Chapter 73 – Purifying Of The Heart
A brightness radiated through the hazy mist as numerous paper butterflies flew towards me from the outside. They entered through the door and kept circling around my head, as well as pulling at my hair and woke me up from my dream of going to the Dragon Palace to eat yummy seafood. When I crawled and stumbled to the side of the bed in confusion, I had accidentally stepped on Wawa who had been drooling and giggling amidst her dreams.
“What are you doing? So early?” The Wawa who had just been woken up stretched, and then muttered unhappily. She noticed that I had been staring at her, and then suddenly flopped up like a fish and said, “School? Is there school today? Wawa woke up late, what to do! What to do!”
She had finally awaken from her daze when I pointed to the dancing purple paper butterflies all around us, “Miao Miao, you agreed to go play with Xiao Zi so I will go help you prepare.”
After I was dressed and tended to by Wawa, I went to tell Bi Qingshen Jun that I was going to go out, but he was unexpectedly even earlier than me. Xiaolin had been kept busy helping him put on his armor and said that under the heavenly decree, he was to be sent down once again to the South to eradicate some evil beings and would not be returning anytime soon.
Bi Qingshen Jun raised his head and saw that I had been standing by the doorway, so he waved his hand for me to come over and then carefully told me, “If you are going out to play, then you must be careful. In these following days, do not carelessly wander into dangerous places, if you come across people, you must greet them, and if you are in a dangerous situation, you must run. Do you understand?”
Although I was sad, I would obediently wait for him to come home.
Bi Qingshen Jun patted my head, and then picked up his precious sword to leave, but then suddenly turned around to ask, “Miao Miao, what kind of mount do you want?”
“Dog.” I replied without a hint of hesitation, and then scratched my head and said with a smile, “In the past, I dreamt of Shifu riding a big dog on a big white cloud with dried fish to look for me.”
“I quite like your style.” Bi Qingshen Jun left with a smile as his black mink trim and cloak was rustled behind with a gentle breeze.
After I had told Xiaolin that I was leaving to go play, I woke Jin Wen up from her sleep to get her to make rice ball before leaving. The both of them had wanted to come along with me, but was immediately rejected. Bi Qingshen Jun himself said that recently, I’ve been much more well-behaved. The Valley of Fragments were within the boundaries of the Heavenly Realm, very peaceful, and even if I were to be in a dangerous situation, he would instantly know, so there was no need for Jin Wen and Wawa to follow me like a body-guard. One last thing Jin Wen reminded me was that after finding Xiao Zi, I must clean my face of the pollen.
The paper butterfly lead the way as if it had life to it. I followed step by step from behind headed South. On the way there, I passed through the golden and glittering eaves, skipped across clear streams, jumped over tall fences, and finally climbed through a window.
Xiao Zi had been waiting by the hillside, and when she saw me, she hurriedly rushed over and said, “Miao Miao, my spiritual strength isn’t very strong, so it can only travel in straight line, you must’ve been mislead by it many times right?”
I shook my head, “Straight line is good.”
Xiao Zi was stunned for a while before saying, “I feel like I shouldn’t continue asking what happened next…..let’s go then.”
So, she brought me along with her towards cavern. There were many strange flowers blooming, bizarre grasses exuding exotic scents, waterfalls splashing down, and many rocks contained with a hint of emerald-green shine. After we arrived at the top of the mountain, Xiao Zi was at a loss at which direction to go, so after a moment of hesitation, she chose to go in the direction of the cliffs.
The cliff was thousands of feet high and hundreds of feet wide, and was shrouded in a white fog-like mist. On the opposite side of the cliff, there was a single patch of red maple trees. The cold air had enveloped the silence, which in turn, enhanced my hearing. From the forest came the sound of wretched and miserable screams. There was a man and woman who sounded as if they were suffering some tragic situation.
“Xiao Zi?” I was baffled at the current scene, so I turned to look at her, but to my surprise, her complexion had paled and her whole body was trembling, and her mouth was unable to form any words.
