City Lady-Killer — Chapter 4: Inside the Guanyin Temple

His number was unreachable because there was no signal at the top of the mountain.

The form of Flame Mountain possessed a vast, majestic form and had high topography. They were famous for their majesty as well as the beautiful valleys within, each of myriad sizes and colors. The scene of water passing through it and humans traversing about painted a beautiful picture. They each brought along their tools of the trade to enter this magical yet dangerous, secluded land. Each instrument complemented the other as they climbed the mountains to explore the valley of Flame Mountain. That erratic, natural landscape gave a mysterious feeling to everyone without exception.

Ancient trees towered within the primitive forest, their roots twisted and branches intertwined with vines lingering on them while thick moss covered the land. Also, cries of beasts and crows of birds made the place seem more mysterious. Some tourists with special interests came here during the summer and laid down on the soft meadow, looking up at the blue skies filled with clouds while listening to the murmurs of the woods.

Flame Mountain had many mysterious unsolvable by science, such as the mystery of the Flame City Lake, the mystery of the whitened animals, the mystery of the high mountain tides and midsummer ice caves, the mystery of the donkey-head wolf and so on. All of these increased its mystical flavor all the more. The United Kingdom and the United States of America's missionaries became interested quite early on towards the scientific value of Flame Peak and Flame City Lake's resources. They gathered plant specimens, and the analysis had shocked the scientific circles of the world.

They were many and varied types of flowers and plants on Flame Mountain and also had a wide distribution range, right from the Flame City Lake which was 398 m above sea level to the Flame Peak which was 3105.4 m above sea level. It was filled with vegetation all year round and full of fragrance. In the spring, peaches and plums welcomed the fine rain, and in the summer, cuckoo's cooed all around the red mountains. In the autumn, wild chrysanthemums welcome the drizzling snow and in the winter, wintersweet flowers bared against the cold frost. Especially when the season changed between spring and summer, it brought thousands of breeds of flowers which covered the mountains and the plains in purples and reds, just like the boundless clouds tinged with sunset hues. When midsummer arrived, the place became more colorful and gorgeous with wide variety which formed a contrast with the blue skies and white clouds.

The traversing spring and the waterfall flying down, streams crisscrossing with each other, created a stunning scenery so pretty that nothing more beautiful can be imagined. Flame Mountain was a world-famous location for medicinal herbs consisting of 2000 types of medicinal herbs used as material in traditional medicine. Within them, there were a large proportion of rare and valuable medicine materials, such as the Makino which was praised as the "Ginseng Among the Herbs," the Queen of the Night which had the fantastic effect of recovering one's youthful vigor and extending life, the kiwifruit which is known as the King of Tonics, the sticky adenosma which had a wide range of healing effects and so on. As for eucommia, magnolia bark, fritillary bulb, tall gastrodia, female ginseng, pseudo-ginseng, Chinese goldthread and so on were available all over the mountain. The investigation had already discovered 60 kinds of medicaments which had an anti-cancer effect, and several hundreds of them were added to the high ranks of the Health Protection Medicaments Directory. The richly colorful medical resources of Flame Mountain were locally known as a unique advantage for tourism.

This was a place surrounded by layers of mountains. It's filled with tall ancient trees that reached towards the sky and bamboos swaying gently in the wind.. The creek water whispered in the valley, creating a large pond within. Here, there were strange caves, a deep ravine, a large pond, as well as an ancient lake. There was no lack of historic sites and beautiful sceneries which had an inherent mystique to them. It was a place with hidden dragons and crouching tigers, a land blessed with fortune and glory by heroes.

The hills stood tall and high, demonstrating their fascinating magnificence while a waterfall poured down from the sky among the ranges of mountains, with grace and splendor. Brimming with vitality is a verdant forest blessed by the wind, rain, and snow all year round. Green pinewood trees covered Flame Peak, and as the mountain winds blew past them, it resulted in a whistle that spread throughout the summit. Seeming as ferocious as the bellows of great waves; the soft murmur of running water had an endless implicit charm in its rhythm. The autumn scenery of the hills covered in red autumnal leaves was evermore fascinating.

The topography of Flame Peak was precipitous and steep with beautiful summits providing different points of view that could be found anywhere in the mountains. Climbing above the hilltop, one could see dark green mountains all around as well as a sea of forest rippling along with the wind. Through the misty fog, an ethereal like scenery that seemed to be made by the heavens existed, enchanting anyone who lays their eyes on it.

