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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

17 Exchange

 Even though Meng Qi was very reluctant, his rationality forced him to agree with Jiang Zhiwei. After exchanging for a Qing Gong, a protective external kungfu, and a blade technique, as well as working hard on practicing these three kungfu, he would become much stronger and completely different from whom he was now.

"I agree with little sister Jiang."

Zhang Yuanshan walked towards them, and Qi Xia and Qi Zhengyan followed him.

"Big brother Zhang, you've already exchanged?" Jiang Zhiwei asked with surprise. She hadn't seen Zhang Yuanshan walk towards the light beam.

Zhang Yuanshan smiled. "Not yet. I thought back to what the "Owner of Samsara" had said at the beginning, and realized that he mentioned about teammates. I'm guessing that maybe we will be in the same team for the next mission as well. Therefore, I asked little sister Qi and little brother Zheng Yan to come with me. I hope we can have a quick meeting together before we exchange for the things we want. If we work together, we can think of a way to improve everyone's strength most effectively, thus increasing the possibility of successfully accomplishing the next mission, and avoiding what happened to brother Qing Jing and Censer Host Yan."

He seemed somewhat depressed.

Meng Qi slightly nodded. He had to admit that Zhang Yuanshan had all the qualities of a great team leader. He was a comprehensive thinker, took care of every detail, and gave consideration to everyone's emotions.

Zhang Yuanshan looked at Meng Qi and said, "Qing Gong and protective external kungfu are the most important things for you, little brother Zhen Ding. Especially Iron Cloth, which isn't just a protective external kungfu, but also includes a basic internal kungfu which can help you condense your preliminarily Dantian. Furthermore, it will give you the fundamentals to practice 'The Unbreakable Jin Gang', 'Golden Bell Shield', and other Shaolin kungfu in the future."

"Ok, thank you, big brother Zhang and Ms. Jiang. I will follow your suggestions," Meng Qi answered with gritted teeth. Even though this was completely different from his dream self, for now, his main priority was to keep himself alive.

Zhang Yuanshan nodded and looked at Jiang Zhiwei. "Little sister Jiang, I heard that you need 20 more Karma points? Are you thinking about exchanging for the Heavenly Acumen Pill?"

Hearing the name "Heavenly Acumen Pill", Qi Xia's expression showed that she had the same thought as Zhang Yuanshan. Qi Zhengyan seemed very excited, as if he had yearned for this pill for a long time.

"Yes, Heavenly Acumen Pill. It costs 110 Karma points." Jiang Zhiwei didn't feel surprised at Zhang Yuanshan's accurate guess since she knew that his first choice would be the same as hers. "I've finished condensing the nine Apertures related to the ear Aperture, and I'm only half a step away from opening the Aperture of my ears. Originally, I wanted to open the Aperture through my own hard work, but since time doesn't wait, I need to be as quick as possible. I hope there will be a considerable gap between missions in the future so that I can make up for this."

Suddenly, the voice of the "Owner of Samsara" arose. "The gap between missions will range between one month to three or five years."

"How about our next mission?" Zhang Yuanshan asked loudly.

"You need 500 Karma points to exchange for this information."

The "Owner of Samsara" was as cold-blooded as usual.

Jiang Zhiwei sighed with relief. Seeing that Meng Qi seemed completely confused, she explained to him kind-heartedly, "When you want to open an Aperture point, you can rely on the help of specific medicines. However the medicine will only be effective once, and the next time you would have to use a stronger medicine. For example, if I use the 'Heavenly Acumen Pill' to open my ear Aperture, the next time when I want to open my nose Aperture, I won't be able to use the "Heavenly Acumen Pill' anymore. I will have to use a pill that is as strong as the 'Pill of Heavenly Vision and Earthly Hearing'. This will cost at least 260 Karma points.

"Even Xi Jian Pavilion doesn't have a large storage of pills like this. If I'll want to get one, I'll need to make a corresponding level of contributions, or ask a teacher to share his personal items with me.

"However, if it's not an emergency, you better not rely on medicines. More or less, there will be some sequala, and you will need to make up for them by hard work. Otherwise, it will be much more difficult for you in the future to break through a realm. Of course, the lower the realm, the easier it is to make up for the sequala."

