang Lin’s name had risen among the scholars in Zhao. Although he had never left the city of Su in these 20 years, people would come to visit and listen to his teachings during the annual imperial exam.
This was related to Su Dao, but it was also related to Wang Lin himself. During these 20 years, some dignitaries, some scholars, and some nobles had been defeated by Wang Lin’s words.
Everyone knew that Wang Lin had obtained Su Dao’s inheritance to become a grand scholar. This became even more deeply rooted in their hearts when Su Dao died.
However, nothing was absolute. There were a lot of people who didn’t recognize Wang Lin’s existence. They didn’t believe Wang Lin was worthy of the title of grand scholar, and the emperor of Zhao led that group.
These opinions were scattered when Su Dao was alive. However, in the three years after Su Dao died, their voices became louder and louder. During Wang Lin’s three years of silence, they had become voices of doubt.
Wang Lin didn’t pay attention to these kinds of things. He continued his quiet life with Big Fortune.
Wang Lin’s silence allowed the people that questioned him to become even more unbridled. They admitted Wang Lin was Su Dao’s student, but they didn’t think Wang Lin was worthy of the title of grand scholar. Driving by people with their own motives, this matter slowly changed until such voices could be heard all across Zhao.
Wang Lin still ignored all of this. He watched the sunrises and sunsets. He looked at the spring pass and autumn arrive. He comprehended the world and tried to understand karma. He also searched for signs of life and death and true and false.
Although he was in a state of confusion himself, he continued to experience life. He didn’t want to pay attention to these pointless things, and he didn’t feel the need to prove anything. All of this meant nothing to him, it was like children arguing.
However, the more he remained silent, the louder those voices became. What was worse was that out of Su Dao’s three other students, other than Su San, who was elderly and terminally ill, the other two had also stood out to question Wang Lin.
As a result, the scholars of Zhao were a mess and even disrupted the ordinary people. The voices of doubt were like a storm that swept across Zhao.
Some people had found Wang Lin’s exam paper from 20 years ago and began to heavily criticize it. They used the fact that Wang Lin had only passed the first exam to throw out arrogant accusations.
Amidst these messy voices, the summon from the imperial capital of Zhao came the sixth time, seventh time, eighth time, ninth time, following Wang Lin like snow.
What was even more excessive was that this affected Wang Lin’s parents. His parents were already old and should’ve been enjoying the end of their lives. However, for some reason, the people in the village had learned of this and it spread across the village. The rumor of the villagers ignited Wang Lin’s parents’ anger.
They were already old, and this anger caused Wang Lin’s father to fall ill.
During the winter of this year, Wang Lin stood in the yard, holding a letter. This letter was from his mother. She had found someone to write it and then entrusted his fourth uncle to send it.
The letter told Wang Lin that his father was fine.
After reading it again and again, a hint of anger appeared in Wang Lin’s calm eyes.
Wang Lin folded the letter and put it his clothes. He looked up at the falling snow and slowly said, “A bit too much.”
He had no intention of proving anything. No matter how loud the voices in Zhao were, he didn’t care. The title grand scholar held no value, he didn’t care.
He was like an old man who just wanted to slowly comprehend the world.
However, everything had a limit, and Wang Lin’s bottom line was his parents. The anger of his parents, the pain of his parents, the grief of his parents, and the wrath of his parents were his anger, his pain, his sadness, his wrath.
“Big Fortune, make the necessary arrangements. I’ll lecture for 10 years. For the next 10 years, I welcome anyone in the world to come to the city of Su to learn from me. If they can show they are above me, they can take this mansion from me.” Wang Lin waved his sleeves and left.
Behind him, Big Fortune, who had entered his elderly years, was still the same as 20 years ago. He was very excited as he was equally as angry during these last three years. Those people that used to respect him not only alienated him but were also cold to him.
Now that he heard Wang Lin’s words, there was a hint of expectation in his proud expression. He quickly went to arrange this matter.
“Hmph, hmph, my young lord is still the most haughty. 10 years of lectures. I want to see the expressions of all those people when they fail.”