The two Sages, Jieyin and Zhunti, showed their Buddha Bodies and Dharma Laksana after the Way of Heaven's affirmation. Jieyin sat on the Twelve Grade Golden Lotus of Merit with the golden light of Buddhist relics on his head, while Zhunti sat cross-legged on the lotus stage formed by supernatural power covered by Buddha's aura with a "卍" like picture shadowed on his back, which seemed very much like Buddha of the Afterworld.
Honored Lord of the Origin turned pale observing that. He had thought that Jieyin and Zhunti only wanted to poach his disciples, but they seemed to have a broader plan, which was much more crucial. Though the Western Religious Sect differed from the eastern one, the two of them being listed as Hongjun's disciples and members of Taoism, there was actually no substantial difference between them.
While nowadays, Jieyin and Zhunti had left Taoism and established Buddhism. They totally separated from the east and west. Henceforth, the east belonged to Taoism and the west to Buddhism. The separation of Buddhism and Taoism was unavoidable. Yet, leaving Taoism and establishing Buddhism indeed cost Taoism a great deal of Luck.
Compared with the God Deification Ceremony, this was something genuinely crucial, which indicated the future conflict between Buddhism and Taoism. Thus, Honored Lord of the Origin was naturally upset due to it. More importantly, his disciples had even betrayed him and joined Buddhism, which was absolutely shameful for him. His joyfulness after the Battle of the Gods Investiture had completely faded.
Outraged, he glared at Manjushri, Samantabhadra, and Goddess of Mercy, who had joined Buddhism, with hatred. But that was useless. They were no longer his disciples. Then, he suddenly thought about Dipamkara. Where was he? Could he have joined Buddhism as well?
Dipamkara, unlike those three, was not only the Deputy Sect Leader of the Clan of Enlightenment, but a Sage-to-be expert as well. If he were to abandon the sect, it would be a huge shame and loss for the Clan of Enlightenment. And Buddhism would win another Sage-to-be, which could be a significant advantage in the future fight between the two sects. And that was exactly what Honored Lord of the Origin was not willing to see.
Honored Lord of the Origin snorted at Manjushri and the others and said to Jieyin and Zhunti, "You two really know how to plot! You let my disciples betray me and abandon the Religion of Taoism. From now on, you are the enemies of Taoism. And where is Dipamkara? Did you fool him as well?"
"The enemies of Taoism?" Zhunti's smile vanished. Taoism was indeed more powerful than Buddhism. Yet, the terrifying Three Pure Ones had separated, Goddess Nvywa was practicing in Wahuang Heaven even though there was something crucial in the Demon Tribe, Houtu did not belong to Taoism, and the Blood Sea did not preach in Untainted Land. Thus, Taoism was not united at all, which made it harmless no matter how powerful it might have seemed.
Zhunti had high expectations for Dipamkara. He had met him, the former Fellow Taoist of Zixiao. And to convince him to join the sect, he even promised him a high position in Buddhism, Buddha of the Past, but Dipamkara only agreed to consider it.
Hearing Honored Lord of the Origin's question, Zhunti smiled and said, "Fellow Taoist Origin, Dipamkara used to be a member of the Zixiao Palace. Though he has been the Deputy Sect Leader of your sect, you've never treated him nicely. Our Buddhism longs for talents and promises him the position of Buddha of the Past, one of the three highest positions. He agreed to consider it and he may answer us soon."
In Buddhism, Buddhas of the Past, Present, and Future were revered just under Jieyin and Zhunti. If Dipamkara became Buddha of the Past, then he could be fairly influential in the sect, which was much better than being the so-called Deputy Sect Leader in the Clan of Enlightenment. Zhunti had to be determined to have Dipamkara, or he could not have provided such an offer.
But more importantly, Dipamkara had been shapeshifted from the first primordial coffin and cultivated the Way of Nirvana, which fit in well with Buddhism's doctrine and the position of Buddha of the Past. If he could join Buddhism, the sect would have one more Sage-to-be Buddha and a more completed doctrine as well.
