Chapter 240: Kong Li’s gift!
Lu Xingkong clenched the thin cicada-like paper in his hand, gazing long and silently at the floating clouds across the sky.
After a long silence, he finally opened his mouth “How can we contact him?”
Seeing the master’s emotions were piqued, the old butler smiled. “Isn’t Miss Qiji in Starry Sky Academy? She and the Young Master Muyang are classmates. How about, let Miss Qiji make friendly contact first?”
Lu Xingkong folded up the letter, placed it in his bosom and looked at the old butler. “Don’t you find it strange?”
“Qiji had no plans to go to Starry Sky Academy, she had always wanted to go to West Wind University——and I asked her about it. But when the news came out that Li Muyang was going to attend Starry Sky Academy, she suddenly changed her mind.” Lu Xingkong looked deep in thought when he said, “She wouldn’t know something, right?”
The old butler smiled. “Does Miss Qiji know about the secret back then? It’s impossible. I think it must be because her friends also chose Starry Sky Academy, so she followed them. Didn’t little prince Chu Xun also went to Starry Sky Academy?”
Lu Xingkong looked at the old butler. “You think Qiji went to Starry Sky because of Chu Xun?”
“Master, you’re always preoccupied with the government affairs so don’t understand the minds of these young people. They are at such a confused age, and they study and cultivate with each other daily, it’s normal to develop deep feelings for each other——”
“Prince Fu is the nominal head of the Monitoring Division, the direct supervisor of Xu Da. Xu Da is in a difficult position in the Monitoring Division. Although it is said that he has control of the central core and serves the emperor directly, the emperor does not trust him. Ever since being appointed, he has not even been summoned to face him. The one above is hostile to him, his colleagues exclude him and the people below him are cunning, patronizing and refuse to work. If General Xu Da wants to control the situation and truly make a difference, I’m afraid it won’t be easy. We need to think of a different strategy.”
The old butler said consolingly, “Master, look at you, you’re worried about endless things. Since you placed General Xu Da in the Monitoring Division, even if it is a dragon’s pool or a tiger’s den he also has to pluck up courage and fight. When it’s hard, when you’re tired, will you retreat? Besides, General Xu Da was raised by you and had fought countless battles. On the battlefield where he had to attack head-on and see blood at every slash of sword he was never afraid. Do you think he can’t even handle a little bit of difficulty and hardship?”
“The battlefield is dangerous but the situation of the imperial court is a hundred times more treacherous than the battlefield.” Lu Xingkong sighed. “On the battlefield you only need to charge forward and be unafraid to die, because you don’t have to worry about your back. Behind you, are the brothers you can trust with your life. But the imperial court you have to look ahead, watch your back, and take care of your left and right. If you’re not careful, you’ll be left with no bones. These people are murderous.”
“But what you say is right, if you use a man, you don’t suspect him; if you suspect him, you don’t use him. I believe that General Xu Da will be able to break through this cage, and offer his dedication and strength to the country and the people.”
“Qiji and the son of Prince Fu are
friends, would this have any influence on the situation?” The old butler asked. “Perhaps this is what would destroy our plan?”
Lu Xingkong shook his head. “Prince Fu has always been an idle Prince, drink and go to the opera, pass his time in cockfighting and dog racing. Now that the emperor arranged such a heavy duty to fall on his shoulders, he won’t be easy to get along with, and would also have some of his own opinion—— ”
“What does Master mean?” The old butler asked, looking at Lu Xingkong with a confused look on his face.
“Prince Fu is a blessed one.” Lu Xingkong said, smiling. “A person that was granted the name ‘fu’1, how can he be a simple person?”
[TN note: Fu means good fortune]
Before the shock in the old butler’s eyes dissipated, he replied with a respectful bow: “I will pay attention to this piece of information.”
Lu Xingkong nodded. “It is always safe to make preparations.”
“Master, about contacting young master?”
“Leave it.” Lu Xingkong waved his hand dismissively. “Qiji has a cold personality, her eyes are above her head, and she’s proud and difficult to come near. If Qiji took the initiative to approach the boy, I’m afraid there will be little gain and great loss. Before she will even make friendly contact, their relationship will have been destroyed.”
“Let nature take its course. The boy was born as a son of the Lu family, no matter where he is, the blood of my Lu family still runs in his body. The incident of the Cui family is the best proof, if he had not killed Cui Zhaoren, General Xu Da would have been dead and our Lu family would have met with disaster——The one above has joined forces with the Cui family, they attack ruthlessly and act decisively. A slight move in one part may affect the situation as a whole. It’s really dangerous.”
“He doesn’t even know about the Lu family, but has already saved my Lu clan. Is this not fate already decided by the heavens? If we take the initiative to contact him now, it might attract the attention of an observant person. It’s not good for both sides.”
“Yes, master.” The butler smiled agreeingly. “I’m just afraid Master will miss him terribly.”
