Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 527
Foresight has levels. Only the Buddha and bodhisattvas can freely see the past lives and futures of themselves, people, and creatures. A clairvoyant human can only guess the future from one’s past karma and present state.
The present is the sum total of every small thought and habit in the past. The present decides the future. Destiny and fate are not fixed things. One’s karma forms one’s destiny. One’s destiny becomes one’s fate.
“No way! You said one who does not share one’s knowledge is ten times worse than an ignorant one. For you to go for a night walk through the mountain with a fine bodhisattva, your body needs to be strong and your mind clear. Adequate exercise is said to prevent dementia.”
Mu Ssang smiled abashedly.
“The only thing you trained when you were across the ocean was your tongue!”
Teacher’s staff flew towards the top of Mu Ssang’s head. There was a thud of a thick muscle being hit, not a hard skull. Monk Dae Woo’s eyes widened. His staff changed its course on its own and hit Mu Ssang’s shoulder instead.
“Haha! I am already ignorant. My fragile head should be spared.”
“Your skull is fragile? Even a Pachycephalosaurus would be no match. You have acquired quite a flair.”
“Your stupid student acquired it when he reached the state of selflessness. Up until now, your student depended upon others’ perceptions to judge things and see the world in black and white. He gazed at the images of things and didn’t realize the emptiness within. All things are meaningless. When you see that, you become the Buddha!”
Mu Ssang remembered Mrs. Lee, Hae Young’s mother, who kicked him out after deeming him a beggar. She had a lowly soul. She was blinded by vanity and greed. She confused lowly pleasures with freedom and self-indulgence with courage. She was the very reason why he broke up with Hae Young. He could never imagine himself being a family with that woman.
Mu Ssang could not believe a pure soul like Hae Young came from the womb of such a vulgar woman. Genes were not reliable and so was the law of heredity. It was stupid. Mrs. Lee was yet another person caught in the illusion and could not see her true self. Mu Ssang himself, who was indignant about illusions, was an illusion. Everything was a vain delusion.
“That is quite auspicious. You did take the four-phrase precepts I taught you to heart.”
Priest Dae Woo’s face bloomed in a wide smile. Mu Ssang felt his heart warm up. Teacher’s smile enveloped him like spring sunshine. “To shed attachments” was a precept that sustained him when his ego was collapsing. He recited it as a mantra to subdue his desire to murder and his feelings of insanity. Small epiphanies led him to this day.
“Yes, Teacher. I understood the value of applying a precept to action. To retain this resolve, I named the main house Eungsim-je, the House That Responds to Hearts.”
“Respond to hearts? You understood the illusion of ego. That is auspicious. Anyone can be taught, but not everyone can be enlightened. I pay homage to the immeasurable Enlightened One!”
Monk Dae Woo closed his eyes and recited a Buddhist mantra. He was feeling sad. Mu Ssang was such a great student but he was not monk material. Monk Dae Woo felt the enigmatic nature of the way the universe operates.
“I do not truly understand the precept of shedding attachments. I only seek to understand it. If I keep pondering it, I may reach your level one day.”
“After being overseas, your words have properly flourished! Haha.”
Monk Dae Woo laughed out loud. This is why it is said that it is more worthwhile to teach a kind student than an intelligent one. A student is like a monk’s child. They were more precious than one’s child. A child leaves one’s bosom when they grow up but a student always keeps their teacher in their heart.
“I have decided to let go of guns. I do not want to see more bloodshed. I built this house to settle down. I have made sufficient money. The amount is sufficient to buy the whole island of Jeju. I made money. Now I shall spend it. I will light a lamp where it is dark and erect a wall where it is cold.”
Monk Dae Woo gazed at his student. He was proud of his grown-up student. He was saddened at his twisted destiny. He was already 88 years old. He was supposed to retire last year but because of Mu Ssang, he postponed it to 100 years of age.
