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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

18 Return

 The next second, numerous light dots appeared in the light beam. Like a group of many fireflies, they completely covered Meng Qi's body, continually going in and out.

Meng Qi felt extremely painful, as if his muscles and skin were being torn apart. The pain in his Dantian was especially unbearable. However, his body was controlled by an unknown force and could not move at all. Neither could he utter a single word, so he had to suffer the pain in silence, even if it felt like going through the 18 levels of torture in hell.

Just when the pain was about to reach the limit of Meng Qi's endurance, and he was about to lose his consciousness, he suddenly felt a flow of warmth at his lower abdomen. The genuine Qi that filled his largest acupoints flowed naturally, converging into a single flow before entering his Dantian, which had just been refined. After that, the genuine Qi followed different paths and returned to the respective acupoints they belonged to; only the feel of warmth remained in Meng Qi's Dantian.

This warmth circulated around, following a fixed route of Qi vessels, and interconnected a portion of Meng Qi's acupoints. It continued to develop and grow, refining the Aperture points and preparing them for future refinement.

As a result, Meng Qi had the operation route of internal power clearly carved into his memory.

The light dots disappeared, and so did the pain. However, the feeling, which he couldn't "forget" for a long time, still remained in Meng Qi's mind.

"Exchange complete."

As usual, there wasn't any fluctuation in the voice of the "Owner of Samsara".

Meng Qi didn't mind that he was still standing in the light beam. He moved his arms and legs, and the only thing he felt was that he had much greater strength than before. Then, he patted his body and felt like he was patting a thick piece of cloth. There wasn't a single bit of pain.

"Hah..."

Meng Qi was relieved. It seemed like protective external kungfu would no longer be a problem. He then tried to drive out the genuine Qi in his Dantian, and circulated it around twice so that he could turn it into his own property as soon as possible.

"Is everything all right?" Jiang Zhiwei asked with both concern and curiosity from outside the light beam.

Meng Qi shook his head. "It's relatively successful."

As he spoke, he flipped to the page that showed "Qi-cultivation Phase Kungfu" and chose "Eight Divine Steps".

Casually reading through the contents, Meng Qi made sure that it was a Qing Gong script. Without careful read through, he put the script into his clothes and walked out of the light beam.

"Well, this "Owner of Samsara" is truly honest about his offerings," Meng Qi joked to Jiang Zhiwei, Zhang Yuanshan, and the others.

Jiang Zhiwei nodded and said with a smiled that didn't look like a smile, "Little monk, remember to be careful at all times. How about I give it a try to test the quality of your Iron Cloth?"

"Ok."

Meng Qi certainly didn't want to be careless on an issue closely related to his life.

Even though Iron Cloth was an external Kungfu, it had combined with his skin and muscles, so he didn't need to circulate his Qi to make it effective. However, Meng Qi still held up his internal power, attempting to maximize the effect of Iron Cloth.

Right after he held up his Qi, something flashed in his sight. The only thing he saw was the shine of a sword which looked like a shooting star, and before he could react, the sword had already stabbed his left shoulder.

The sword made a sound like it had stabbed into some worn-out rag. Only its tip had actually stabbed into Meng Qi's shoulder, and he only felt a slight pain.

After the sword was pulled away, a single drop of blood came out.

Jiang Zhiwei withdrew her long sword, wiped off the blood from its tip, and slightly nodded. "This Iron Cloth is surely authentic. I used 40% of my strength just now, not to mention that my 'Sword of the Sun-Penetrating Rainbow' belongs to the strong weapon level. I think I will have to use 50% of my power to truly break through your Iron Cloth."

"Nice!"

Even though he could only withstand less than half of Jiang Zhiwei's power, Meng Qi was very satisfied. Just a while ago, he couldn't even withstand 10% of her power!

Zhang Yuanshan was also very satisfied, having witnessed the whole process. He said with a smile, "An ordinary Jianghu person who has half-way accomplished Qi-cultivation would no longer be able to truly hurt you without using all of his strength and a good weapon. However, little brother Zhen Ding, when facing a person who has fully accomplished his Qi-cultivation, you should still be careful and try your best to end the battle quickly by attacking the enemy even by risking yourself."