Honored Lord of the Origin made a face while hearing Zhunti's words. Though he knew he had excessively ignored Dipamkara, he could not help feeling anger upon hearing that he had agreed to consider Zhunti's offer. It could be imagined that Dipamkara would have a harder time in the Clan of Enlightenment even if he were to refuse Zhunti.
Seeing Honored Lord of the Origin's anger, Zhunti felt jubilant. He had said that to Dipamkara as well. Given that separating from Taoism and establishing Buddhism was a huge event, they had to have attracted all the living beings in Untainted Land, and Dipamkara was no exception. Thus, Zhunti said that to push him to make the decision. Though Dipamkara might feel unhappy about that, he could make up for it.
Dipamkara turned up in a cloud after Zhunti had finished his words. Honored Lord of the Origin stared at Dipamkara grimly, while Zhunti and Jieyin looked at him cheerfully, as they thought Dipamkara had to have made the decision. It was highly likely that he might enter the sect, so how could the two of them not feel happy?
Dipamkara did not even change his expression upon noticing Honored Lord of the Origin's rage. It seemed that he had been prepared for that. He bowed to Honored Lord of the Origin and said, "Teacher, it will be the last time that I call you this. I joined the sect to pursue the Great Way, while I received nothing. Frankly speaking, considering what I've done for the Clan of Enlightenment throughout all these years, I owe you nothing. Henceforth, I'm no longer a disciple of the Clan of Enlightenment."
Honored Lord of the Origin's outraged face showed a bit of embarrassment. He naturally felt that he lost face by having his Deputy Sect Leader leave. He only had hatred and anger toward Dipamkara without even thinking of the reasons.
Yet Jieyin and Zhunti were joyful since they were going to have a Sage-to-be Buddha in the sect. They were sure that Buddhism would be as prosperous as Taoism one day, which had always been their dream.
Unfortunately, although the two were certain that Dipamkara would join their sect since he had left the Clan of Enlightenment, they and all the others did not expect Dipamkara's choice.
Ignoring Honored Lord of the Origin's rage, Dipamkara said to Zhunti, "Sage Zhunti, I appreciate your kindness of inviting me in at the position of Buddha of the Past, but the Tao of Buddhism doesn't suit me and you can't give me what I want. Power and fame vanish with time, while the Origin remains forever."
"The Origin?" Dipamkara had joined the Clan of Enlightenment for the supreme Way of the Origin rather than for a powerful support, or he could have chosen to be a disciple of Zhenyuanzi or some hermitic Almighties. No one would be able to bother him then.
Both Zhunti and Jieyin were stunned after hearing Dipamkara's words. Few had succeeded in actualizing the Realm of the Origin among all the living beings of Untainted Land. Even Zhenyuanzi and Cangjie, the incarnation of Hongyun, were a Half Step to the Origin. Though they were enlightened before the Cultivation Tribulation of the breaking Untainted Land and had saved abundant cultivation time, they still could not reach the realm.
Jieyin and Zhunti indeed could not meet Dipamkara's need to actualize the Way of the Origin. Minghe was the only one able to do that among all the living beings of Untainted Land. After all, among his three disciples, one had actualized the Realm of the Origin and the other two had found their paths of actualization. It was possible to actualize with Minghe's protection and support.
Minghe had created a legend in Untainted Land at that time. Thus, numerous people desperately want to enter his sect, but they had no chance to. Kunpeng had had the chance, yet he lost it out of fear. Minghe took back the Red Lotus of Fire he had given to Kunpeng after the God Deification Ceremony. Then, Kunpeng suddenly realized that he had always had the chance to be a disciple of Minghe, but he lost it.
Suddenly, laughter echoed in Heaven and Earth. "Hahaha, great! Dipamkara, it seems that you've made your choice. That's good." All changed their expressions while hearing the voice. It was Ancestor Minghe. No one had expected that Minghe would take part in this.
Jieyin and Zhunti then realized the reason why Dipamkara refused to join Buddhism. Minghe had to have offered him something more appealing, so appealing that no one could turn it down—the Way of the Origin, the dream of numerous Tao pursuers. He might be the only one who could offer such a condition. When Minghe turned up, Dipamkara bowed to him in front of everyone. "Teacher, your disciple Dipamkara greets you."