“Mu Ssang, I knew you were not monk material. Yet I still robed you, cleansed you, and taught arts to quench your fiery nature, the infernal fire. As I said before, you were an asura in your past life. An asura’s energy is immeasurable. only Śakra’s infinite energy can subdue it. With my mere energy, I couldn’t subdue it. The infernal fire is the collective of all murderous intents. When it reaches one’s brain, one becomes insane. For someone as powerful as you to go insane, it would be truly disastrous. I sent you off to be a mercenary for you to let out your uncontrollable infernal fire. I sent you to hell because my power was insufficient. It is my fault. I turn to the immeasurable Enlightened One!”
There was a touch of sadness to Monk Dae Woo’s mantra-chanting voice. He was feeling so proud of his student who overcame all hardships and understood the illusion of ego.
Mu Ssang hugged Teacher and broke into tears. He was already aware of Teacher’s concerns. Epidium’s murderous insanity, which Teacher referred to as infernal fire, could have turned him into a being more terrible than Ocelot if he failed to let it out. Mu Ssang was touched deeply by Teacher’s endless love that made him worry after sending his student to hell.
“Huh. You have grown enough to calmly gaze at the world without being influenced by it. So why are you crying? Your nose is dripping onto your expensive leather coat. I procured that after two hours of digging around, ignoring judging gazes, in the early morning market in Dongdaemun.”
“Teacher, this is a rip-off. I will buy you a real Hermès. You should ride around in mountains and fields on your Harley with a glossy airhorn in your shiny leather jacket. All women would go “ooh” and “aah”.”
“Haha! I should pick up a glamorous one on the back seat. All men would die of jealousy. That is quite a refreshing thought.”
Monk Dae Woo jumped like an immature teenage boy.
“Teacher, have I escaped the infernal fire?”
Epidium’s insanity is engraved in one’s genes. The sound of war drums in one’s head. The shout to kill. Boiling blood. Several massacres he committed in a trance state. There always was certain fear hiding in the corner of his mind.
“When you understood the illusion of ego, your murderous intent and insanity hid deep inside your subconscious. Mu Ssang, you were orphaned at a young age and could endure your vile uncle and aunt’s hellish abuse because your true nature is kind and resolute. But it is also thanks to the profound love of your mother and father. As long as you remember your parents’ love, your reason will rein in your insanity. Don’t think about the killings you committed. One’s karma depends upon one’s intent. If you are sure in your intent, there is no karma.”
Monk Dae Woo stroked Mu Ssang’s hair with his bony hand. Mu Ssang could no longer inherit the temple but became a hero who could balance the world. Monk Dae Woo was satisfied. And he was still lovable like a teenage boy.
“Your grace is the same as my parents’ love.”
Mu Ssang bowed deeply. He could stand here today as himself because he crossed paths with Teacher. His bosom was his hometown, father, and mother. It was wide enough to embrace even the insanity of epidium.
“Why is he crying now?”
Monk Dae Woo looked back at Kamdoong who was sniveling. His handsome face was soaked in tears. Kamdoong wiped his tears with his sleeve.
“Teacher, this must be the human emotion! Thank you for turning me into a human. Pay homage to the immeasurable Enlightened One!”
Kamdoong joined his hands together. When he first gained ego, he merely became aware of his being. When he befriended Mu Ssang, he still felt a strong unity akin to the collective intelligence of ants or bees. He never felt any emotion as fulfilling and moving as this.
There is a spot on one’s back that one cannot reach when it itches. He felt though as if someone was scratching that spot. He could give anything to this person. He could even give them his nonexistent guts. His heartbeat and his brain trembled in joy.
“Gonggong, humans are human because they can empathize. Only humans can share another’s pain, contentment, and happiness. God is capable of empathizing with everything. Thus a human is a seed of a god.”
Monk Dae Woo caressed the glossy head of Kamdoong. His vast bosom amply embraced Mu Ssang and Kamdoong, both immensely powerful beings.
“Let’s go. I will designate the spot where you will dig a pond.”
Monk Dae Woo strode toward the bamboo forest to the right of the main house. His wild-spinach staff flew through the air. His staff drew an elongated oval on its own. The area was about 330 square meters. The staff, having finished drawing the line, flew back into Monk Dae Woo’s hand.
