Chapter 20 - A Question About The Soul
Chapter Twenty – A Question About The Soul
“I’m Yi Xu, I believe we’ll get along like a house on fire.” Xu Yi gave General Gu a fabricated name, since he didn’t wish to leave any clues for the Zhou Family to trace him.
“Yes, I think so too. I’ve already prepared a set of clothing and the other necessary equipment, for when you officially join us. Hey, why don’t you go to the Gladiolus Wine Restaurant and buy a kettle of green bamboo leaf liquor?” General Gu laughed and invited Xu Yi.
“I beg your pardon?” Xu Yi was slightly confused as to why he should buy wine. After all, he didn’t drink alcohol.
“Ok, let me get to the point. You’re a man with an unpredictable potential in Wu Dao, someone who deserves an experienced teacher to provide effective guidance. Those privileged young men in rich families have personal tutors and whenever they encounter a question, they can just seek their tutor and ask. While your only chance to receive guidance is in the Lecture Room, where both time and questioning opportunities are limited. It’s like this, because there are tens of other students that you have to share this benefit with. So if you wish to receive more guidance, then you must create the opportunities by yourself. I understand Teacher Zhou quite well, since he has been in our little town for nearly twenty years. Oh, and don’t forget, he’s an alcoholic. Maybe you can “bribe” him with a kettle of wine. Actually, I’m almost certain that he’s currently drinking in the pavilion of the Dragon Beard River.” General Gu analyzed Xu Yi’s current situation and provided him with some golden advice.
“How considerate of you!” Xu Yi exclaimed, as he suddenly ran past General Gu.
The Dragon Beard River was a branch of the Evil Dragon River, which was named after its location. In the chilly yet limpid water, ripples emerged from time to time because of the breeze. The scenery, on both sides of the river, was breath-taking, as the trees and flowers were blossoming in bold colors. The most spectacular part was, that this scenery, together with the blue sky, was reflected on the river like a gigantic painting. It was quite obvious why Teacher Zhou would choose this spot to have a drink at.
Xu Yi carried two big kettles of wine, while he was overwhelmed by the scenery as he walked along the bumpy road.
As Xu Yi was busy finding where the pavilion was, a hoarse sound caught his attention. Suddenly, he noticed that Teacher Zhou was only several meters away, sitting on a rock and waving at him.
To Xu Yi’s astonishment, Teacher Zhou was like a hungry lion, swooping down on him. Hardly had Xu Yi arrived at the rock, or Teacher Zhou had already snatched the two kettles and unplugged the lid of one of them.
“Hmmm, I’ve longed for this liquor for a long time. Now, it’s like a dream come true. You know, the fragrance of this wine crept into my nose, before I could even identify who was carrying the wine. It’s rather embarrassing for me to tell you, that I can’t afford to buy this green bamboo leaf liquor with the salary I get from teaching. Anyway, the taste of this wine is heavenly!” Teacher Zhou imbibed the wine greedily as he spoke to Xu Yi, leaving some drops of wine lingering on his beard.
Looking at Teacher Zhou quaffing like an ox, Xu Yi decided not to disturb him. He silently listened to the old man talk, as he stood squarely.
Soon, one kettle had been completely emptied. Only now did Teacher Zhou realise, that there was a young man by his side, who was patiently waiting.
“You’re a smart kid, I know exactly why you’re doing this. Someone must’ve told you something about me. Anyway, two kettles, two questions!” Teacher Zhou was a straightforward man and he understood that it was most likely that Xu Yi was here to find the answers to some questions.
“I learned from your class, that once you’ve reached the final state – a grateful soul, as long as your soul was devout throughout your cultivation, you’d receive energy from the heavens. My question is, do we truly have souls in our body and if we do, then when will the soul reveal itself? What kind of role does the soul play in the cultivation of Wu Dao?” Xu Yi felt so relieved by letting out these long-buried questions.
Xu Yi possessed many uncommon abilities, such as ghost-seeing eyes, hypersensitivity to any changes, abilities to overcome fatigue, etc. For instance, if he walked in a dangerous forest with many wild beasts, he’d notice from far away if a beast was trying to sneak up on him. However, perhaps the most unreasonable part was, that he could stay awake for many days and nights while cultivating. Even though he might’ve encountered some physical limits, such as some pain on his body, after several hours of sleep, his body would be recovered and become energetic once again.
It were these gifted talents or abilities that had helped him become the current Xu Yi. However, Xu Yi was rather confused, as he couldn’t figure out “why”. Maybe the genes in his body were mutated in some way, which would bring him unimaginable power. Or was it possible that his transferred soul had somehow triggered all these extra abilities?
All these were just clueless guesses, since Xu Yi had never met someone to decode this mystery. He was actually slightly suffering from not knowing the reason behind these abilities.
“What a weird question, why do you want to know this?” Teacher Zhou asked Xu Yi, with a disturbed faraway look. Right now, he had already finished more than a full kettle of wine and was no longer sober. He seemed especially frustrated by Xu Yi’s unexpected question, because it wasn’t an easy one.
“I’ve got a bee in my bonnet about it! Please, Teacher Zhou, enlighten me, or else it’ll drive me crazy.” Xu Yi responded.
“Well, fine, since I’ve already accepted your wine, there’s no reason for me to dodge your questions. Oh, you have raised three questions, you know. But don’t worry, I won’t haggle over every ounce.”
“Now for the first question – Do we have souls? The answer is definitely yes. Without souls, what are we? Mere walking dead!”
“The second question, when will the soul reveal itself? I guess, what you mean is, when will the soul be independent from the body, am I right? There are two ways to successfully free your soul. Firstly, once the body is dead, the soul will be released; Secondly, once you break away from your body, by cultivating your soul to an extremely high level. Many sacred beings have gone through this process.”
“When people are dead, the soul isn’t visible. I’ve heard that only those with yin (the opposite of yang) eyes can see the souls of high-ranking Wu Dao masters. Is that true?“ Xu Yi interrupted. He felt that Teacher Zhou's answer was too general, what he wanted was a more detailed explanation.
Since Xu Yi had seen the ghost of Liao Chen, he was confident that he could see souls coming out from other dead bodies. However, he had failed to discover any souls after he had killed Elder Feng, Junior Zhou and the others of the Zhou Family.
“Hey, man, two kettles, two questions! Don’t break the rules!” Teacher Zhou was angry with his goat-like whiskers slightly shivering. He was a rather shrewd old man.
“One more kettle of wine, ok?” To some extent, Xu Yi was rather rich with the golden discs he had collected from Junior Zhou’s family. He didn’t bat an eye when he bought these luxurious wines.
“Deal!” Teacher Zhou smiled with wrinkles crawling all over his bony cheek.
“If I had half of your diligence, I wouldn’t have lost that battle… ok, never mind. Let’s get back to the question. Souls are all spiritual beings; they can’t be seen through the naked eye. For those yin eyes, they’ll see some souls, but not all of them.”
“In this mortal world, the soul of anyone below the state of an ocean of qi is too weak to take shape. Their souls will probably go with the wind instead of revealing itself. For those that have reached the realm of an ocean of qi, their souls are stronger. It is likely that they’ll have independent souls. It’s worth mentioning that the ghost beings of those cultivators, who cultivate the secret method of the so called ‘Warm Nourishment of the Divine Soul’, will last in our mortal world even after death.”