Qi Zhengyan suddenly sighed. "For an ordinary person like me, if I want to achieve enlightenment and open the Apertures, my only hope may be to rely on these medicines. If I hadn't entered this "samsara world", how would it even be possible for me to obtain a Heavenly Acumen Pill...?"

With no doubt, as time passed, many Jianghu people like him also gained opportunities to achieve enlightenment as they accumulated experience. However, they might already be 30 or 40 years old by then, and not much time would be left for them to break through to the next stage.

Hearing what Qi Zhengyan just said, Meng Qi felt as if he had found an understanding friend. It seemed like Qi Zhengyan was also at the bottom level in his sect and didn't have any hope of making progress. In this "samsara world", there was danger, but there were also many opportunities!

"Hehe, it says clearly on the Item List that the "Owner of Samsara" can help you increase your internal power, fill up your Apertures, open your Apertures, and even break through a realm. But the prices would be much higher than the medicines." Qi Xia smiled."Do you want him to do everything for you?"

Jiang Zhiwei said with a serious expression, "Things given by others can be easily taken away, too. Only things that belong to you can be relied upon till the very end."

Qi Zhengyan nodded, seeming very calm. It couldn't be said whether he had truly listened or not.

Zhang Yuanshan meditated for some time, and then said, "Little sister Jiang, I can lend you 20 Karma points to exchange for the Heavenly Acumen Pill."

He made a gesture with his right hand to stop Jiang Zhiwei from speaking, and continued, "I haven't yet filled up two of the Apertures related to the ear Aperture. If I continuously rely on medicines or the "Owner of Samsara"s' power, in the future, there might be hidden troubles that I will not be able to solve. Therefore, I want to do it in a steady way. Moreover, you are stronger than me, so an increase in your power would be more helpful for us compared to an increase in mine. Hehe, I didn't expect that you would be able to learn 'Sword from Anatta'. Uncle Su had to open four Apertures before he could use this move!"

"'Sword from Anatta' is one of the nine killing moves in Swordplay Sutra of Supremacy. It is a Dharmakaya level kungfu, and the kungfu that my teacher is famous for. I only got to comprehend a little of it, and even my teacher won't be able to say that he mastered this move," Jiang Zhiwei deliberately explained in detail, knowing that Meng Qi had shallow knowledge about kungfu.

Meng Qi looked down at the jade book, which flipped as Jiang Zhiwei spoke. The book stopped at the page that showed "Sword from Anatta":

"Sword from Anatta, one of the nine greatest killing moves of Swordplay Sutra of Supremacy, exchange price, 18700 Karma points."

Meng Qi couldn't help but feel astonished.

"It's not even a major part of the kungfu! It's only one move, and it already costs so much! The successors of great kungfu sects are truly bestowed by nature!"

"No matter how, after opening your ear Aperture, you won't lose all your strength after using the move anymore," Zhang Yuanshan said honestly.

Jiang Zhiwei asked, "How about you, big brother Zhang? What are you planning to exchange for?"

Meng Qi secretly admired how Zhang Yuanshan had just acted. He also felt somewhat fortunate.

"Thank God I didn't refuse to lend Jiang Zhiwei my Karma points. Otherwise, Zhang Yuanshan's generosity would create a great contrast between us, and everybody would think I'm a stingy and mean monk..."

Suddenly, Meng Qi heard Jiang Zhiwei's voice, which was as small as a mosquito's hum. "For successors of great kungfu sects like us, we usually have a lot of resources. Therefore we can be very generous about our Karma points. It's like when there is a person that desperately needs help, a wealthy friend who has 1000 taels gives him 1 tael, and a very poor friend who only has 1 tael gives him 0.1 tael. Even though the two friends are both kind-hearted, but clearly the latter friend's character and friendship would be much more worth my admiration."

"Haha!"

Meng Qi became happy at once. He didn't know that he had unconsciously built up a moral and noble image for himself.

But his happiness immediately turned into alarm.

"Why didn't anyone else react to Jiang Zhiwei?"

