# 77. This One is Chen Jinnan
The old Daoist named Jinlian said leisurely, “A few days ago, This poor Daoist was severely injured and didn't have any choice except to hide in the capital. My intuition told me that I would meet someone who could resolve my crisis.
“This Daoist waited on the side of the road for a long time, before meeting you. However, This poor Daoist only knew that your star of fortune was shining, but did not know why.
“The woman in the carriage at that time had a magnificent and auspicious aura, rarely found. Since you gave her a bracelet, you will surely have some relationship in the future."
*He said everything clearly and logically but didn't cut to the point. Isn't this routine of those mediums...* Xu Qi'an said, "You chose the other seven members of the Heaven and Earth Society just as you chose me?"
"May I ask the reason?"
The old Daoist smiled for the first time, “Yes, but if the benefactor hears what this poor Daoist has to say next, you’ll have no road back.”
Xu Qi'an pondered for a long time, weighing the pros and cons mentally, and then nodded, "Say it."
The old Daoist nodded, "Everything this Daoist has done is to save the Earth Sect."
*Save the Earth Sect?*
"Don’t you find it strange? The Earth Sect cultivates Meritous Virtue. However, this Daoist's junior brother Zilian wanted to kill you and killed the death row prisoner who traded in your stead. This is surely contrary to Earth Sect's cultivation philosophy."
*NINE killed my substitute...* Xu Qi'an looked calm, but a chill had risen in his heart.
He was still not clear about the transaction process. Wei Yuan hadn't explained it. It was only just now did he knew that such a thing happened in the process.
Fortunately, he wasn't deceived by treasures and gold and chose the path most contrary to his heart.
He didn't just escape the crisis, but also showed loyalty.
"This matter is related to the secret of the Earth Sect. Benefactor, remember not to spread it to the ears of outsiders." After seeing Xu Qi'an nodding, Daoist Jinlian didn't explain immediately but stayed silent for a long time before sighing.
“The Earth Sect's current Sect Master has fallen to demonic desires, affecting almost everyone in the sect. Only a few disciples, including me, haven't been affected by the Sect Master's status.
"And the thing that protects us is the Earth Book."
"Demonic?" Xu Qi'an found it hard to believe; the Earth Sect cultivated Meritorious Virtue, and as the leader of the sect, the Sect Master should have had immeasurable merit. At least, It should be enough for picking up a tael of silver whenever he goes out.
*A person like him fell into the demonic path... How could the world be so heartless?
"Success is Meritorious Virtue, and failure is also Meritorious Virtue." Old Daoist Jinlian stared at the candle flame in a daze.
"When Daode Tianzun founded the Earth Sect, he left behind a warning: Fortune and Misfortune don't exist, only people name it so. The rewards of good and evil, Interrelated."[^1]
*Speak human...* Xu Qi'an complained.
"Does the benefactor think that saving someone's life is a meritorious virtue?" Jinlian asked.
"Isn't it?" Xu Qi'an retorted.
"What if you save a heinous person? He could have been condemned to die by the heavens, but he survived due to you and continued to do evil." Old Daoist Jinlian looked at Xu Qi'an.
"Is it still a good deed?"
Xu Qi'an pondered for a moment, then frowned, “The nature of humanity is change. Light and darkness are intertwined. We shouldn't be cynical and disgusted at the world just because we have seen darkness.
"It's impossible for me to go to the bottom of someone's past before saving them. That would be too unrealistic."
The old Daoist stepped back quietly to take an appreciative look at him, then said with a smile, "Benefactor, the fact that you can say these words, puts me truly at ease with entrusting you with the Earth Book"
“Aye, It's right for ordinary people to practice this principle. But for us, this is the most terrible kind of karma. The deeper the accumulation of meritorious virtue, the heavier the karma one occurs.
The Sect Master had been doing good deeds and accumulating Meritorious Virtue all his life. Sixty years ago, He failed to cross the tribulation and his karma backfired, luring him into the demonic path. An object at its extreme must return, this is that principle.
“If you want to prove the Dao with meritorious Virtue, You must also bear the corresponding karma. One thought leads to immortality and another becomes devilish. This is the fate every member of the Earth Sect can't escape.”
It turned out that the Earth Sect had such a secret!
*In such a situation, Confucianism is needed to educate you. As it is said, Gentlemen are right and practice the middle way... Going to any extreme will not lead to perpetuity...* Xu Qi'an suddenly thought of something, and his face changed.
If the blessing in me is from a similar source to the Earth Sect, Am I also in danger of becoming a Devil?
He didn't fully trust Daoist Jinlian, so he held his urge to inquire within.
"Don't the two sects of Heaven and Man care about this?" Xu Qi'an took the opportunity to inquire about the specifics, "You are all Daoists, aren't you?"
