Pines and cypresses grow on the Mount Wudang peak.
The eighteen disciples of the DaMo Hall stepped forward to seize Zhang Junbao. Jueyuan didn’t think anymore and turned a circle and the two iron buckets were rotating, causing the monks to back off. Jueyuan threw the remaining water out of the buckets and placed Guo Xiang and Zhang Junbao in the buckets. He whirled the buckets round and round like a pair of comet hammers. All the disciples of the DaMo Hall quickly moved away.
Guo Xiang and He ZuDao walked towards the ShaoLin Monastery, before long they reached the gates of ShaoLin and didn’t see anyone.
He ZuDao said: “I’m not going in either, I’ll just ask that monk to come out and deliver the message.” He raised his voice and said: “He ZuDao of Mount KunLun pays a visit to the ShaoLin Monastery, I have something to say.”
After he said that, they could hear ten large bells ringing.
The door opened and two rows of grey-robed monks came out. In the left row there were fifty-four monks and on the right side there were also fifty-four monks. There were one hundred and eight monks, these were all disciples of the LuoHan Hall, filling up the positions of the one hundred and eight Arhats. After them, eighteen monks came out wearing yellow kasayas. These monks looked a bit older than the disciples of the LuoHan Hall, they were the senior pupils of the DaMo Hall. After awhile seven old monks came out wearing robes with big squares. These seven monks all had wrinkles, the youngest was seventy odd years the eldest was about ninety years old. These were the seven elders of the Meditation Hall. After them, Abbot Tianming came out, on his left reverend WuXiang head of the DaMo Hall and on the right reverend WuSe of the LuoHan Hall. Pan Tiangeng, Fang Tianlao and Wei Tianwang followed after the three elders.
In the end there were seventy, eighty *common disciples of the ShaoLin Monastery.
(*These pupils are not monks, just ordinary people. For example, pupils like Xiao Feng, Chen YouLiang, etc. belong to this category)
That day He ZuDao sneaked into ShaoLin and left a note in the LuoHan Hall. This incident startled abbot Tianming, WuSe and WuXiang. Days later Pan, Fang and Wei said they would come to ShaoLin and duel, making all the monks very restless and vigilant. The Western ShaoLin was located far away from here and for many years the monks there didn’t make any contact with the ShaoLin monks here. But all the monks knew that the patriarch of the Western ShaoLin Master GuWei was a powerful martial arts expert. So his disciples should be extraordinary people too. After hearing that Pan, Fang, and Wei didn’t dare to look down upon “The three Saints of KunLun,” and as the saying goes: “He who has come is surely strong or he’d never come along”. The entire monastery was very vigilant and the abbot has ordered every disciple within a radius of two hundred and fifty kilometers to return to the monastery and await orders.
In the beginning, everyone thought that “The three Saints of KunLun” were three people, but after hearing from Pan Tiangeng, Fang Tianlao, and Wei Tianwang they knew it was only one man. But concerning age and appearances, even Pan and the others weren’t too sure. They only knew that he was proud of his skills in the zither, chess, and swordsmanship. Playing the zither and chess could slacken and leisure the heart and concentration that does no good to their Buddhist meditation. But martial arts experts who specialize in swordsmanship were very willing to duel with this arrogant man who called himself a “Saint of Swordsmanship”.
Pan Tiangeng and his two martial arts brothers felt very confident of themselves and thought this entire incident was their doing and hope to travel thousands of miles to finish it here. They wanted to defeat He ZuDao before he could reach the monastery . After that, they would have a duel with the monks of the monastery and the Western ShaoLin will be greater than the Northern ShaoLin Monastery. However, after the battle at the stone pavilion, He ZuDao only used half of his abilities and he could easily overcome Pan, Fang, and Wei.
After abbot Tianming heard of this, he knew that ShaoLin was facing an imminent danger. After careful analysis he realised that he, WuSe, and WuXiang were about the same level as Pan, Fang, and Wei. So he asked the seven elders of the Meditation Hall to help out if necessary. However, no one knew how high the martial arts of the seven elders were, and if they are strong enough to defeat He ZuDao if it really was necessary. These were all speculations of abbot Tianming, reverends WuSe and WuXiang.
When abbot Tianming saw He ZuDao and Guo Xiang he put his palms together and said: “This must be the saints of chess, swordsmanship and zither, Benefactor He. Forgive us for a late welcome.”
He ZuDao returned respects and said: “My name is indeed He ZuDao, the nickname of three saints is not worth mentioning. I apologize for causing trouble at your monastery and I dare not deserve having all reverends coming to welcome me.”
TiangMing thought: “This arrogant scholar doesn’t talk very arrogant. He seems to be around thirty years old, how could he easily defeat Pan and his martial arts brothers?”
Tianming said: “You’re very kind benefactor He, please enter our monastery for tea. However this benefactress……” He looked a bit awkward.
When He ZuDao heard that abbot Tianming wasn’t going to allow Guo Xiang to enter, his arrogance was aroused and laughed: “Old abbot, I came here to deliver a message on behalf of someone. After doing that I’ll leave, but the rules set by your monastery prohibiting women from entering is ludicrous. Frankly, I have problems with that rule. According to Buddhism, every life is equally precious, not making unnecessary distinctions between men and women.”
Abbot Tianming is an enlightened priest, and is very broad-minded. Tianming smiled and said: “Thank you for pointing that out. We are a bit petty when it comes to that. Well, Miss Guo, please enter for tea too.”
Guo Xiang smiled at He ZuDao and said: “You’re very eloquent, with just a few words this old monk already gave in.”
Abbot Tianming moved aside and made a gesture to welcome guests when suddenly an old and skinny monk to the left of Tianming stepped forward and said: “Just because of benefactor He’s one sentence, ShaoLin should abolish an ancient custom, which isn’t a bad thing, but we would like to see if the person who said those words have any real, impressive abilities. Or does he just clings on to a false reputation. I would like to ask benefactor He to reveal one, two special abilities so all the monks can be convinced of your specialties, so we all know that we just abolished a thousand year old rule for a worthy purpose.”
The old monk who said this was reverend WuXiang, head of the DaMo Hall. His voice was clear and loud showing that his internal strength was full and solid. When Pan TianGen, Fang Tianlao and Wei Tianwang heard this, their facial expressions changed. The words of WuXiang clearly indicate he has no high opinion of these three Western ShaoLin disciples. He ZuDao defeating them didn’t necessarily mean He ZuDao had any great abilities.
Guo Xiang saw reverend WuSe looking awkward and thought this old monk is a good man and a friend of Yang Guo. If He ZuDao really fought against the monks, and either party would lose, she would still feel bad about it. So she said to He ZuDao: “Brother He, I don’t really have to enter the monastery. After you’ve delivered the message, we’ll go.”
Guo Xiang pointed at WuSe and said: “This reverend WuSe is a good friend of mine. I hope you can be friends too.”