Thanks to the Editor for pointing out issues
Zhu Xian Vol 1 Chapter 7 New Beginning
The sky is already dark by dinner hour.
On Bamboo Peak, the entire back of the mountain was filled with forests of bamboo. The people’s houses are all built at the front hill, the largest and most important is the main hall, Hall of Quietude, the Tian Bolis couple and their daughter lived in one of the back halls. Next to Hall of Quietude is the courtyard where the disciples live. Because there is only a few people, a small number of house is higher than the population, everyone has their own room; even the newly arrived Shaw Danon has one as well. If comparing the living conditions Bamboo Peak is superior to the other peaks.
The only remaining locations are the Tai Chi Cave, kitchen and the dining hall. At this time all the disciples gathered in the dining hall; Sixth disciple Amandla (Dubishu), who is in charge of cooking, is serving foods to the table, mostly vegetables, few are meats. Disciples are seated on the right side of the long table following order of oldest to youngest, Xavion sat in the front, Shaw Danon sat at the end. Across the table there is a large chair and two smaller chairs, the place seems to be prepared for Tian Bolis’ family.
Shaw Danon saw there is an empty seat next to him, where Amandla had set. After a while Amandla, finally finished serving meals, washed his hands then went back to the seat, waiting with the other disciples for their master to arrive.
Amandla looked quite young, thin, pointed face, large eyes; looking life a thief, seemed to be clever. He sat down and looked at Shaw Danon, smiling: “Xiao shidi, what is your name?”
Shaw Danon honestly said: “Shaw Danon.”
Amandla nodded, point to himself, said: “I am your sixth shixiong Amandla.”
Shaw Danon respectfully said :”Sixth shixiong.”
Amandla coughed, patted on his shoulder and smiles: “In a minute, you can try your Shixiong’s cooking skill..”
See this table full of foods, Shaw Danon could not help but swallow, nodding firmly.
Amandla suddenly smiled, pointed to the hall entrance, said: “Xiao Shidi, after a moment master shi niang and Xiao Shimei will come, we’ll make a bet, okay?”
Shaw Danon froze, the other disciples had turned their heads with a smile, fifth disciple Ludaxin, who sat on the other side of Amandla, laughed: “old sixth, your gambling addiction arises again, ah?”
Fourth disciple He Dazhi said: “He hasn’t won for a long time, and now seeks to fool a child?”
“Get lost!” Amandla waved again and again, ignoring the other people, smiling and telling Shaw Danon: “Xiao Shidi, who do you think from master’s family will be the first one to enter? Well, you are new; you can have first guess, so people won’t say sixth shixiong bullied you.”
Second disciple Wu Dayi, sitting at the far side, cried loudly: “Xiao shidi, this is a bet; first, ask him what will happen if you lose or win?”
Amandla grunted and said: “What? You are afraid I will bilk, ah? I, Amandla, walk across the whole world; what I rely on is my gamblers conduct which is famous around the world (everyone laughed: “but you have never won!”), xiao shidi, if you guess right, I will help you chop down the bamboo for ten days. If you lose, you need to help me wash the dishes for ten days, how does that sound?”
Everyone is laughing, Xavion scoffs: “useless.”
Shaw Danon seeing all shixiong smile, kind and friendly, not thinking him as an outsider, his heart feeling warm, said: “Deal.”
Amandla slapped his leg, suddenly feeling energetic and radiant, said: “xiao shidi, tell me, master, shi niang and xiao shimei; who will come in first?”
All eyes fall on Shaw Danon, Shaw Danon pondered for a moment; Jadeon always respect their master as most important; so, Tian Bolis, as a master, should enter first. Immediately he said loudly: “I guess that master will come in first.”
Everyone laughed, Ludaxin shook his head: “can’t believe that today someone really got fooled by old sixth.”
Amandla very happy, looking at Shaw Danon, said: “xiao shidi, in fact, xiao shimei is always the first one rushed in. Haha, you will stay to help me wash dishes then. ”
Shaw Danon touched his head, could not help but laugh out, nodded: “Yes, sixth shixiong.”
The short third disciple Zheng Dali laughed: “old sixth, are you serious?”
Amandla rolling his eyes, said: “what are you saying old third, I did not force him, we are all happy to lose isn’t it xiao shidi?”
Shaw Danon nodded, suddenly Xavion said: “master is here.”
Everyone hid their expression, stood up, facing the door, ready to greet the master. A moment later, Tian Bolis’ stout body appeared at the entrance, and behind him is … …
He came alone.
Everyone is stunned, Amandla can not help but ask immediately: “Master, where are shi niang and xiao shimei?”
Tian Bolis stared at him, said lightly: “Shi niang went back home with xiao shimei.”
All are stunned, but after a moment they could not help laughing, watching Tian Bolis coming, Shaw Danon felt embarra.s.sed, would like to laugh but not dare to laugh, Amandla was stunned and speechless.
Tian Bolis sat in his large chair, waved his hand and said: “eat.”