And right now, a youth was descending down the mountain path with a backpack on his back. Limpid eyes like that of lake water, a countenance just like bright moon and ruby-lips. It was no exaggeration to say that his father, Liang Rukang's and his mother, Lin Huiyin's merits had all converged in his body. He had a tall figure and thought he couldn't be called muscular, they packed quite the punch in terms of explosiveness.

He was none other than Lin Tianlong who his family members were expecting. Although he had only joined a polytechnical medical school after graduating from junior high school, he was influenced by his mother and aunt right from his childhood and thus went down the path of medical science. He had a rarely seen interest towards traditional medical science from the beginning and was also blessed by the heavens with an advantage as he had accidentally learned how to exploit the potential of electrical energy inside the body and was able to successfully use it along with traditional medical massages. Though just 19 years old, he had researched the human body life sciences and had the means to exploit this knowledge.

Actually, Lin Tianlong had returned to Flame City yesterday morning, but he hadn't returned home. Instead, he followed his plan to climb the Flame Mountain and roughly inspect the medicinal materials on the mountain. He then slept overnight at the "Night Illumination Pavilion" on the mountain and happily descended the mountain after watching the beautiful sunrise.

There was a famous child-delivering Guanyin Temple halfway up the mountain. Smoke from burning incense curled up in the air, and color banners flew along with the wind. The monastery bell's sound echoed all around the place. When Lin Tianlong was passing by the Guanyin Temple, it was already filled with a sea of people...

The main hall was established east of the Guanyin Temple's rear court while the side palace halls were established in the north and south. The knowledge hall was located in the center. The main hall acted as the Guanyin Hall which had three entrances at the front. The veranda's end eaves pierced into the hard hilltop while the front eaves joined the corridor, it was a Ming Dynasty building. The north and south side palace halls were known as the Deva Hall and Sun Hall, each with three entrances at the front. At the front, the veranda's eaves pierced into the mountain while the roof was made of tiles, forming a dwelling. It was reconstructed as a Qing Dynasty building. The verandas of the three halls which existed at the rear court were wooden structures. The style of the side palace hall's wooden carvings was unique and rich in artistic detail. The main hall ceiling was arranged in orderly 42 permutations. The pictures were created out of smooth and ornate threads which had a refined and archaic flavor to them. The two corridor's murals were conserved perfectly. Water flowed out from the dragon mouth in the temple courtyard and old cedar trees filled the place. The "Verdant Hills and Limpid Water" tablet hung on the main gate described the clear spring mountain's pleasant view.

Guanyin had various forms and the one enshrined here was the gentle, dignified womanly form which wore a smile. This kind of official image also had differences. In some forms, perhaps the palms were put together; perhaps the hands held a willow tree branch and a clean gourd; perhaps they held a child in their embrace; perhaps the feet stood on a lotus flower and so on. Many of the Guanyin statues were modeled with a graceful handiwork. Guanyin's powers were boundless, and she was known as the omnipotent Bodhisattva. But common folk didn't worship her mainly for those numerous illusionary powers of hers but rather for her ability to deliver children. Right until the modern era, people have entrusted Guanyin with delivering children. The effects of her power were passed on through the ages, though rarely were the masses saved from disaster, she had delivered many children. Therefore, the ordinary people burned incense in Guanyin Temple or enshrined an idol of Guanyin in their homes, mainly to implore her for a child. The notion of Guanyin delivering children was well known and understood by everyone.

Lotuses bloomed in full bloom during the summertime with its fragrance wafting in the air. The willows murmured while the Orioles chirped as doves circled the sky. It formed a peaceful and auspicious aura which made people forget about returning.

It was grand and dignified, possessing an extraordinary grandeur. Included among these was the expansive throne hall which was the Guanyin Bodhisattva main hall which was constructed in the years of Qing Dynasty Kangxi-Yongzheng reign. It was 20 m high, 45 m wide and 25 m broad with an 8 m tall Guanyin idol enshrined inside. Guanyin sat in the lotus position with her head slightly bent down. She had a kindly appearance and wore a smile towards the noble child in her embrace, expressing her love and blessings; the noble child in her embrace also looked up at Guanyin with a look of understanding. Their gazes communicated with each other, conforming, seeming as if they communicating spiritually...

