“The Thousand Sound Temple is a temple in the west mountains. It is usually full of incense and fire. Many people who believe in Buddhism go there for worship. Xiao Qing and I occasionally go there, but we mostly go there for relaxation, instead of worshiping. Does this have anything to do with our blasphemy of Buddha?” Xu Caiwei stared at Mu Yi.
“Blasphemy? No, that’s not it,” Mu Yi shook his head. Even if she had smashed an image of Buddha, she wouldn’t attract ghosts.
Xu Caiwei was relieved. She had been afraid. Most people believed that the gods were everywhere. If that had been the cause, she would have had to go to the temple and apologize.
“Is there anything weird in the Thousand Sound Temple?” Mu Yi continued.
“Anything weird?” Xu Caiwei thought carefully and said, “Isn’t it strange that there are a thousand bells in the Thousand Sound Temple?”
“A thousand?” Mu Yi was a little surprised. He thought the name was just a casual one. What kind of temple would use a thousand bells?
“To be exact, there are a thousand fist-sized bells hanging all over the temple. As long as you ring the unique big one, there will be a series of sounds coming out of the thousand little ones. It is very famous, so it is called the Thousand Sound Temple.” Xu Caiwei explained.
“The Thousand Sound Temple… a thousand little bells hanging all over the temple?” Mu Yi’s face became gloomy, “Anything else? Is there anything special?”
“Not that I know of,” Xu Caiwei shook her head. She was not a true Buddhist. Her knowledge of the Thousand Sound Temple was limited as she had only been there a few times.
Yan Li knew even less than Xu Caiwei. As a county magistrate, he couldn’t go to such places openly. Moreover, he was not a Buddhist either. He didn’t even like temples. In his opinion, it was just superstition.
After his daughter’s accident, he invited the abbot of the Thousand Sound Temple, but the abbot claimed that he was too old to help. It made him hate the Thousand Sound Temple more.
Now that he knew that his daughter’s accident might have been caused by the Thousand Sound Temple, he wanted to destroy the Thousand Sound Temple immediately.
“Uncle Yan, I remember there was someone in Yamen who believes in Buddhism, right? Why don’t you call him here and ask,” Xu Caiwei said. Yan Li’s eyes brightened.
He didn’t know about the Thousand Sound Temple, but there must be someone in Yamen knew more about it. Even if nobody Yamen knew about it, someone from the city would do. He would definitely find someone that could give him the information.
“Yes, yes, I’ll find someone right now.”
“Caiwei, please entertain the Taoist Priest. I’ll go find someone now.”
He left in a hurry.
After Yan Li left, Mu Yi closed his eyes, suppressed the injury, and thought about what had just happened. Xu Qing had been possessed by a very powerful and strange spirit. The Thousand Sound Temple gave him a hint of foreboding. Maybe Xu Qing’s possession had something to do with it.
Mu Yi was not a man of great curiosity, but he had to do as he promised. If he flinched because of difficulties, it would become a habit that would be disastrous for his future progress.
Half an hour later, Mu Yi opened his eyes. In the process, Xu Caiwei had been sitting carefully aside, breathing lightly for fear of disturbing Mu Yi.
Xu Caiwei was a smart woman. She knew who could be provoked and who couldn’t. There was no doubt that Mu Yi belonged to the latter.
“Taoist Priest, dinner is ready. Would you like to have dinner first?”
Seeing Mu Yi wake up, Xu Caiwei said immediately. When they came, it was at dusk. It was dark outside now after such a long delay.
“There is no need to be in a rush. Did the County Magistrate Yan find the person we need?” Mu Yi asked.
“Yes, he did. He’s waiting outside,” Xu Caiwei immediately.
“Well, please send him in. We’ll have dinner when we figure out what is going on,” Mu Yi said.
Later, Xu Caiwei went out and brought in a man of about forty-years-old. The man was wearing a blue shirt, but his eyes were a little cautious in his white face because he had been warned before he came in.
“Taoist Priest, I’m Xu Hui.”
“Are you familiar with the Thousand Sound Temple?” Mu Yi asked.
“Taoist Priest, the abbot of the Thousand Sound Temple and I are good friends. I used to linger in the temple, so I’m familiar with it,” Xu Hui said and looked at Mu Yi curiously.
“Is there anything weird about the Thousand Sound Temple except for the thousand little bells? For example, forbidden areas?”