All disciples sat down, everyone looked at Amandla with a faint smile. Tian Bolis looked Shaw Dannon then turn to Xavion: “Have you told him the rules and precepts of the our faction?”
Xavion nodded: “Yes, I told xiao shidi twelve rules twenty precepts. As for the basic Dagos cultivation practices, disciple saw xiao shidi is tired today since it’s his first day, intend to formally teach him tomorrow.”
Tian Bolis nodded, agreeing, turn to Shaw Danon and said: “Seventh.”
Shaw Danon had not realized, Amandla pushed him, that remind him that master is calling himself, quickly stood up and said: “Disciple is here.”
Tian Bolis shook his head and lost a bit of confidence on that slow-reacting disciple, said: “You first follow da shixiong, remember to try hard; knowledge is boundless, diligence is your friend. Even if your quality is not as good as others, as long as you persevere, you will get it someday, understand?”
Shaw Danon respectfully said: “Yes.”
Tian Bolis waved: “eat.”
Shaw Danon was still young and short, sitting on a chair holding a large bowl, he has difficulty reaching foods from the dish that is slightly too far; however, Amandla who is seated next to him helps him get it several times, chuckles: “Xiao shidi, eat more.” Seems like he totally doesn’t care that he just lost the bet, his gambling conduct really is not bad.
Shaw Danon grateful hearted, nodded, eats for a while, secretly asked: “Sixth shixiong.”
Amandla turned his head and said: “What?”
Shaw Danon said: “Does shi niang still have a home?” In his little mind, Jadeon are like immortals, how can they still be concerned about the outside world.
Amandla said: “Of course, shi niang is still a human being. But Master said shi niang went back home, it’s not really her parents’ home, it means she went back to Bamboo Height, Shui Yue shishu’s place.”
Shaw Danon was surprised and said: “What?”
Amandla lowered his voice, said: “Shi niang was from house of Bamboo Height, with the Head of Bamboo Height, Master Shui Yue, were shijiemei. But then, no idea how, she was as pretty as flower, suprisingly married to master, I heard a lot of male shishu in Jadeon don’t understand… … ”
“Puff”, a chopstick fell on Amandla’s forehead; the strength is not light, causing his forehead to turn red. They were shocked, seeing Tian Bolis’ angry face, his hand missing a chopstick. Amandla turned to Shaw Danon and stuck out his tongue, not daring to say anymore, then put his head down and resumed eating.
At this time, Xavion asked Tian Bolis: “Master, the Head of the Faction asked to have a meeting between seven houses, how come only Shui Yue shishu didn’t show up?”
Tian Bolis grunted and picked up another pair of chopsticks, said: “That old nun pretended to be sick, sent someone to tell the Head of the Faction about what…she had a fever and could not go; also, shixiong actually believed it. Hmph! Today, if she came, I can rob the boy which will be easier, may not lose everything…”
Fourth disciple He Dazhi coughed twice, whispered: “Master, Shui Yue shishu’s house never adopts male disciples.”
Tian Bolis stopped, shook his head and said: “And your shi niang too, once she heard Shui Yue had any problems, immediately took Ling’er and saw her, seems like the end of the world, really.”
All the disciples looked at each other, all are filled with happy expressions on their face, Xavion hesitated a moment, and asked: “Master, how long shi niang will stay with Shui Yue shishu?”
Tian Bolis glared at him, said: “What do you mean how long? Went today, tonight will be back.”
“Aw!” all disciples sighed, all of them were disappointed. Tian Bolis looks around, snorted, and asked Xavion: “Today shi niang guide you guys on practice again?”
Xavion did not even have time to speak, second disciple Wu Dayi already cut in: “Master, don’t ask him, da shixiong deserted us today, what a shame.”
Xavion said angrily: “Nonsense, I have instruction from the master to help xiao shidi… …”
“Boo … …” crowd booed everywhere.
They spent an hour eating, then everyone was gone, Shaw Danon wanted to stay and help Amandla to wash the dishes, Amandla laughed: “Xiao shidi, thank you; however, I can do it myself. You won the bet, don’t worry, tomorrow I’ll help you chop the bamboo.”
Shaw Danon, quite embarra.s.sed, was about to say something; Xavion’s voice issued in from outside: “sixth, don’t help him.” Xavion came in from outside, told Shaw Danon: “xiao shidi, come, I’ll take you to your room.”
Shaw Danon nodded, but Amandla said: “da shixiong, what did you say?”
Xavion said: “xiao shidi has just started, needs to build a solid foundation, not the time to be lazy.”
Amandla scratched his head and said: “that’s right, how about this, xiao shidi, this time I owe you one, if you need me to do something for you in future, just tell me, ok?”
Shaw Danon said: “Sixth shixiong, what about we just forgot about, it’s just … …”
Amandla become serious, said righteously: “What are you talking about, am I the kind of people who doesn’t know the different between right or wrong, good or evil, a promise is a promise, or other shixiongs will laugh at me.”
