Chapter 157: The Lonely, Old Dog

Chuyi carefully checked the entire miniature courtyard and confirmed there was nothing else worth mentioning. Then, he asked the villagers to burn the dog skin and destroy the structure. Without the help of the moon and sun essence, the wild dog spirit wouldn’t be able to become any stronger.

People then started to take action and destroy the small courtyard. While the villagers were focused on their demolishing work, they all heard someone sobbing from the top of the mountain. The crying was strange but continuous and pitiful. It sounded as if someone was whining and complaining.

Who was crying, and why?

This heart-rending cry lingered in my heart. It made me puzzled and uncomfortable. My mind then went hazy.

I seemed to see a lonely dog that people had always beaten up. It had tried its best to build a house where it had wanted to stay for the rest of its life.

However, its pitiful life was disturbed yet again. The treasure it loved the most was taken away. These people didn’t even spare its home. They even wanted to destroy its humble, little home!

At this moment, it felt extremely sad.

From now on, it won’t have a house anymore. It had to wander around on the streets, without a place to call home…

“Open your mouth.” Suddenly, Chuyi talked in my ear.

Instinctively, I opened my mouth. Chuyi immediately threw a handful of soybeans into my mouth. “Chew but don’t swallow.”

I immediately chewed the beans.

The soybeans were crunchy. I created crackling noises while chewing, and the mournful emotions in my head was replaced by the crackling, crispy sounds. My compassion was gone, and there was only hatred toward the dog left in my heart.

I was astonished. Did I just feel compassion for the wild dog spirit? Was it controlling me?

I looked at the other villagers, who seemed to have my same feelings. It seemed they weren’t willing to destroy the small courtyard.

Chuyi said coldly, “All of you chew a handful of soybeans. Don’t swallow, just keep chewing.”

The villagers looked dumbstruck and didn’t listen to Chuyi.

He sighed then patted my shoulder. “Read the ‘sacred text of Daoism’ with me!”

I nodded then dropped the hoe in my hand. We sat down cross-legged and started to read the sacred text of Daoism out loud.

”The Dao produced One; One produced Two; Two produced Three; Three produced All things. All things leave behind them the Obscurity, and go forward to embrace the Brightness while they are harmonized by the Breath of Vacancy…”

While the ‘sacred text of Daoism’ was read out loud, the villagers’ sympathy towards the wild dog was slowly disappearing. Then, without further ado, they wielded their farming tools and started to break the small structure. No piece was left intact!

I breathed a sigh of relief and looked at Chuyi. “What should we do next?”

He said, “We should go back.”

We followed him back to the village.

On the way back to the village, we could still hear the wild dog’s cries. The longer we listened to it, the more it sounded like a human crying!

Chuyi asked everybody to gather in the ancestral hall, as he was worried that the wild dog spirit would attack the villagers if they scattered. Since they were now together in a group, they could support each other.

Chuyi asked me to talk in private. “Something has happened. Zen Master Baimei and I must go out at once. You and Li Mazi must watch this place. If something happens, just use the soybean.”

“What are you going to do?” I was anxious.

“Did you recognize what the wild dog spirit’s cry sounded like?” He asked.

“It sounded like someone crying,” I answered.

“What else?” asked Chuyi.

“It was like… a wolf’s howling?”

That was right, the wild dog spirit’s groaning and barking was similar to some wolf’s howling.

Chuyi nodded. “Right, it’s like a wolf’s howling. This wild dog spirit has almost become a wolf.”

I had almost cracked up laughing. Dogs were dogs and wolves were wolves. Even though it was a powerful dog, how could it turn into a wolf?

Chuyi shook his head. “A snake can become a flood dragon and eventually a real dragon. Why can’t a dog become a wolf? A dog that has become a spirit has the tendency to turn into a wolf. And now, that wild dog spirit is just a step away from becoming a wolf. If we don’t stop it, once it becomes a wolf, there will be a big calamity in this village.”

I was really astonished. A dog had cultivated to become a spirit and now it was going to become a wolf? What kind of theory is this? 

