Chapter 411 Dao Discussion
After downing the drink I couldn't help but let go of a long sigh.
"What is wrong, junior brother?" asked Zhang Tian as he poured me another gla.s.s.
I thought for a moment before I spoke, "One can endure the hards.h.i.+ps of Time, and the pain of the body for a long time. But still cannot let go of the pleasure of a good drink or the pleasure of the flesh. We live only to please ourselves even if we suffer hards.h.i.+ps in the process…"
My words would seem like the ramblings of an old man but the people here, all understood it or I hoped they did.
"It has been a while since we last discussed Dao, junior brother, have you come to some enlightenment of your own in the time we had parted?" Zhang Tian asked.
"Not to intrude," the oldest person in the room spoke as he approached us. "I've heard your conversation and it seemed interesting, for the Immortal Scholar to ask about Dao from a person who just becomes an Ascendant," the old man spoke.
He was bald and had a long but thin beard that seemed to reach all the way to his knees, however even though he looked like an old man he would keel over at the smallest breeze. He gave off a sharp aura, like a sheathed sword.
"Lord Zi Qin, you're more than welcome to join in on the conversation," Zhang Tian said.
With this invitation everyone in the room had their eyes focused on us.
"So, young one, you said that you could speak words of the Dao, but before you speak, can I know how long have you been cultivating?" he asked.
"Is that necessary? Is age something that can define one's understanding of Dao?" I asked.
"It is not, but it is a good indicator of one's wisdom," he said.
"Subtracting the five years I've been imprisoned and unable to cultivate myself, this should be my twelfth," I said.
"Hmm, twelve hundred years, it qualifies a person to speak about Dao," he said.
"I think you're mistaking something," I said.
Zi Qin tilted his head, "If I am, please enlighten me."
"It's only my twelfth-year cultivating," I said.
My words were enough to cause everyone to laugh as if it was a joke. But the old man didn't laugh.
"Your words… seem to hold no lies in them, yet I find it hard to believe, how come a man is able to cultivate to the Ascendant Realm in only twelve years? Not to mention your body's age is older than a century," he said.
"Oh, you can see my age?"
"Bone age, it is obvious for eyes such as mine, so, how come? Did you start cultivating in your eighties? You would have been an old man, with a body riddled with sickness and old of age, a mortal cannot cultivate at such an old age," he said.
"You are right, a normal mortal wouldn't be able to cultivate at such an old age, since their meridians and body would have deteriorated, not to mention that a man that old would have already far bypa.s.sed the age of cultivation which is basically in one's teenage years. But as you can see for yourself, I'm not lying," I replied to the old man.
"I can vouch for Shen Bao's words," said Zhang Tian.
"It wasn't longer than ten years ago since I last met him, and he was only a Core cultivator at the beginning of his journey. If Shen Bao wishes I can share his appearance," said Zhang Tian.
Zhang Tian then pulled a small jade marble and pressed it against his temple. Then soon placed it on the table in front of us.
The marble shone bright and began displaying a sight of an old man wearing dilapidated clothes. He was riddled with tumors and pustules all over his body, but he was focused on something.
The old man was gazing at a blade of gra.s.s so intently that everything around him from the formations of the city that seemed to be forgotten in time seemed irrelevant.
In the eyes of that old man, that blade of gra.s.s contained knowledge that he had never seen before and was intently gazing upon it to know of its secrets.
Between that old man, and the young man in front of them the only thing that was similar between them were the eyes, well, one eye at this point in time.
That old man studied the gra.s.s, then studied the trees, then the doors all the way to understanding the contents of such ambiguous formations. Then that old man began deciphering the formation and gained knowledge, enough to fully break through them and further move forward.
The marble stopped s.h.i.+ning and the sight of the old man disappeared.
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"That is Shen Bao when I first met him," Zhang Tian spoke.
The old man frowned, "Those are big words, brat, you're disrespecting the great Dao by speaking such words. You a child who is still wet behind the ears think that you know more than what an eternal world of cultivation is still trying to figure out," he said.
'did I strike a chord, he is p.i.s.sed.'
I sighed, "I said I know what is Dao, not that I understand it," I said.
"Then what is the difference?" said the old man.
"There is a saying," I said. "Do you know that intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit," I said.
"Huh? What do you mean by that? How can a tomato be fruit?" he asked.
"Because a tomato is a berry, and all berries are fruit, but do you know what wisdom is? Wisdom is not putting a tomato in a fruit basket."
Though I'm sure I botched that idiom back from the earth, but I'm sure that it made the message clear to these old people.
"You all try and find Dao in things that are mystical and far-fetched but you never thought to look at the world next to you," I said.
"There is Dao in everything, in the motion of the wind, in the fall of the rain, in the heavenly order of the world."
"That is a good a.n.a.logy, but it doesn't explain much," said Zi Qin.
"It is because you see the tree for the tree itself," I said. "How did the tree come to be?" I asked.
"From a seed," the old man said.
"Then, how did the seed become a tree?" I asked.
"It's… because a seed becomes a tree?" the old man spoke in a question.
"What I'm about to tell you might be a bit hard to digest. So open your ears and forget about age for a moment. I'll be telling you of Dao."
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