I hastened to call her name once again, and after a long time, she stammered, “That…..on that side is the Purifying Demon Terrace…..Shao Zhong and Han Jing are holding the demon refinement ritual…..to purify their hearts…..”
“What is to purify the heart?” I was even more confused as I attentively listened to their wretched screams, but from such a far distance, I was unable to distinguish which voices belong to whom.
Xiao Zi hugged my arm, and appeared to be extremely afraid. She just kept repeating these words, “What should I do…..next year, I will also have to go through this process to transcend into a higher demon…..what should I do…..”
Seeing her tremble so violently, I hurriedly grabbed hold of her and carried her away, away to a place where the sounds of the tragic screams could no longer be heard.
After a long time, Xiao Zi gradually relaxed, and then hesitantly asked, “Boss Miao Miao, you should’ve gone through the process of purifying the heart a long long time ago right? Did you also scream in pain at the time?”
I shook my head.
“Oh that’s good…..I guess it’s only lowly demons and spirits that go through this process, I really envy you,” Xiao Zi grabbed onto my hand and refused to let go, as if in order to ease her heart, “Any object, thing or person needs luck and opportunity to become a lesser demon, and once they’ve attained enough cultivation, they would need to carry out a ritual in order to transcend once more to completely change their body composition from that of an animal or beast into that of a human. Aside from gifted individuals, it is necessary to go through the process of purifying of the heart to transcend…..”
“Why would you need to purify the heart? Why can’t you just not purify it?” I did not understand, “It’s just unnecessary trouble.”
“Only by going through pain would the heart learn to bear pain, to closer become a human being…..” Xiao Zi bit her lips, “Shao Zhong and I promised to both pass this ritual and become human…..”
“Why should we learn to bear pain to closer resemble human beings?” This idea was very baffling.
“I also do not know…..anyways, everyone needs to go through it, and the young demons that don’t go through the process would be driven out of the heavenly realm. Some stupid bastards that want to transcend but not want to endure pain would use dirty tactics. They would go into the mortal realm and eat the hearts of other people, and if they are able to evade the heavenly soldiers and thievery, they would usually enter into the nether realm.”
“Are you afraid?” I looked to Xiao Zi who had been tightly clenching my arms and could not help but frown a little from the pain.
“Afraid…..I’m afraid of pain as well as death…..” Xiao Zi’s face was full of tears, but did not lose her endurance, “Shao Zhong and I made a promise…..when he saved me in the mortal realm, he told me he liked me and that he wanted to be with me forever…..but I am a butterfly and he is a lizard, when we have both purified our hearts, then would we finally be able to be together.”
“Then you should go purify then.” I patted her silky and smooth pink hair to comfort her.
“I’m afraid, really really afraid…..” Xiao Zi eventually rushed into my arms and cried out, “Today, I wanted to just come and take a peek so my heart could rest, but I didn’t expect that after seeing him, I would be even more scared. What should I do…..I’m afraid that when the time comes, I’d be so scared that I’d run away.”
“If you absolutely can’t endure it then run.”
“That’s not an option. I must pass this trial because Shao Zhong will be waiting for me…..”
I couldn’t understand her contradictory words, and just quietly stood by her side, waiting for her tears to stop falling.
From the distance, came a familiar and mellow flute melody gently nestling inside of myself, from where have I heard of this before?
At Xuan Qing Palace? No.
At the demon school? No.
I remembered, I remembered. It was at Luoying Mountain that the gentle white crow played this tune to coax me to sleep.
I pulled up Xiao Zi that was still in a daze, and then went in the direction of the flute sound. To my surprise, there was a silhouette dressed in a lenient white robe sitting on a verdant pine branch. He lightly blew into the flute, and formed a pattern of short and long notes as if he was unconcerned.
“Yin Zi!” I joyfully cried out to him, and then immediately pounced towards his direction and climbed up the tree.