Shaw Danon nodded his head, but didn’t understand what that had to do with right or wrong, good or evil?
Xavion pulled Shaw Danon’s hand, said: “Xiao shidi, come, I’ll take you to your new room.”
They leave the kitchen, sky already darkened, bright moon slowly rising, hanging on the east sky. They pa.s.sed Hall of Quietude’s entrance, Shaw Danon looked to the inside and saw all the lights had gone out; all are darkness except the moonlight shining at the front entrance, quite ghastly.
Walking for another moment, they returned to the courtyard where the disciples live; Xavion took him to the far right house, said: “xiao shidi, today when you woke up the room you were in is where I live; the other shide’s houses are all following order, all on the right side; the several rooms on the left were empty.” Pausing, he looked at Shaw Danon and said: “You live by yourself, are you scared?”
Shaw Danon shook his head.
Xavion smiled: “This is it. We are men, how can we be afraid of loneliness! Come, we will go inside.” Talking with Shaw Danon and went inside.
Shaw Danon carefully examined this strange place but later will be accompanied with it for a long time: a small courtyard’s corner, pine tree on the left, five to six bamboo on the right, two or three people high. The small stones paved into a trail in the courtyard, lined with gra.s.s, the night wind blowing, gently shaking the bamboo leaves, a faint wave of gra.s.s fragrance came, everything is quiet.
Xavion opened the door, lit up the candles, said: “Xiao shidi, come in.”
Shaw Danon went in, saw the house furnished as simply as Xavion’s room, table, chairs, bed, have nothing else.
Xavion said: “I had already cleaned a bit today, you stay here for now. Life on the mountain is harsh, you are still small, may feel lonely, but we cultivator, must able to bear all kind of suffering, the matters of daily life, you will have to do all by yourself. ”
Shaw Danon said: “Yes, da shixiong.”
Xavion nodded his head, looked around, said: “If there is nothing more then I will go back. You’ve been tired, get some early rest.”
Shaw Danon answered, then suddenly remembered something, said: “da shixiong, it just getting dark, why don’t other shixiong move around?”
Xavion laughed: “You don’t know, we studied Taoism cultivation in Bamboo Peak at least four decades already, rarely go out. Bamboo Peak is already boring to us, so too lazy for a walk, like fourth loves to read, second loves to hum songs, hard working people like third will stay in the house and practice, normally won’t come out. ”
Shaw Danon understand, Xavion smiled and patted his head, and remind him a few things, then turned away.
Shaw Danon went back to his house, closed the door, suddenly feeling the whole world had been quieted down, without any voice. He went back to the table, sat blankly for a while, nothing to do, then blew out the lights, took off his coat then went to bed. Turning over and over again, drowsily falling asleep.
In the dark, Shaw Danon shouted and sat up, gasping for air. He was dreaming back to Gra.s.stemple Village, saw his father and mother, but also able to see every child playmates, uncles and aunts, all smiling, but all the sudden they have become dead, b.l.o.o.d.y, horror. His body shaking, that’s why he woke up.
He sat a while on the bed, breath getting slower and more calm, eyes slowly adjusted to the darkness. Saw that window opened a bit, a faint pale moonlight shines on the brick surface, seem like frost and snow.
Shaw Danon is not sleepy, got up and went to the door, opened the door and went outside.
Silence surrounding him, faint sounds coming from unknown insects. Moonlight like water, shine on his body.
He look up watched the sky and saw many stars. Moon on mid-air, white and bright.
“How is Jingyue doing now, is he unable to sleep too?” He whispered, sighed, returned to the room; suddenly, his close loosen up a little, a thing rolled out from his clothes, fell on the ground.
Shaw Danon shocked, leaned over and picked it up; but, it is a dim dark purple bead, there is a hole on the bead.It seem like the purple bead is string with the Jade Prayer Bead that day. These days he was facing series of great changes, has been forgotten this thing, but now remember that Pozhi told him to throw this bead away.
Thinking of this, suddenly his heart grew bitter, his father and mother did not leave him anything, the bond between Pozhi and himself is light, but that night together, they saw each other as family; and that ugly bead is the only thing Pozhi left him.
Shaw Danon raised his hand, holding the bead in the air, facing the moon. Under the moonlight, the bead’s color grew lighter, into a light purple; translucent. Inside a green energy swirl can constantly be seen; it seemed to have a spirit within, wanting to hatch. However, everytime the green grew closer to the surface of the bead, it will light up a little “卐” word and block it back.
Shaw Danon looking at it for a long time, begins to like it, but also because this is the only thing Pozhi left behind, and Shaw Danon doesn’t want to lose it. He thought for a long time, took off a red string, it was a gift his father and mother gave to him wishing for long life and peace. Most people will use gold or silver lock, but his poor family can only use red string instead.
He tied the bead with red string and wore it, hung on his chest. Not feeling cold, but warmth. He smiled to himself, looked up at the sky to the moon, turned back to his room and went to bed.
His first day in the Jadeon has ended.