I hurried to ask Chuyi and said, “Are you and Zen Master Baimei going to look for that dog?”

Chuyi glanced over the wall of the ancestral hall and asked me, “Do you know why that wild dog spirit doesn’t dare go down the mountain and trouble us?”

I shook my head. “Perhaps the villagers’ belief powers are relatively strong and it couldn’t control their minds anymore?”

Chuyi said, “That’s one of the reasons. There’s another reason, which is the presence of Zen Master Baimei and I. The strategy it has chosen is the longer-term one. We will run out of food and water soon, but its food source won’t. We must make the first move.”

I went tense instantly. “Are you and Zen Master Baimei going to deal with that dog directly? No, it’s too dangerous.”

“We’re not going to fight the wild dog spirit directly. We’re going to leave this ancestral hall and lure it down the mountain. Then, we’ll look for the Xiezhi horn.”

I was even more anxious now. “But can Li Mazi and I beat the dog spirit? What if it comes here and attacks the villagers?”

“Don’t worry. You just need to resist for half an hour. We will try to come back as soon as possible. Once we have the Xiezhi horn, that wild dog spirit will be backed into a corner. Keep the soybeans with you and you’ll be fine. If you can’t stand it, just hide inside the ancestral hall and ask the villagers to read the ‘sacred text of Daoism.’ There won’t be any problems!”

I hesitated for a while before nodding. Worries were inevitable but since we were involved in this matter, we didn’t have any other option.

“The folks are too dependent on me and Zen Master Baimei. If they know that we are leaving, I’m afraid their belief power will be affected. Zen Master Baimei and I will leave discreetly. If something happens, tell them that we’ve arranged some magic formation outside. They just need to resist for half an hour and everything will be all right,” Chuyi advised me.

I nodded and repeatedly asked him to be cautious!

Then, I mingled into the crowd.

“Ladies and gentlemen, please get some rest. We just destroyed that wild dog spirit’s lair. For the time being, it won’t come down the mountain to trouble us,” said Chuyi.

When he spoke, everybody believed him. They found some spots inside the hall and sat down. They began to rest.

Chuyi and Zen Master Baimei seized the opportunity. When the villagers started to rest, they left from the back door. I called Li Mazi. We sat by the wall and vigilantly listened to the commotions outside. I also told Li Mazi about Chuyi’s plan.

When Li Mazi heard that Chuyi had already left, he became restless. “Will the two of us be able to deal with that wild dog spirit? If we encounter danger, it’s not a big deal. The problem is that we have a bunch of villagers here with us!”

I comforted him. “It’s all right. Chuyi said that we just need soybeans and the ‘sacred text of Daoism.’ We will be able to resist for a while.”

Although Li Mazi was worried, he naturally agreed with the plan.

The wild dog spirit seemed to know that Chuyi and Zen Master Baimei had left. Not long after they left, I heard dog barks from the mountain.

It felt like something was trying to descend the mountain.

As the village was situated right at the mountain foot, we could hear every slightest commotion.

As soon as I heard the noise, my heart began to race. I knew the wild dog spirit had started to attack us. I urged Li Mazi to take out his phone and keep track of the time. No matter what, we had to resist for half an hour.

I stood up and warned the folks, “The wild dog spirit’s coming! Everybody, be ready! We need to close all the doors and windows, back and front!”

The villagers became anxious and grouped together. They stood and held the doors tightly, calling for Zen Master Baimei and Chuyi on what they should do.

However, they finally realized that Chuyi and Zen Master Baimei were nowhere to be seen. As such, they became so restless that they almost collapsed.

I hurried to comfort them and calmed them down. “When the wild dog spirit made its move, Chuyi and Zen Master Baimei went out to set up a magic formation outside the village. As long as we resist for half an hour, they will be able to finish their powerful formation. By that time, even if the wild dog spirit had wings, it won’t be able to escape!”

After listening to me, all the villagers exhaled in relief. Then, they cautiously watched outside.

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