"The Earth Sect has the hidden danger of becoming demonic. Do you think that the other two sects of Heaven and Man from Daoism don't have any similar hidden dangers, do you?" Daoist Jinlian sneered, "Besides, This is a matter of my Earth Sect. What does it have to do with them, for them to meddle with our sect?"
*So, What could the hidden dangers of the two sects of Heaven and Man be...* Sixty Years, The Heaven and Earth Society also appeared sixty years ago, which was consistent with the information Xu Qi'an had consulted. He asked, "Daozhang established the Heaven Earth Society for..."
Daoist Jinlian said in a deep voice, "Kill the Sect Leader, cleanse the house."
"What is the realm of the Sect Master?"
*... Take the damn mirror back. Daddy is strong by himself, he doesn't need your scraps.*
The old Daoist with deep facial features seemed to see through Xu Qi'an's thoughts, and said with a smile,
“This old Daoist has cultivated Immeasurable Meritorious Virtue for decades. Though I don’t have much ability, I can still judge people well enough. All eight people in the Heaven and Earth Society, including you, will not be small fish in the future.
"You all may be separated throughout the corners of the country, but you all will meet one another in the future. If you join the Heaven and Earth Society sooner, you will all form bonds sooner, which will surely help you all prevent deaths and injuries in fights among heavenly arrogances like you."
Xu Qi'an, who was originally somewhat resistant to joining the Heaven and Earth Society, changed his mind.
If the situation was truly as the old Daoist said, Everyone in the Heaven and Earth Society was talented prodigies, it would be beneficial for him to join this circle.
Maybe, it could play an important role in critical moments.
"Okay!" Xu Qi'an nodded.
The old Daoist nodded slightly, “If you need any help, You can ask me for help through the Earth Book, or ask the other members for help through the Earth Book if they are in the capital. The purpose of Heaven and Earth Society is to help each other.
"In addition, the holders of the Earth book are named according to the serial number of the book they hold."
After finishing speaking, the old Daoist turned into a cloud of grey smoke and escaped from the room, drifting gracefully into the distance.
Xu Qi'an sat at the table and poured himself a cup of tea, replaying the previous conversation in his mind.
At present, It seems that this master from the Earth Sect doesn't have any malice toward me... However, these LYBs always have extensive plans, smoke trails and deceptions, their real plans can seldom be seen through from the surface... He gave me the mirror and used the hands of the Nightwatchers to deal with his fellow disciple... And then the fisherman became the biggest beneficiary of the matter. This proves that the old Daoist is an LYB.[^2]
But he wasn't that afraid. Xu Qi'an had sufficient experience in this area, and he had already figured out a way to survive.
*Only an LYB could deal with an LYB.*
*This great eunuch is well educated and capable of governing the country as well as commanding the army, so he was supported by the emperor in his current position of suppressing all officials.
It was enough to show that he had extraordinary means.
"If I want to thrive in the capital, I have to hug this leg..." After Xu Qi'an made up his mind, he stopped panicking.
He picked up the fragment of the “Earth Book” on the table and immersed himself in it.
Chaos appeared once again, and the world of the mirror appeared in front of Xu Qi'an. Eight light spots were suspended in the grey chaos, one of which was the brightest.
Xu Qi'an lit up the light spots one by one, and then withdrew from the chaotic world.
Using his finger as a pen, he wrote on the mirror, "Hello everyone, I'm a newcomer. Please take care of me."
No one responded for a long time.
*A bit embarrassing…* Xu Qi'an re-entered in the mirror, "Hello everyone, This one is Chen Jinnan[^3], please give me some advice."
【SIX: Brother Chen, I contacted the Daoist Priest through the Earth Book, and I got a general idea from him. Thank you for helping the Daoist Priest resolve the crisis. 】
【THREE: It was a piece of cake, Not worth mentioning.】
*A piece of cake?*
*During their conversation with Daoist Priest Zilian, he was quite ignorant, and his realm was not high... But he was able to help Daoist Priest Jinlian kill Zilian and take back Book Nine... This THREE may not be strong himself, but his background is surely unfathomable...* Seeing the calm reply of Three, Six secretly guessed.
At the same time, Xu Qi'an saw a text message from another member in the mirror.
【TWO: I haven't paid much attention to the Earth Book recently, What happened?】
[^1]: Fortune and misfortune is due to people deciding that they are so. Good and Evil don't have a clear boundary, so does their effects.
[^2]: 老银币 Lao Yin Bi, lit. old silver coin. Someone with a lot of cunning and ability to asymmetrically / deal with an opponent in a way that they have no way to fight back. Meaning-adjacent
[^3]: 陈近南, a character in Jin Yong’s Duke of Mount Deer, a teacher to the protagonist and a strong martial artist. Also a member of the Ming Revivalist Heaven and Earth Society.