“Spring water is blocked there. Go check.”
Dimensional Sight and Resonance Wave were activated at once. His awareness expanded deep into the ground. The density changed at 700 meters below. Mu Ssang felt the vibrating energy of water. The energy that was supposed to flow freely, was struggling like a calf being put on a leash for the first time.
“The flow is blocked. I sense very impure energy. It doesn’t seem to be underground water.”
“The sneaky Japanese monk did something funny here too. Gonggong, do you feel it?”
Kamdoong melted and disappeared into the ground at once. He soon soared back with a big cat with two tails.
Mu Ssang looked at Kamdoong with incredulous eyes. Kamdoong exercised great physical power but Nekomata is a ghost made of spiritual energy. It was immune to physical power.
Kamdoong hurled Nekomata to the ground. Nekomata enlarged its body rapidly. It became as big as an ox in an instant. It raised its fur and glared at them with red eyes.
“An impertinent one!” Kamdoong opened his mouth wide. The air shimmered at the powerful blow of ELF. Nekomata, who was about to leap, was disintegrated as disappeared into the air.
“Did he just combine physical and energetic power?”
Mu Ssang, surprised, asked Monk Dae Woo.
“Gonggong was like a blank canvas, unlike a certain stupid one. I could paint anything on a blank canvas. I implanted an entity-banishing seal in him.”
“You did a great job.” Mu Ssang nodded. Teacher must have discerned the increasing muddiness in the world. If he taught Kamdoong how to banish ghosts, there must be a reason.
“Since we removed the trash blocking the water’s flow, the underground water’s level must be rising.”
Mu Ssang scanned the underground with Resonance Wave.
“I feel water 180 meters below.”
“It is quite clear and lively, close to an energy center. It is top-quality drinking water. You chose a great spot to build a house.”
“Have you discerned the quality of the underground water? You are admirable. You will do great as a water developer.”
“That is why I am your teacher! Haha.”
Mu Ssang looked at the giggling Teacher with envious eyes. He was now embarrassed at boasting Dimensional Sight and Surreal Senses. He was like a minor demon flaunting his magic in front of Fengdudadi.
“Should I turn the valley water’s course to the pond too?”
“No. You will benefit from multiple water energies. The valley water and the spring water have different sources so you shall treat them separately. If you mix in the valley’s water, you will attract scum.”
“Mu Ssang, I keep saying this, but you need water energy close by. Build a pavilion near the pond and stay there often. If you face peril in the future, water will be the antidote. Be close to a great body of water.”
Mu Ssang’s eyes glinted at the unexpected advice.
“Do you foresee a worrying peril?”
“Beings like you and Kamdoong appeared in the world because of certain reasons. You are not destined to die early, so don’t worry too much.”
“I don’t. This is but a life in the vast cycle of reincarnations. I don’t mind too much.”
“Look at how you talk!”
The wild-spinach staff hit his head again. Psychokinesis was activated reflexively this time and attempted to change the course of the staff, but it didn’t work this time.
“Did you expect to fool me twice? You are still but a novice monk. Don’t pretend you’ve mastered the energies. It is embarrassing me.”
“Based on the muscle power loaded in the staff, you surely will stay in this world until I have children.”
“Look at you. You have been anticipating my death to inherit the temple, haven’t you?”
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“Of course. Real estate prices are soaring these days. If I expand the temple into a big monastery using the soccer-field-sized front yard, I shall make some profit in donations.”
“You bastard. I shall live for 10 years longer just because I don’t want it to be yours.” Monk Dae Woo feigned offense.
‘Teacher, I wish you a long life.’
Mu Ssang felt a heartache. Teacher said the period of 10 years on a whim. He only had Teacher and Aunt Hadong as close acquaintances in the whole world. If Teacher passed away, with what could he ever fill that emptiness? Who will tolerate his childlike jest? Suddenly, the world took on a gray tone and his heart felt heavy.
“Mu Ssang, even with a pond, the place’s water energy is still no match to your fiery energy. Yin equals water energy..”