Lu Xingkong patted where the letter was in his bosom. “ Just take it as we’ve already contacted him.”
“I will order people to take notice of young master Muyang’s current situation and report everything.”
Lu Xingkong did not decline but instead asked, “Li Yan and Luo Qi are well?”
The old keeper was a little taken aback, then instantly understood master’s mind. “With Lady’s care, they are obviously well provided for.”
“Hmm, there’s that little girl——Li Shinian, who is said to be a clever child. Lu Tianyu even acknowledged defeat?”
“You also know about young master Tianyu’s temperament, he looks harmless, but his knife is sharp and efficient. During this period he has been planning on bullying the girl, but he had no idea that the girl is the upgraded version of himself. As a result, he has suffered many losses——It is said that young master Tianyue runs and hides whenever he see her now. It seems he’s scared of her more than Miss Qiji.”
Lu Xingkong burst into hearty laughter. “Adversity creates talents. Only after real contact with life and going through years of challenging experiences, one would really be able to ‘change according to the situation’——This little girl is very interesting, I would like to meet her.”
The old butler nodded. “It is very interesting. In just a few days of time, everyone in the mansion already likes her. Many people especially seek her out to chat with her. Whoever sees her would call her Miss, no one treats her as a servant’s child——”
Lu Xingkong nodded. “That’s good. Don’t let this girl suffer anymore.”
“Yes. Master.” The butler promised——
Heart Garden, Kong Li’s little courtyard.
Because Xiahou Qianbai’s place was called ‘Medicine Cottage’, so not wanting to be outdone, Kong Li custom-made a plaque at the doorway and personally wrote two words: ‘Heart Garden’.
Putting aside who is the best teacher of Starry Sky for the moment, or the most handsome man in Starry Sky, at least they knew they could not be weaker than the other side in style. Otherwise, how could they have the face to meet people?
Li Muyang was at the door of Heart Garden. When he noticed the door was opened, and inside the courtyard was incense smoke curling up in spirals, a soft chanting voice resounded in his ears. It instantly purified his mind and was extremely comfortable to hear.
“This is the power of the Buddhist sutra.” Li Muyang thought. “Since ancient times, Buddhism and Taoism have been rivals. Countless geniuses have emerged in Buddhism and Taoism and countless strong people of starry sky have been created. It can be said that Buddhism and Taoism are the two unscalable peaks in the world, the most powerful existences in the world. Even the rapidly expanded Changbai Sword Sect and the various fierce sword schools, are only juniors to them, and not comparable at all.”
“To cultivate both Buddhism and Taoism is very hard, but, as long as I could persist, defy hardship, I can master their strong powers. When I’ve done that——who the hell wants to slay a dragon? Who the hell dares to kill me?”
With this thought, Li Muyang’s manner grew more humble and courteous, standing in the courtyard, he softly called, “Is Master Kong in?”
“Come in.” The chanting sound ceased and the voice of Kong Li echoed over.
When Li Muyang went in, Kong Li was seen sitting in a meditation posture on a praying mat and drinking tea.
Kong Li placed down the teacup and motioned Li Muyang to sit on the opposite side of the meditation mat. “It is evening class time, you can’t slack off even for a day.”
“Only extraordinary people can make extraordinary achievements. Master Kong the reason you could achieve the success that you have today, you not only relied on rare talent, but also diligence and hard work.”
“That’s true.” Kong Li nodded in agreement. “The world regards talent as the most important, but just how many talented people exist in this world? How many people can keep their hearts and fight their way out of encirclement? It is gratifying to have talent, but to persist for decades to do the same thing, not lax, not resort to trickery, solid foundation, and learn the profound teachings of the Buddha. Through this, one can shine throughout the starry sky and achieve supreme fame.”
Li Muyang bowed, accepting his teachings. “Student understand.”
Kong Li raised a hand, beckoning Li Muyang to get up. “What do you think about that matter? You’ve a desire to cultivate both Buddhism and Taoism and I also intend to accept you as a disciple. However, this kind of thing depends on fate, and whether our minds are in sync. It can’t be forced at all.”
Li Muyang again bowed down and spoke in a loud, clear voice. “Li Muyang is willing to become a formal disciple of Master Kong, serve and learn from master.”
Kong Li nodded. “Well, I will temporarily accept you as an official disciple, until you have the free time to accompany me to the monastery, then we will formally set the relation of Master and disciple and have the ceremony to acknowledge me as Master————Our Buddhism is more traditional, unlike some people that so casually and confusedly accept disciple as they please.”
“——Thank you Master Kong”. Li Muyang bowed again.
Kong Li nodded. “Customs can be exempted. Let’s talk about some practical questions.”
Kong Li stared at Li Muyang with a glint in his eyes, whispering: “What do you want as a gift of becoming my disciple?”