“Hold up!” Xiao Chen shouted coldly at the group. “You have been harassing Heavenly Star Island for the past one year or so. How can you just leave like that?”
Huan Qiuyu reacted first. Without saying a thing, he tossed out two million Black Astral Coins from his spatial ring before turning to leave.
The others understood as well. Feeling heartache, they surrendered all their Black Astral Coins before leaving.
The dragon chariot descended, and Lan Shaobai and the others came out. When Lan Shaobai saw the purple-clad youth’s corpse, he said to Xiao Chen, “There will probably be trouble for killing this person.”
Xiao Chen patted Lan Shaobai’s shoulder and said calmly, “You know that I’m not afraid of this kind of trouble.”
Then, he looked around and noticed a familiar face. So he walked over to give his greetings, feeling guilty and apologetic in his heart.
When Xiao Chen first saw Mo Chen, he did not know what to say. He had not expected her to do as she had promised, immediately rushing to Heavenly Star Island the moment she advanced to quasi-Emperor to help him guard Heavenly Star Island.
“You are here,” Xiao Chen said after a while.
Mo Chen smiled and said, “I arrived as appointed. If you are not going to chase me away, I will remain here.”
Lan Shaobai immediately said anxiously, “Xiao Chen, if you want to chase Mo Chen away, I will be the first to disagree.”
“Right, right, right! Xiao Yu also does not agree.”
The atmosphere instantly turned much warmer. Xiao Chen smiled and was about to say something when he suddenly frowned. Then, he quickly sent out his Spiritual Sense.
Mo Chen asked quickly, “What’s wrong?”
Xiao Chen withdrew his Spiritual Sense and smiled. “It’s fine. Help me to deal with the aftermath. I’ll go for a bit and will return shortly. A small fly has been watching for a long time, and unexpectedly, I only just discovered this.”
He did not have much time to explain. That little fly already noticed something and was fleeing. If he wasted any more time, the other party would succeed in running away.
Xiao Chen pushed off the ground and headed off Heavenly Star Island, moving as fast as lightning. Six indistinct electric dragons appeared beside him as he vanished from everyone's sight.
Xiao Yu ran over and asked out of curiosity, “Elder Brother Shaobai, what is Big Brother Xiao Chen going to do?”
The others were very curious as well, so they turned to Lan Shaobai.
Lan Shaobai thought for a while before stating his analysis. “Someone was probably spying on us earlier, waiting to take advantage of the situation after the Seven Distinguished Dragon Marquises dealt with us.”
The situation around Heavenly Star Island was incredibly complicated. The factions that occupied the surrounding satellite islands had all been eyeing Heavenly Star Island for a long time already.
Then, Xiao Yu looked at Lan Shaobai’s injuries, and her eyes turned red, about to cry again. Lan Shaobai quickly consoled her with a smile, “My little princess, don’t cry. Your Elder Brother Shaobai is fine now.”
Xiao Yu sniffled and said, “But that person was really ruthless. Elder Brother Shaobai must be in a lot of pain. If only Elder Brother Tianji were back!”
When Lan Shaobai heard that, he merely smiled and did not say anything.
Aside from Xiao Yu, there was another person of the Asura Race that had come with him to Heavenly Star Island, Lan Tianji. One year ago, Lan Tianji headed to the Kunlun Continent to try and invite a Martial Emperor expert of their race to come over and help deal with the problems plaguing Heavenly Star Island.
However, there was still no news of Lan Tianji until now. Something must have happened, and the expert of their race could not come.
Mo Chen said, “Let’s tidy up the area first. Later, we still need to send people to claim the satellite islands that the Seven Distinguished Dragon Marquises occupied.”
Lan Shaobai reacted to that reminder with a nod. Then, he revealed a rare expression of joy on his face.
Taking back the satellite islands that the Seven Distinguished Dragon Marquises occupied would enhance Heavenly Star Island's defense significantly. They would also have an easier time going out.
If they could repair the defensive formations on the main island and satellite islands, they would not have to fear even if a Martial Emperor came for them.
However, before the Three Holy Lands left, they must have wrecked these formations. Fixing the formations would be extremely difficult.
