Chapter 1: Qing Yun
Qin Yun Mountains tower magnificently over the Central Plains. On the north side of the mountain flow a large rvier called Hong Chuan (洪川) and to the south, lies Yang Cheng Town (河阳城), an important town due to it’s strategic geographic location. Qin Yun Mountains stretches consecutively for hundreds of miles long, filled with undulating ridges and peaks. There are seven high peaks that are often surrounded by clouds. On an normal day, the peaks would be hidden by these clouds. Qin Yun Mountains is famous for their dense forest, serene waterfalls, jagged cliffs, and rare wildlife.
More famous than these natural wonders is a religious sect located at the foot of these mountains called Qin Yun Sect. Qin Yun Sect has a long varied history. From its founding until now, Qin Yun Sect has been in existence for over two thousands years. It is one of the top tier sects in the world of good and evil today.
Legends say that the founder of the sect was a master practitioner in Jiang Hu (martial arts world) who spent half of his life disappointed and wandering aimlessly. At the age of 49, he traveled thru Qin Yun Mountains. Here, he saw how divine the mountains looks and felt. He felt that heaven have spiritually blessed this place. Immediately, he descended to the foot of the mountains. Feeling inspired, he trained in the Way of Tao. Not long after, he discovered an ancient, unnamed book within a secret cave. The book contained secret knowledge of profound magical and martial arts that were both incredibly wonderful and powerful. Blessed with this treasure, he focused his time to train from this ancient book. Twenty years quickly flew by, with minor improvements to his skills, he left the mountain. Weathering the ups and downs of Jiang Hu, although he did not dominate the world, he did establish himself a reputation as a hero. Returning to Qin Yun Mountains, he established a sect called Qin Yun Sect. The arts he learned from the ancient book was similar to the Way of Tao, so he set aside his mundane clothing, and started wearing the marking of a Taoist priest. He called himself Son of Qin Yun. Later disciples would proclaim him Qin Yun Saint. Qin Yun Saint lived to be a 167 years old. He accepted ten disciples. At his deathbed, he told them the following: “I have learned many magical arts during the latter half of my life. The skill that I am most proud of is Feng Shui. Qin Yun Mountains is a rare and blessed location, and will definitely allowed us to become a top tier force in the future. No matter what happen, my heirs must never give up these mountains ranges. Remember these words. Remember these words.” The ten disciples firmly nodded their heads in agreement and promised him that they will follow his death wish. Content with their promises, Qin Yun Saint closed his eyes and died peacefully.
During the next one hundred years after Qin Yun Saint’s death, instead of flourishing, Qin Yun Sect went thru a great decay. It is unknown if this was due to heaven’s will or a lack of faith of the Qin Yun Sect’s disciples, but Qin Yun Sect encountered one misfortunes after another. Of the ten disciples that Qin Yun Saint accepted, two died early; four died trying to make a reputation for themselves within Jiang Hu; one became disabled, and one went missing. Only two out of 10 disciples survived.
The misfortunes continue during the next fifty years, when, within a hundred miles surrounding Qin Yun Sect, a massive earthquake hit causing terrible flooding; thereby killing countless people within the Sect. Those who survived these catastrophes were mostly untalented and did not do Qin Yun Saint any justice to his reputation. To rub salt into the wounds, enemies attacked and demanded their sacred book. If it was not for the magical weapons that Qin Yun Saint left for his heirs, Qin Yun Sect would not have survived these catastrophes. These misfortunes continue for another 400 years. Qin Yun Sect did not prosper at all, but continue their downward decline. It could be said that Qin Yun Sect was on its last leg. Qin Yun Sect was only able to retain one out of the seven peaks, Tong Tian Peak (Sky Peak). The other six was taken by enemies and was used as a base to attack, loot, and harass Qin Yun Sect and the surrounding areas with no one to put a stop to them. Observers from other sects who did not understand the situation were merciless in their comments about Qin Yun Sect misfortunes, accusing them of falling to the Evil path and were in cohoots with the bandits.. Qin Yun Sect’s disciples try to explain the situation and kill the enemies, but they lacked the skills to do either. Reflecting back, this was indeed a dark period within Qin Yun Sect’s history.
It was not until one thousand three hundred years ago, that a new development happen to turn the situation around for Qin Yun Sect. It is unsure if Qin Yun Saint’s death wishes finally came true or if heaven was tired and decided that it had punished Qin Yun Sect enough. During the eleventh generation of Qin Yun Sect, a talented, moral disciple with peerless character appeared and took leadership. His name was Taoist Qin Ye (Green Leaf Taoist). Qin Ye’s layman’s surname was Ye. He was originally a poor scholar. Although he was extraordinary gifted, due to how poor he was and his lack of connections, he was unable to get a post within the government. Fate, feeling sorry for Qin Yun Sect, cross Qin Ye’s path with Wu Fang Zi (无方子),the tenth generation leader of Qin Yun Sect.
At the age of 22, Qin Ye was accepted as a disciple of Qin Yun Sect. A year after Qin Ye join the sect, Qin Ye have grasp all the secret arts and Taoist ways that Wu Fang Zi could teach him. He seized the rank of the number one disciple within Qin Yun Sect. Another year after that, it was only due to years of Wu Fang Zi years of training and deep insight that he was able to fight on par with Qin Ye. Wu Fang Zi was both shocked and pleasantly suprised. Seeing this, he decided to take out the ancient sacred manual that Qin Yun Saint left back and gave it to Qin Ye to reflect and meditate on. Secluding himself to Huang Yue Cave behind Tong Tian Peak, Qin Ye mediated and trained from the ancient sacred manual.