Jiang Zhiwei chuckled. "I'm transmitting my voice directly into your ears. Even though I've not yet opened the mouth Aperture, I can do it through my internal power. The reason that I didn't use this previously was because I was injured and it was difficult for me to control my internal power. I had to focus on fighting with my sword."

Zhang Yuanshan certainly couldn't hear what Jiang Zhiwei had said to Meng Qi. He answered with a smile. "Just like little sister Jiang had said before, I'm better at Tai Ji defense and cannot utilize its offensive power. Zhenwu's Seven Strokes Scripture is very profound and difficult to comprehend, and I cannot break through the limits of my current level in a short period of time. Therefore, I found another sword art that focuses on attack. Of course, currently I can only exchange for one of the moves."

"Um, which sect is the sword art from?"

Hearing the word sword, Jiang Zhiwei was extremely excited.

"'Sword-enshrining Tower'. The move is called 'Shadowing the Heaven and Shrouding the Earth', which is from the 108 Swords of The Incomplete Heaven and Fragmented Earth. Hehe, actually if we're talking about offense, the sword techniques of Xi Jian Pavilion are absolutely the best. However since little sister Jiang is here with us, I cannot be so shameless and exchange for a Xi Jian Pavilion kungfu."

Zhang Yuanshan smiled.

Sword-enshrining Tower was a sect from the North Zhou Dynasty. It was one of the Six Sword Sects, and had always been considered an equal to Xi Jian Pavilion.

Jiang Zhiwei thought about it and said, "The 108 Swords of The Incomplete Heaven and Fragmented Earth is derived from Sword-enshrining Tower's fundamental sword art 13 Swords of Denial of Life, and is a sword art that aims for the opponent's death. I will have to learn from big brother Zhang in the future if there is a chance. By the way, thank you for the Karma points, big brother Zhang."

Meng Qi quietly looked at the jade book and discovered that the 108 Swords of The Incomplete Heaven and Fragmented Earth was a sword art that belonged to the Exterior Realm. It cost 6000 Karma points, but if it was separated into the main part and the different moves, then the main part would cost 1000 Karma points, while the moves would cost from 40 to 60 Karma points each. The move that Zhang Yuanshan had chosen cost 50 Karma points, which was exactly how much he had left.

"I feel much honored that little sister Jiang is willing to accept my Karma points," Zhang Yuanshan said cheerfully. "Therefore, don't worry about that 'a dollar lent will be 100 dollars returned in the future', and just give me back the same amount after our next mission."

Both Jiang Zhiwei and Qi Xia started to giggle. Meng Qi raised his head awkwardly and looked at the white clouds that floated in the sky.

"What if I die during the next mission?" Jiang Zhiwei asked jokingly.

Zhang Yuanshan shook his head and smiled. "Then I'll take that as the result of me not being able to correctly judge your power and strength."

Jiang Zhiwei said nothing more and turned her head towards Meng Qi. "Little monk, have you chosen the kungfu that you want to exchange for?"

Meng Qi nodded and pointed at the jade book. "According to big brother Zhang and Ms. Jiang's suggestions, I have decided to exchange for the scripts of Shaolin Iron Cloth, Eight Divine Steps, and Blade Art of Five Tigers Cracking the Gate, which are 30 Karma points, 20 Karma points, and 30 Karma points respectively. Actually, I want to exchange for the first three levels of Golden Bell Shield, but they will cost me 120 Karma points, so I will have to wait until next time."

He was referring to Shaolin's unique technique "Golden Bell Shield". The first four levels of this technique belonged to the Qi-cultivation phase and required 20, 40, 60, and 100 Karma points respectively. Although other types of "Golden Bell Shield" were cheaper, they were not as effective. After all, if a person could accomplish all 12 levels of the Golden Bell Shield that Meng Qi was talking about, he could attain the "Jin Gang Dharmakaya", and nothing would be able to hurt him anymore!

Iron Cloth was an easy-to-learn kungfu derived from Golden Bell Shield, and had similar effects as the first three levels of Golden Bell Shield. Shaolin kungfu required the learner to have steady fundamentals and improve step by step; only after accomplishing the first three levels, the learner could withstand the attacks of ordinary weapons.