Even so, being able to reclaim these islands was a good thing. Lan Shaobai sorted out his emotions and started on his work, sending people to tidy up the place.
After that, he left with Mo Chen and Elder Qin to take over those islands.
Outside Heavenly Star Island, Xiao Chen moved rapidly. After ten breaths of time, he saw the little fly that had been spying on Heavenly Star Island from the clouds.
The getup of this person was somewhat surprising. The most eye-catching part was the round, bald head and the monk robes he wore. He was dressed exactly like the Buddhist sect disciples of ancient times; there was no difference at all.
This person dressed in a very similar fashion to the Bloody Monk, Zhuang Zhenghe, whom Xiao Chen met at the Heavenly Ruin Wasteland in the past.
This semblance intrigued Xiao Chen. Originally, he thought that it was just a little fly and intended to casually squish it to death. Now, he changed his mind and prepared to follow him to see where this person came from.
Ten thousand years ago, the Azure Emperor destroyed the Minor Leiyin Temple, the Buddhist Holy Land in the Heavenly Starry Ocean. It no longer existed, and Buddhist sect disciples were relatively rare.
This little monk before Xiao Chen was not weak, a grandmaster-level Martial Sage. His skill at hiding was quite excellent as well.
If not for the sharpness of Xiao Chen’s Spiritual Sense, he would not have discovered this fellow.
The little monk moved very anxiously on the surface of the water like he discovered that something was wrong. Occasionally, he turned his head back to take a look. However, given the disparity in cultivations, if Xiao Chen wanted to hide, how could the little monk discover him?
As Xiao Chen gave chase, he took special care. After following the little monk for more than five hundred kilometers, it looked like they would be leaving the boundaries of Heavenly Star Island.
Xiao Chen started to feel doubtful. Could it be that he overthought this, and this was just a passing loose cultivator?
As Xiao Chen questioned himself, the little monk suddenly darted left and landed before an island. Immediately, several experts dressed in similar garb flew out of the island and received the little monk.
Xiao Chen took out the sea chart and glanced at it before entering deep thought. This island was Black Flame Island. Before the Three Holy Lands left, it was the largest satellite island of Heavenly Star Island.
After the Three Holy Lands left, the nearby major factions immediately occupied any satellite islands with resources on it. This island before him was no exception.
Based on the situation, the faction occupying Black Flame Island seemed to be these people in Buddhist sect disciple’s attire, which seemed somewhat strange.
“Could it be that someone has obtained the inheritance of the Minor Leiyin Temple and is preparing to reestablish it?” Xiao Chen whispered to himself. He had not expected that by following a little fly, he would accidentally discover such a secret.
The other monks had already led the little monk away, so Xiao Chen could not continue following. However, he felt rather interested in this satellite island.
Black Flame Island was not a closed-off island. It had its own harbor, and merchant associations even came to buy Black Flame Rocks. There were also ordinary people and fishermen, who went out to sea. Sneaking in would not be difficult.
Xiao Chen avoided detection, not causing any commotion as he landed on the satellite island. The instant he landed, he felt that the atmosphere on the island was somewhat weird.
This island was above average in size. Aside from the largest Black Flame City, there were several small towns and villages. He vaguely sensed at least a million people on this satellite island if he included the ordinary people.
Xiao Chen casually looked around and discovered the presence of temples at the various villages and towns. Then, there were majestic temples build on several of the tall mountains. These temples had many worshippers coming endlessly, lighting up incense, all ordinary people who came praying and seeking peace.
He also vaguely sensed a formless net shrouding the entire Black Flame Island. That feeling was indescribable. The net was very well concealed, making it hard for anyone to notice.
If not for Xiao Chen’s Mental Energy having turned entirely into the purer Magic Energy, he would not have detected it.
As his Spiritual Sense scanned the place, he muttered to himself, “The problem should be in these ubiquitous temples.”
Xiao Chen focused his gaze on a temple at the peak of a tall mountain. The numerous people on the rugged mountain looked like ants as they headed to the temple.