"Got it. Thank you, big brother Zhang."

Meng Qi knew what Zhang Yuanshan meant. His basic Iron Cloth wouldn't be able to block the attacks of a person who had fully accomplished Qi-cultivation, yet it could still make the attacks less powerful. Therefore in a battle, he should use this as an advantage and aim for a heavy wound on the opponent at the expense of a lighter wound on himself.

At this moment, Qi Xia chuckled and said, "Don't make the little monk too proud of himself." She looked to Meng Qi. "Iron Cloth still has many weak points. You know that too, so you should be careful about them in a battle. Also, different weapons have different levels of effectiveness on Iron Cloth. You better study hard about that."

She had followed Jiang Zhiwei's example and started to call Meng Qi "little monk".

Meng Qi answered "yes" seriously. He knew that what Qi Xia said was absolutely true. His eyes, temples, and pubic region were his weak points as they were not protected by the Iron Cloth. Iron Cloth was a protective external Kungfu that was created through punches and blows, so it had great defense against weapons such as clubs. On the other hand, it would be much weaker when facing the attacks of blades and swords.

"Here, the script for Blade Art of Five Tigers Cracking the Gate."

Qi Xia handed over a Kungfu script, which consisted of a grayish cover and brand new paper.

Meng Qi sincerely thanked her. He casually flipped through the pages and put the script away.

At the same time, Jiang Zhiwei walked to the light beam and opened the "Exchange List".

She didn't straightforwardly flip to the page that had "Heavenly Acumen Pill" but rather read from the beginning. She skimmed through the list, and her eyes only stopped when she saw Seven Strokes of Heaven Interception, Swordplay Sutra of Supremacy, Thirteen Ajati Swordstrikes, Sword Art of Immortal-given Longevity, Battle-Ending Sword Scripts, Truth-Seeking Sword Scripts, Nine Swordstrikes of Solitude, and other sword scripts. Her eyes were filled with concentration and enthusiasm.

Sighing, she turned to the page that showed "Heavenly Acumen Pill".

"Done."

She reached into the light beam and brought out a pill that was sealed in wax. She used her fingertip to cut the wax seal open, and a clean scent soon diffused into the surroundings. Then, after carefully smelling the scent, she slightly nodded. "It truly is Heavenly Acumen Pill."

Zhang Yuanshan smiled, walked towards her, and then exchanged for Shadowing the Heaven and Shrouding the Earth. He then put it away and looked to Qi Zhengyan.

"It's little brother Zheng Yan's turn now. Have you decided what to exchange for?"

Qi Zhengyan made a salute and answered sincerely, "I only know little kungfu and have little experience and knowledge. Please give me some guidance if you will, big brother Zhang, Ms. Jiang."

Zhang Yuanshan thought about it and said, "Little brother Zheng Yan, from my observation, the major sword art you study is Long River Sword Art?"

"Yes.

Lone smoke rises up straight in the great desert;

Setting sun disappears as a circle above the long river."

A bitter smile appeared on Qi Zhengyan's rigid face.

Meng Qi was very confused.

"Are they exchanging cue codes?"

Even though Xuan Xin introduced the information about every sect in jianghu to the new disciples, he preferred to talk about his "own" jianghu experiences. Moreover, he was a very lazy person and had irrelevant things to do all the time. For this reason, for some sects, he had only mentioned their names, and for some others, he didn't even talk about them once. Huanhua Swords Sect belonged to the latter group of sects.

Seeing Meng Qi's dull face, Jiang Zhiwei laughed and explained casually, "The establisher of Huanhua Swords Sect loved to read books and poems. When the dynasty changed, he moved into the deep mountains and by chance met an immortal who taught him an ultimate kungfu. He then used this kungfu as the basis to establish Huanhua Swords Sect.

"Because of his preference, all the kungfu of Huanhua Swords Sect were named after one or two ancient poems. For example, 'Lone smoke rises up straight in the great desert; Setting sun disappears as a circle above the long river' is the name of a sword art. However, ordinary Jianghu people are not patient enough to remember all the poems, so they gave these kungfu simpler names, such as 'Long River Sword Art'."

