Chapter 1559 - Dance of the Devaputra-māra
In a daze, he seemed to recall a world where it was absolutely unwise to help an old granny on the ground, where it was even better to avoid them altogether. Never did he think that running into an old granny would even come with money in this Sukhāvatī.
Compared to that, a world like this really was better!
That was not all. A group of people gathered around in concern. “Child, are you alright? That old aunty needs to look at where she’s going. Look at how she ran into you! Sigh, I don’t remember how long it’s been since I last saw a child as small as you. How pitiful.”
Not only were the “onlookers” caring, but their warmth was basically about to roast him alive.
“Eggborn” felt guilty inside and confessed quickly, “She didn’t run into me. I ran into her!”
The crowd took an even greater liking towards him. “What a great child. Someone has run into you, yet you’re still speaking for her! Yeah, yeah. Come, kid, take some cakes with you!”
Very soon, he was drowning in bodhi seeds. “I don’t need it. I don’t need anything!” Only then did he escape from the enthusiastic crowd after quite a difficulty.
“Strange, strange, oh so strange! A sparrow has trodden an old hen to death! An ant three feet six long, an old grandpa sitting in a cradle.”
He shook his head around as he sang a ballad, following the Upraised Light abbot through the bustling streets. It was a pity that there were no other children around, no one to sing along with him.
Suddenly, the Upraised Light abbot stopped. “We’ll stay here for the night.”
This was neither a temple nor an inn, but a great square.
By now, the sun was setting, and the lanterns on the streets had just been lit. The square bustled with people, making it extremely lively. Many people formed groups, singing and dancing away. It did not seem like a place to stay for the night at all.
“That’s right, right here.”
“Eggborn” leaned against his knees and sat down on some steps, watching the dancing people. The setting sun turned his face as red as an apple as he let out a smile unknowingly. He seemed no different from a regular child.
The Upraised Light abbot suddenly felt a hint of reluctance and pity. Perhaps he should not have dragged him into this. Perhaps he should not help him recover his memories at all, but to help him keep the past completely sealed.
Behind the valiance and resolve that belonged to “Li Qingshan” was a bleak landscape of corpse and blood, filled with endless sins, yet he also refused to be like a regular cultivator, viewing all living beings as ants. As a result, he would never find peace, forced to shoulder these sins. As a result, he became even more resolved, where it made perfect sense even if he died somewhere one day.
The Upraised Light abbot recalled what he had said that day in the Pure Land temple of Black Cloud city. It was still as enlightening and significant as before.
“I’m laughing that you’re all too weak. You’re basically no different from the people who view all others as ants. Because you are unable to endure the pain within you, you cast aside your kindness, so you set down the butcher’s blade. All of it is just twisting your original self. What other difference is there?”
“With a heart of benevolence, I fend off my demonic thoughts inside. With a butcher’s blade in hand, I cut down powerful foes outside. Is that not delightful? Why must I go to Sukhāvatī?”
“Those who kill will be killed themselves. Since I kill, then I am prepared to be killed. I do not seek bliss, nor do I seek eternal life. How will you convert me, monk?”
It was not as profound as the buddhist scriptures, but his great determination and great willpower was basically unbelievable.
At this moment, “Eggborn” suddenly leapt up. “I’m going off to dance!”
Those dancers had constantly been teasing him. After having watched for a while, he had learnt most of their moves as well. Finally, he ran out of patience and joined them in the centre.
Whoosh! It was like adding a scoop of cold water to boiling oil. The atmosphere over the square immediately became scorching-hot like fire.
A figure arrived before him in a flash. It was actually the old granny that knocked him over earlier. She was exceptionally fit, constantly twirling around.
“Kid, you’ve come too! You want to compete?”
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“Let’s compete! Who’s afraid of who?”
“I am Zhang Su’e!”
“I am Li Dansheng!”
Just like that, an old and a young figure competed against each other in the centre of the square. Everyone gathered around them, adding to the atmosphere with their cheers, except the dancing never stopped.
Zhang Su’e had devoted herself to this artform for many years. She had paid visits to countless master dancers and danced on countless squares before, developing her ability. Her dancing was rapid and high-spirited, making everyone forget about her age, engrossed by her dancing.
However, she was left surprised and shocked very soon. The child seemed like he knew how to dance from the moment he was born. Every single movement he made was fluid and flawless. This was no child, but a master dancer! Very soon, she could not keep up with him anymore, accepting her defeat convincingly.
“Eggborn” stood out tremendously, defeating dancers after dancers. The cheers rose and fell like waves. The atmosphere was so fervent that it felt like the air was about to burn.
He danced away freely, like sudden rain, like whirling winds, like hopping frogs, like fighting tigers. They were not just styles that he had just learned, but many styles buried away in the depths of his memories, like peacock dancing, latin dancing, tap dancing, street dancing…
He became the one and only lead dancer. Everyone followed the steps of his dance.
The Upraised Light abbot shook his head with a wry smile. “So be it, so be it. What gives a mere Upraised Light the right to help Li Qingshan with choosing his path?”
“Eggborn’s” eyes were half closed, having forgotten about his surroundings, like he had fallen into a dream. He was filled with great joy that could only be expressed through dancing, but he also felt great fury that could only be vented through dancing. He also felt great sorrow, which he could only calm through dancing.
Every single emotion turned into a movement, even reaching beyond the square and inciting everyone to make the same movements.
When the bell rang, a group of armed soldiers wielding weapons approached the square. “It’s getting late. Everyone should head off now!”
Normally, everyone went home when the bell rang, but no one listened to the soldiers’ urging today. Instead, more and more people gathered over from all directions.
The soldiers made their way through the crowd, straight towards the centre of the square in an attempt to stop the “lead dancer”.
However, he continued to dance away to his heart’s content. A third eye suddenly appeared on his forehead, spraying out divine fire around him that prevented the soldiers from approaching him.
The figure of a god appeared around him, wearing a crown of fire and holding a small drum and a ball of fire in each hand, also dancing away. Its movements were extremely slow yet filled with a sense of power. It raised its left foot slowly as rings of fire wrapped around its right leg, extending its four arms gently.
With a clatter, even the soldiers had tossed aside their weapons, dancing along as well. They were enchanted, completely forgetting about their duty.
“The Dance of the Devaputra-māra!”
The Upraised Light abbot furrowed his brows, taken slightly by surprise. He had almost forgotten that Li Qingshan practised the path of great liberty. Now, he demonstrated Mahe?vara’s dancing form, and it clearly possessed a hint of divine nature. Even he could not stop him.
The rings of fire spun away endlessly, signifying the cycle of birth, preservation, and destruction. No one could escape this kind of cycle, just like the people present.
Even the people that never danced began to dance along enthusiastically, immediately becoming master dancers, except they did seem a little like puppets on strings.
Unconsciously, he had turned the square into his cultivation grounds, turning everyone into his followers. His Origin Soul rapidly grew.
The night grew deeper. All of the lanterns throughout the city were extinguished. All that remained was the square.
The bell rang twelve times, making its final warning.
The Upraised Light abbot’s expression changed. “It’s here!”