He activated his Foundation Returning Art and infinitely lowered his cultivation. Now, he looked like an ordinary person. A Martial Emperor would not be able to discover him even if one came.
Then, he floated to the foot of the mountain and casually joined the crowd heading to the temple to pray for blessings.
The mountain road was very rugged. All the people coming to pray for blessings huffed and puffed. An old man who looked like a woodcutter walked beside Xiao Chen. This old man was very aged and appeared to have difficulty walking.
This old man got careless and almost fell. Xiao Chen quickly stretched out his hand and helped him.
The woodcutter paused to catch his breath before saying to Xiao Chen, “Thank you, little fellow. Are you here to worship Buddha as well?”
“No, I’m an outsider. I’ve heard that Black Flame Island’s temples are very effective, and am here to join the liveliness.”
Xiao Chen’s expression did not change as he helped the old man to the side. Then, he took out a pouch of water and got the old man to rest for a while.
The woodcutter took a sip of water and smiled. “Based on your appearance, you do not look like a Buddhist. You are indeed an outsider.”
Xiao Chen looked at the many people here to worship Buddha. Then, he casually asked, “What temple is this? I wonder which Buddha is being worshipped here?”
The woodcutter answered honestly, “Naturally, it is the Amitayus Buddha and the bodhisattvas, wisdom kings, and arhats under him. Up ahead is the Heavenly Essence Temple, and the statue of Manjushri Bodhisattva is there. That is a great bodhisattva with boundless power, the bodhisattva that almost everyone on our Black Flame Island worships.”
[TL Note: Buddhas, bodhisattvas, wisdom kings, and arhats are various levels of ascending to Buddhahood in certain Buddhist factions. Buddhas clearly are those who attained it already. Bodhisattva is something like pre-Buddha; depending on the Buddhist faction, it could mean a person on the path to becoming a Buddha or someone almost there with something still obstructing him from becoming a Buddha. There are possibly some other versions as well. Wisdom kings are normally represented as wrathful deities that serve as guardians. Arhats are people who gain insight into the true nature of existence and achieved nirvana, the start of Buddhahood, but with imperfections in their attainments. Again, interpretation of these four levels vary with the faction or sect.]
[TL Note: Amitayus Buddha is the Buddha of measureless life.]
[TL Note: Manjushri Bodhisattva is the bodhisattva of keen awareness.]
The Amitayus Buddha was also the Amitabha Buddha. When the Minor Leiyin Temple was still around, its disciples were followers of this Buddha. Before the Azure Emperor destroyed the Minor Leiyin Temple, there were many believers of this particular Buddha. Even until today, a strong foundation for worshiping this Buddha still existed in the Heavenly Starry Ocean.
[TL Note: The Amitabha Buddha is Buddha of the Western paradise, or the merciful Buddha.]
Xiao Chen thought to himself, It looks like my guesses are right. Someone has obtained the inheritance of the Minor Leiyin Temple and intends to rebuild the Buddhist sect Holy Land. However, the name was changed because they don’t want to attract too much attention.
“Young man, if you do not have a sincere heart, you had best not come to present your wishes to the Manjushri Bodhisattva. The Manjushri Bodhisattva will not listen to your wishes if that is the case.”
The old man returned the water pouch to Xiao Chen and resumed his trek.
Xiao Chen took back the water pouch, feeling curious. What in the world happened? Why did the people of Black Flame Island all accept the presence of the Buddhist sect in such a short time and become such pious believers?
He immediately headed to the Heavenly Essence Temple at the top of the mountain with great strides. The monks standing guard at the front of the temple were all skilled in martial arts. However, they did not stop him.
Xiao Chen leaped up lightly and cleared the large crowd. Soon, he arrived within the hall in the inner courtyard. When he saw the statue of the bodhisattva in the hall, he was startled and significantly agitated.
How is this the Manjushri Bodhisattva? How shameless!
Incense fumes wafted throughout the hall. The pious believers all knelt on prayer mats and kowtowed in worship.
However, Xiao Chen, who was hidden in a corner, showed a dark expression as he stared at the gold “Manjushri Bodhisattva” statue in front.
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