Qi Zhengyan gave a light cough and didn't rebute her words. He knew what his own sect was about and that the founder was just a poor student. If the founder was a truly knowledgeable person, he wouldn't have named the kungfu that way. However, he certainly couldn't speak to defame the founder, and he secretly thanked Jiang Zhiwei for saving some face for his sect.

"Yes," Zhang Yuanshan said cheerfully. "The full name of 'Sword Art of Immortal-given Longevity', which is the name we always use, is actually 'The immortal touches on my head, helping me grow hair and granting me longevity.'"

"There is also 'Sword Art of Bright Moon Rising with Tide'; do you know which poem it is derived from?" Qi Xia asked, smiling happily.

"Ancient poem..."

Meng Qi frowned slightly.

"Is it a coincidence, or is there a reason behind it?"

He casually answered, "The bright moon above the sea rises together with the tide."

"Correct. Just as I inferred from your skinny body, you're not from an ordinary family."

As a girl who grew up on the river, Qi Xia always spoke boldly. Meng Qi's answer helped her confirm her previous guess.

Meng Qi curled his lips.

"How could she act so premeditatedly while being such a young girl?"

He soon forgot about the ancient poems since for now he couldn't investigate them. At the same time, he thought somewhat delightedly,

"In the future when I wear a handsome white shirt, carry a long sword on my waist, wave a folding fan with my hand, and chant poems while I walk, nobody will question me because my poems didn't have a source..."

After the conversation about poems, Zhang Yuanshan returned to the previous topic. "Little brother Zheng Yan, the Long River Sword Art is famous for its preciseness, and it also has hidden killing moves. In my opinion, it matches your character very much. However, it also has a lack of flexibility, which prevents it from being able to adjust according to the enemies' conditions.

"Therefore, it is sufficient for defense but not suitable enough for attack. I suggest that you first choose a sword art that is strong at unpredictability and flexibility to support your study, and after you finish refining the nine greatest Apertures related to the eye Aperture, exchange for 'Heavenly Acumen Pill' using the Karma points you obtain from the next mission."

"Given your current level, even if you got the 'Heavenly Acumen Pill' now, you might not be able to break through." Jiang Zhiwei didn't reserve her opinion and pointed her observations out to Qi Zhengyan straightforwardly.

Qi Zhengyan nodded honestly. "It's true that I've only refined six of the nine acupoints related to the eye Aperture, and I still need to work hard on it. I will listen to big brother Zhang's suggestions."

After he agreed, everyone took out their jade books and began to search for a sword art that matched his needs and had a suitable price. Eventually, Meng Qi, who was very "knowledgeable", found the one that best satisfied Qi Zhengyan.

Qi Zhengyan saluted Meng Qi. "Thank you, little brother Zhen Ding. Originally, I wanted to exchange for 'The evening glow parallels with a lonely duck to fly; the autumn river shares a scenic hue with the vast sky'. However, it's a secret sword art of my sect after all, and is only taught to a few selected disciples. If I study it on my own and someone discovers, I might be found guilty. But this '13 Moves of Infinitely Changing Mist" that you found is not only unpredictable and flexible, but I can also explain to the people from my sect that I discovered it by chance."

"Sword Art of Afterglow and Autumn Water..." Jiang Zhiwei whispered the "generic name" of the art to Meng Qi.

"This sounds too cool!"

Meng Qi secretly sneered at the founder of Huanhua Swords Sect while he said with a large smile, "I discovered it by chance, too. You don't need to thank me."

The 13 Moves of Infinitely Changing Mist was the secret art of Heng Shan Sect from The Legendary Swordsman. Meng Qi had considered exchanging for it, but for now, he gave up the idea of becoming a handsome sword master.

The total price for the sword art was 150 Karma points. If it was separated into single moves, then the main part would cost 20 Karma points and each move would cost 10 Karma points. Qi Zhengyan exchanged for the main part and four of the moves, and with the 10 Karma points he had left he exchanged for a bottle of " Ganoderma Elixir of Restoration", which could be used to increase internal power and help the user refine Apertures quicker than usual.