“Forbidden areas?” Xu Hui was stunned, but then shook his head. “I never heard of forbidden areas in the temple, but there are some strange places. I don’t know if the Taoist Priest wants to know about those though.”
“There is a spring on the mountain, but it’s extremely cold. Whether it’s boiled or not, ordinary people who drink it will have diarrhea after drinking from it, if not other serious illnesses. I once asked the abbot, but he didn’t know the reason, either,” Xu Hui said.
“A spring? What else?” Mu Yi continued.
Xu thought about it, “Apart from the spring, it is said that there were ghosts in the temple some years ago.”
“Ghosts?” Yan Li exclaimed. Even Xu Caiwei’s eyes were wide open. They didn’t know and had never heard such rumors.
“Yes, ghosts. It’s not known to outsiders. I learned about it from an old monk in the temple. Five years ago, because of an earthquake, the gold Buddha in the temple suddenly cracked. At that time, a monk who served the Buddha turned into a ghost and made trouble in the temple. Fortunately, it was quickly suppressed. After that incident, the Thousand Sound Temple closed for a month to forge another golden Buddha statue. It is said that it is to suppress the evil spirits of hell. Of course, there are also rumors that there is an entrance to hell under the Thousand Sound Temple, but that is just a rumor.”
After Xu Hui finished, he took a look at Mu Yi. He didn’t know if he was making Mu Yi unhappy when he told him about this rumor.
Fortunately, Mu Yi was meditating and didn’t look unhappy.
Xu Hui had just managed to pass the imperial examination at the county level. Although he was outstanding among ordinary people, he was nothing in the eyes of the magistrate. Therefore, when Yan Li found him, he immediately knew an opportunity had come.
He wouldn’t have hesitated to disclose all the bad things he had done in his life if he was asked to, let alone the secrets of the Thousand Sound Temple.
“I also remember that five years ago, when I took the office, there was an earthquake in this city, but it was not a large one. Only a few dozen shabby houses collapsed in the city, and several people died,” Yan Li added.
Whether the rumor had credibility or not, the earthquake five years ago was true, and a lot of things could be verified, such as the closing of a The Thousand Sound Temple for a month. Although it had been five years, if anyone wanted to verify it, he could.
As for the new gold Buddha statue, it could have left some clues behind and been hard to verify but not impossible. Regardless, Mu Yi could tell from his unconscious movements whether he was lying or not.
“Five years ago? In the earthquake, the golden Buddha statue cracked and someone turned into a fierce ghost.”
The problem was in the Thousand Sound Temple.
It was one thing to know, and another matter to solve it. Before entering the courtyard next time, he needed to go to the Thousand Sound Temple first because the answer was hidden there.
“Please take me to the mountain tomorrow,” Mu Yi said, looking at Xu Hai.
“Yes, Taoist Priest,” Xu Hui said.
It was not a secret that the county magistrate’s daughter had been possessed. Many people had been hired in and out of the city for more than a year, but none of them succeeded at freeing her. At the beginning, they may have been able to keep it a secret, but as time went by, it got out though they dared not talk about it in public.
The next day, with Xu Hui leading the way, Mu Yi went to the Thousand Sound Temple. Xu Caiwei followed. Although it was a temple, it didn’t forbid female guests. It was impossible for Yan Li to come, so he sent two people to follow him in case there was any trouble. When Mu Yi went up the mountain, the morning bell had just rang. With the melodious bell, the clouds and fog on the peak of the mountain seemed to disperse. If he listened carefully, he could hear the sounds of countless small bells.
When the bell rang, Mu Yi scattered his mind power and felt it carefully. The rippling sound made his mind feel pressured. Fortunately, he was still a long way from the temple, so the feeling was not very deep.
The Thousand Sound Temple was not simple, neither were any of its bells.
“The Thousand Sound Temple lives up to its reputation,” said Mu Yi softly.
“It’s a pity we’re a little late, or we’d be able to listen in the temple,” Xu Caiwei said regretfully.
“If Madame wants to hear it, we can ask them to ring it again later,” a housekeeper of the Yan mansion said.
“No,” Xu Caiwei shook her head, and she turned to look at Mu Yi.
“The first morning bell is the best in the Thousand Sound Temple,” Xu Hui said.
They finally set foot on the Thousand Sound Temple’s steps.