Thirteen years later, all was quiet on the night of a full moon. The full moon was high up in the sky, bathing the entire mountain range with its radiant light. But suddenly an evil wind came from up behind the mountain, howling and shrieking like the raging sound of an angry dragon, causing clouds to hide the moon radiant light, casting darkness on the mountain. The howling winds could be heard for miles around, causing goosebumps for all who heard it. Suddenly, a large explosion could be heard from within Huang Yue Cave. Qin Yun Sect members ran to Huang Yue Cave to investigate. From the cave, a bright purplish light rose up from the earth and illuminated the sky flooding everything with it’s warm glow, and Qin Ye slowly emerge. His hair and beard have changed completely to white, and his face was glowing causing everyone there to wonder if he had attained immortality and became a Saint.
After 13 years of secluded mediation and training, Qin Ye formally renounced the worldly life, and officially became a priest. For his priestly name, he took the word Ye from his surname and the first word Qin from Qin Yun, and he named himself Taoist Qin Ye. That day, Qin Ye bidded farewell to his master and said, “Master please wait. Disciple will take leave for a day to take care of some business and then return.”
Qin Ye departed, leaving everyone confused. The next day, Qin Ye returned. The enemies located on the other six peaks have been surrounded and eradicated. Qin Ye’s skills was deadly and efficient. Within a short period of time, he have made a reputation for himself and his sect within Jiang Hu. A year later, Wu Fang Zi transferred the leadership of the sect to Qin Ye. Wu Fang Zi retired from the day to day matter of the sect to fast and meditate in peace. Qin Ye took his leadership position seriously. He whole-heartedly helped his fellow sect members, chose a successor, and due to the knowledge gained from the ancient book, he gained considerable wisdom and power.
Fifty years later, Qin Yun Sect had become a pillar of power for the good sects within Jiang Hu. After another 200 years, Qin Yun Sect had become the defacto leader of the good sects. Qin Ye lived to be 550 years old. He kept strict discipline within his sect. He accepted 7 disciples and divided the seven peaks among them. He ordered the 7 branches of the sect to live in peace and harmony. The main branch of the sect was based on the central peak, Tong Tian Peak.
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At the foothill of Mount Qin Yun, away from the big city of “HeYang”, about 50 miles to the northwest, there exists a small village called Cao Miao Village (Grass Temple Village). It is home to about 40 families. These families are honest hard working villagers, who gathered firewood for a living and sold the collected firewood to Qin Yun Sect. The villagers commonly saw the Qin Yun Sect disciples go up and down the mountain. Qin Yun Sect had always taken care of the villages within the mountains. The villagers had no worries. The village and Qin Yun Sect had a harmonious relationship.
Today, the sky was heavily covered with clouds, making Mount Qin Yun dark and boding. The villagers of Cao Miao Village have live here for generations, so a grim sight like this did not changed their daily routine or cause them to notice anything out of the ordinairy.
“Stinky Brat, where can you run off to?”
The sound of yelling follow by a small laugh came from the mouth of a young boy, about 12 to 13 years old. His name was Lin Yu (林惊羽). He was leading 5 other children as
they chased the boy ahead of them. The boy being chased was about ten
years old. The ten years old boy would often turn around and make faces
at the other children chasing after him. The 10 years old boy was named
Zhang Xiaofan (张小凡) .
Zhang Xiaofan turns around and yelled “Pooh, what kind of idiot do you think I am!” After saying that, he ran even faster.
Continuing their chase, soon they reached a dilapidated, old temple. Zhang Xiaofan, quickly bolted thru the door of the old temple. Not paying attention, he tripped over a board and promptly fell down. Lin Yu and the rest of the children were ecstatic when they saw this turn of event. They piled on top of Zhang Xiaofan and started beating him. Lin Yu said, “This time we have caught you. What more do you have to say?”
Zhang Xiaofan promptly responded, “This doesn’t count! This doesn’t count! You ambushed me.”
Lin Yu was suprised at his response and angrily yelled, “How did I ambush you?”
Zhang Xiaofan responded: “Great job, Lin Yu. Are you going to tell me that you didn’t plant this board here so that I would trip?”
Lin Yu yelled back, “How in the world could I do that?”
Zhang Xiaofan, bit back his tongue, gave a defiant look at Lin Yu with the intent of refusing to give up. Lin Yu got angry and started to beat him into submission while yelling, “We stated earlier, if you we caught you, you will have to admit defeat.”
Zhang Xiaofan stubbornly refused to submit. Lin Yu, red in the face, added more strength to his hands and started choking him while yelling out over and over again: “Submit or not?”
Bruises started appearing from the beating that Zhang Xiaofan was getting, but still he refused to submit to Lin Yu and his gang.
Lin Yu, in his anger, continued his choking and yelling. Not noticing that the other children have started to back off and have huddled off together, Lin Yu continued on. Then suddenly, within the old temple he heard, “A Mi Tuo Fo, quickly stopped your beating.” Two fingers darted out from the Buddhist monk and touched both of Lin Yu’s hands, causing electric shocks to course thru his body causing Lin Yu’s hands to limply fall to the side.
Release from the choke, Zhang Xiaofan grasped desperately for air, but overall was fine. The 2 boys stared at each other for a while, remembering the situation that just happened. Lin Yu quickly said, “I’m sorry Xiaofan. I don’t know why…”
Xiaofan shook his head and took a deep breath and said, “Don’t worry about it.” He then turn over to the monk and said, “Sir, who are you?”
The rest of the children move their gaze to where Xiaofan was looking at and saw within this old temple, there was an old monk standing there. His face was old and wrinkle. He was wearing an old robe, and from top to bottom, he was very dirty. Held between his hands was a rosary of jade beads that was crystal clear and blinding to the eyes. The curious thing was among the dozen or so of these smooth jade beads of the same size, there was a bead that was not jade or stone, but was dull and dark violet.