"Now it should be little sister Qi's turn." Zhang Yuanshan looked to Qi Xia with a gentle smile. "Since you gave some ordinary scripts to the "Owner of Samsara", I suppose that you have already decided what you want to exchange for?"

Qi Xia cheerfully made a salute. "Big brother Zhang is so smart that I couldn't hide anything from you. I have an eye on the method to make and use 'Tang's Flower'."

"Tang's flower?"

"Tang's flower?"

Although the same words were spoken, different people said it differently. Zhang Yuanshan and the others were curious and confused, while Meng Qi was shocked.

"Tang's Flower from the Legendary Swordsman on the Divine Land? It was one of the three greatest legendary concealed weapons of Tang Men!"

Qi Xia gave Meng Qi a glance. "Little monk, did you see the method to make this concealed weapon a while ago?"

"Yeah, at first I thought about how my kungfu is too weak, so I wanted to find some strong concealed weapon and poison to protect myself." Meng Qi had to explain it this way.

Qi Xia didn't say anything more to him and turned to Zhang Yuanshan and Jiang Zhiwei with a smile. "I've been scolded by my dad since a young age for not concentrating on learning kungfu and indulging in trivial studies. As a result, I'm not able to open my eye Aperture even now. On the other hand, among all trivial studies, I've a preference towards traps and concealed weapons.

"Unfortunately, Dajiang Gang isn't good at either of them. Even though my uncles know similar unique arts, they can't teach me unreservedly. Today, seeing the production method of 'Tang's Flower', I'm extremely happy."

"It's a good thing for us, too, to have a master of concealed weapons and traps together with us. Now we will be able to cope with more kinds of situations."

Both Zhang Yuanshan and Jiang Zhiwei approved Qi Xia's choice.

"Tang's Flower" was Si Chuan's Tang Family's legendary concealed weapon, and its exchange price was extremely expensive. A well-made "Tang's Flower" and the corresponding techniques to use it would cost 300 Karma points, even if it could be used only once.

If one wanted to be taught directly by the "Owner of Samsara" and learn how to produce and use the "Tang's Flower", then it would cost 300 Karma points to get a general idea, and 600 Karma points to fully comprehend it. In addition, it would cost 150 Karma points if one wanted to exchange for the blueprint that recorded the method of producing and using "Tang's Flower". However, after obtaining the blueprint, the person would also have to gather a variety of materials and conduct many researches that would land him in numerous risks.

Qi Xia contributed some more scripts and finally had 150 Karma points, which she used to obtain the method of producing and using "Tang's Flower".

"Exchange completes. Choose the items that you want to deposit, return to your original world, and wait for the next "samsara mission". You will not be able to visit this place until then. If you want to practice here, you will need to exchange for time right now," the grand voice of the "Owner of Samsara" said.

Since he wouldn't be able to casually visit this universe, Meng Qi carried the kungfu scripts with him and roughly examined his "domain".

Behind the white jade door was an empty room. If he wanted a bed, a chair, and other furniture, he would have to exchange for them.

A light sprinkled down and covered Meng Qi and the others, who had just returned to the square. After this, he lost his consciousness.

The darkness was very heavy. Meng Qi struggled for a while and hastily sat up. He saw the beautiful moonlight, and everything was peaceful and quiet.

Then he heard Zhen Hui and the others' breathing sounds. Clearly, they were still in deep sleep.

"I've returned to my room..."

Meng Qi subconsciously brought up his Qi. His Dantian became warm, and the warmth gradually flowed to the rest of his body.

"Eh, the little jade Buddha..."

After discovering with happiness that all the things he had exchanged for were still with him, Meng Qi suddenly found the little Jade Buddha that he wore cracked into two pieces. It no longer had the warm and peaceful feel that it used to have.

Meng Qi felt both alarmed and confused. He couldn't stop thinking about it, which also prevented him from falling asleep. He didn't know how much time had passed when a familiar bell started ringing. However, it was not as peaceful and inspiring as usual. Instead, one ring rang after another, as if something serious had happened in the temple!