Therefore, as someone who needed to improve in a short period of time, Meng Qi eventually chose to exchange for Iron Cloth rather than only the first level of Golden Bell Shield. Nevertheless, Iron Cloth could be evolved into Golden Bell Shield, so Meng Qi decided to learn Golden Bell Shield from the beginning again in the future to make up for the potential imperfections of an easy-to-learn kungfu.

It was a careful choice, and the kungfu Meng Qi had picked used up exactly all of his Karma points. Actually, Meng Qi wanted to exchange for Hundred Divine Changes, which Wei Xiaobao had learned, however, as a kungfu that could help even a person who knew little kungfu to escape from danger many times, this Qing Gong was definitely extraordinary. Even though it was created in the end phase of kungfu creation, it was considered one of the strongest kungfu in the Qi-cultivation phase, and cost 100 Karma points. Therefore, Meng Qi gave up with disappointment.

Fortunately, he discovered Eight Divine Steps, and its description said that it was a simplified version of Hundred Divine Changes. If the learner was extremely talented, it was even possible for him to directly comprehend Hundred Divine Changes through learning Eight Divine Steps.

"Exchange for scripts? Do you have time to practice?" Qi Xia suddenly asked.

Meng Qi shook his head and frowned. "If I have one year, there won't be a problem. But Eight Divine Steps is easy to learn if you are smart enough. So maybe I can finish learning the fundamentals in one month. As for the basic blade techniques, I just want to learn the fundamentals first, so I would say one month would be enough."

Jiang Zhiwei thought about it and said, "Then exchange for Iron Cloth. If you master this protective kungfu, you would be considered a master at the lowest level, too. As for blade arts, I can help you look for a suitable one after I return to my sect and see if there are any ordinary blade scripts that my sectmates have randomly found."

"Randomly found..."

Meng Qi didn't know what to say.

Directly practicing Iron Cloth would cost him double the original Karma points, and with the rest of his Karma points, he could exchange only for Eight Divine Steps.

"Little sister Zhi Wei, after returning to Xi Jian Pavilion, will you have the chance to visit Shaolin again? Besides, you will waste a lot of time on going back and forth," Qi Xia said with a smile. "Luckily, I love to read and have a good memory. Da Jiang Sect has also collected many ordinary kungfu scripts. I can write down a script according to my memory for little brother Zhen Ding."

She chuckled. "I know big brother Zhang and little sister Zhi Wei have only focused on working hard on the kungfu of your own sects. You only have some general knowledge of ordinary kungfu and arts, and it would be difficult for you to retell the contents of those scripts."

"Yes, I have only heard my teacher talk about other kungfu during actual battle exercises." Zhang Yuanshan nodded honestly.

"Therefore, big brother I have a big advantage when it comes to these useless scripts and arts," Qi Xia said to Zhang Yuanshan with a smile. "I've just compiled some scripts a moment ago and gave them to the "Owner of Samsara" in exchange for 50 Karma points. Um, if you concentrate on recalling it, a script will automatically form in front of you.

"Hehe, luckily, there are still some scripts left, and Blade Art of Five Tigers Cracking the Gate is one of them. According to the "Owner of Samsara', we can't teach other people the kungfu that we have already given him. And for scripts that we haven't given him yet, the Karma points that we will get in return will be halved for every person we teach. If the kungfu isn't taught by us, then we won't be responsible."

Jiang Zhiwei and Zhang Yuanshan slightly nodded and didn't say anything more. Currently, it was impossible for them to ignore their conscience and exchange the kungfu of their sects for Karma points, even if it was a kungfu that the "Owner of Samsara" already had. On the contrary, Qi Zhengyan looked at his sword and seemed like he was deep in thought.

"Since big sister Qi can provide a blade script, everything about little monk's exchange has been decided," Jiang Zhiwei said thoughtfully. "How about we observe his exchange first and gather some experience."

"Agreed."

The others certainly wouldn't have any objections, and Meng Qi felt very excited.

At the center of the white jade square, a light beam shined from the sky, making the environment extremely celestial-looking.

Meng Qi stepped into the light and chose "Automatically learn Iron Cloth" from the exchange list that appeared in front of him.