A well-rounded figure with the right curves, satiny skin whiter than snow, brows in the shape of the crescent moon, eyes twinkling like the stars, slightly vermillion colored lips and a blush on her face. The image was vivid and lifelike. Unless created by a master craftsman, it was challenging to create such a lifelike masterpiece! The idol's appearance was accurate and the proportions in harmony. The hands and feet well-rounded and lining of the clothes meshed together well, altogether embodying the statue's excellent art level.

A roofless room existed in between the side palace hall to the east which had an ancient scholar tree planted there which was known as the Emptiness Scholar Tree. The tree was so big that it needed three people to surround it in a circular hug. The tree had a branch extending towards the south which had an emptiness bell hung on it. To prevent the bell from falling due to its weight, two stumps were specially placed there as support. The bell's sound was melodious and sweet-sounding as if it were calling the name of Buddha. The villagers of the surrounding five mounds could hear it clearly. Nowadays, the elderly in their seventies had all heard this bell at least once. Later on, the iron chain which held the bell had corroded due to the passage of time and broke, causing the large bell to fall down to the ground and get buried 30 cm deep. No matter how many people pushed it, it didn't budge at all. According to the legend, this bell had fallen during the previous century when steel arms were booming. The temple gate was the principal yang gate and this tall and expansive. From the temple gate, one could feel as if they were gazing into the distance from a great height. There were four scholar trees to the left and right of the temple gate. They were all ancient trees, and it was unknown in which era they were planted here.

The main temple's Emptiness Scholar Tree was especially worthy of mention. This tree was lush and tall, its shade able to cover the entire temple. Whenever the wind blew, whistles echoed from it, making people feel deep veneration towards it. This tree had a thick and solid branch extending towards the south, pointing towards the divine well in front of the temple as well as the lotus bay. This branch of this tree was so thick it needed a whole person to hug around it. There was a tree hole at the location this branch met with the tree trunk. According to the legends, there was a huge spirit snake inside this tree hole. Every now and then, it would twist its tail around the tree trunk while its body winded southward, stretching its head towards the well to drink water. After it drinks the water, the water becomes unusually cold and sweet. When humans drink this water, it would treat every illness. Therefore, practitioners of Buddhism lay around the surroundings of the temple who had hurried over, seeking the divine water once they caught wind of this matter. They prayed for the blessings of the venerated Bodhisattva as well as the Emptiness Scholar Tree ( That is, towards the spirit snake's dwelling cave), prostrating themselves in worship. It was said that the spirit snake is the guardian of the Guanyin Bodhisattva and carries out good towards all living things after receiving enlightenment from Guanyin. Guanyin Temple's (Main Temple's) history was glorious, and the legends of temple traced back to the dim and distant past.

There was a portrait hung in the anteroom inside the hall which was known as the "Smiling Buddha." No matter from which direction you looked at the portrait, the curves of the mouth of the portrait looked like a smile. Many renowned paintings, calligraphies, and cultural relics were hoarded inside the hall, comprising works of Lingnan School of Painting's Master Gao Jianfu and his disciple Guan Shanyue who had a wide reputation in the painting circles at home and abroad, works of one of the three Greats of Lingnan School of Painting, Chen Gongyin, works of the famous scholar, Zhang Taiyan and many others. Their works were hung in the palace hall for the tourists to appreciate. Inside the courtyard was the residence of the practitioners, the room for accommodating the visitors and screen walls which were engraved with gold ornaments and refined calligraphy. There were two screens, each of whose quarter hung with the beautiful works of Mi Fu, Dong Qichang, Liu Yong and personages of the successive generations.

During the past two years, Lin Tianlong had gained an understanding of the personages of Flame City from his godmother Yang Shimin. He stood at the side calmly amidst this busy hour while appreciating the various appearances of people. Naturally, he discovered a few people who stood out from the masses.

"Wow. Sister-in-law, there are so many people today oh!" There were swarms of people entering the temple, and the parking lot had all kinds and sorts of vehicles. After entering the temple, the tide of people kept flowing without end. "Mhm. First put the things on the table, Xiaomin." While looking at the Bodhisattva in front and kneeling on the praying mat to piously implore Guanyin like everyone, the pretty young married woman replied to the excited voice.

Chapter 3: Differing Opinions

When Cai Linlin heard Yang Shimin's words, she blinked her limpid eyes then glared at this godmother of her cousin brother with a pout. "I…

Chapter 5: Beautiful Young Married Woman; Pretty Married Woman

"Okay, Sister-in-law." The beautiful woman replied then placed the fruits, incense stick, and the candle on the table in front of them. After that, she…