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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

19 Courage

 Meng Qi listened to the bell rings with alarm, while his hands quietly clenched into tight fists under the blanket.

"Did they discover Qing Jing's death? Or did Qing Jing disappear?"

Hearing the unusual ringing of the bell, Zhen Ying, Zhen Guan, and the other char monks who usually were not interested in anything quickly sat up. Their panic became a camouflage for Meng Qi's unusual reaction.

Inside the Great Buddha's Hall, the golden Buddha figure was very solemn. It looked at the crowd in the hall with mercy and benevolence.

Right under the Buddha's figure stood an old monk with white eyebrows and a sagging face that shone with a pale gold color. He looked very calm and wore a yellow robe and a red cassock. In his hands he held a tin staff that had nine rings on it.

"Namo Amitābha. Benefactors, please remain calm."

With one of his hands held up, the old monk chanted the name of Buddha.

Around 20 monks that wore red cassocks stood beside him. Some of them had very deep wrinkles, and were so old that their age couldn't be inferred, while others were skinny and gaunt, and looked like dead wood. Of the rest, some had a melancholic atmosphere, and some seemed very mature and elegant.

"Humph, be calm? A disciple from my sect was killed at Shaolin, and you want me to be calm?" said an old Taoist who wore a crown that had seven stars on it and a Yin Yang frock, as he stared at the old monk. "Great master Kong Wen, we, Xuan Tian Sect has come because of your invitation, not because we wanted our disciples to get killed here. You must give us a reasonable explanation! Otherwise... humph!"

The person he addressed was as white as snow, yet his face was very ruddy, and there wasn't a single wrinkle on his face.

The old monk was Kong Wen, His Abbotship of Shaolin who attained the "Golden Body of the Dragon-subduing Arhat". His reputation and power had helped him rule Jianghu for more than 100 years.

"Amitābha. Benefactor Shou Zhuo, since such a horrible thing has happened in this temple, regardless of which the murderer is, we Shaolin will be responsible," Kong Wen said peacefully and didn't try to save face for the sect by shifting blame. "However, I believe that same as all the benefactors here, benefactor Shou Jing from your sect would want to know first who the murderer is and what he wants. Please allow me some time to examine the corpse and find out the murderer."

Taoist Shou Jing was the leader of Xuan Tian sect. It was said that he had arrived at the threshold of the Dharmakaya realm, and he ranked second in the Earthly Ranking.

"What great master Kong Wen has said is very reasonable. Please remain calm, my Taoist friend Shou Zhuo. We all feel the same sorrow that you feel." A middle-aged Taoist who wore a black tortoise frock came forth and dissuaded Shou Zhuo.

Among the disciples who stood behind him, Zhang Yuanshan was staring mournfully at Qing Jing's body, which lay on a white cloth. Qing Jing's head and body were separated into two parts, and his eyes were wide-open. Clearly, he had experienced extreme shock and anger before his death.

"The way he died is the same..."

Zhang Yuanshan was startled.

"How he died

in reality

is the same as how he died in the 'samsara universe'!"

Regardless of whether they had physically entered "samsara", or was in an illusionary projection, the "Owner of Samsara" was proven to be omnipotent, since he had accomplished all of this under the monitoring of the "Dragon-subduing Arhat"!

Zhang Yuanshan secretly peeped at Jiang Zhiwei, who stood among Xi Jian Pavilion disciples, and Qi Xia, who stood among the people of Dajiang Gang. They also couldn't hide their astonishment, and seemed very sad and serious. On the other hand, Qi Zhengyan was just an ordinary disciple and did not possess the status to enter the Great Buddha's Hall together with the seniors of Huanhua Swords Sect.

Nevertheless, a Xuan Tian Sect disciple being mysteriously murdered inside Shaolin temple was horrifying news. As a result, other young disciples in the hall had similarly frightened expressions, so nobody discovered the three's unusualness.

Taoist Shou Zhuo coldly glanced at the Taoist from Zhen Wu Sect. "Xuan Yuanzi, the victim is not a disciple of your sect. Stop being a hypocrite!"

"I have always heard that Taoist friend Shou Zhuo from Xuan Tian Sect has an irascible and frank personality. From what I've seen today, it seems that those rumors are true."

Xuan Yuanzi was a well-cultured person. He knew that Xuan Tian Sect still had many disciples similar to Qing Jing and could bear the loss of a single disciple. However, for them, Qing Jing being assassinated in Shaolin was like them being heavily slapped on the face. It was reasonable that Taoist Shou Zhuo was outraged. Thus, he only gave a simple reply with a smile, and then looked to the other side. "Taoist friend Su, what do you think?"

A young and handsome man who wore blue clothes stood in front of Jiang Zhiwei. At first sight, he seemed rather ordinary, but with careful observation, it could be discovered that he had an "empty" atmosphere. It seemed like he didn't have any human desires.

The young man's eyes were half closed. He gently stroked the simple and unsophisticated sword he had on his waist, and said in an old and deep voice, "I agree with great master Kong Wen."

His voice didn't match his appearance at all, and sounded like that of an elderly man who had experienced all kinds of worldly affairs and seen through the essence of the secular world.

After the man in blue finished speaking, the Great Buddha's Hall became silent. Even the irascible Taoist Shou Zhuo didn't refute, as if the man's manliness had convinced him.

Taoist Shou Zhuo remained silent for a moment and then made a salute. "Please examine Qing Jing's injuries, great master Kong Wen."

It wasn't that the man in blue had a more awe-inspiring reputation or was stronger than abbot Kong Wen. Everybody knew that in the future he might be able to surpass Kong Wen, though at least for now, there was still an immeasurably vast difference between the two.

The true reason to this was that abbot Kong Wen always acted with leniency and modesty, and never mistreated the weak even given his strength. Everyone could debate with him about what's right and what's wrong, and about reasons and principles. In contrast, the man in blue was too impatient to engage in talking and discussions. If anyone irritated him, he would attack the person with his sword right away.

Kong Wen handed his nine-ringed staff to a handsome middle-aged monk who had a melancholic atmosphere and stood next to him. The abbot then slowly took several steps forward and stopped beside Qing Jing's corpse. In his eyes, there seemed to be some dotted golden lights of Buddha.

"The fatal injury on benefactor Qing Jing's body is a palm attack in the center of his back. The murderer is a person who has just entered the Enlightenment Phase and is skilled at iron palms. As for the wound on his neck, it was done after his death and by a long blade. The person who used the blade is slightly stronger than the person who attacked with his palms. "Therefore, altogether there are two murderers, and both are masters who have opened the Eye Aperture." Kong Wen slowly explained Qing Jing's cause of death, which stupefied Zhang Yuan Shan, Jiang Zhiwei, and the others.

"How could he retell everything so clearly and with so much detail! So this was what a Dharmakaya-level master was like!"

The face of Taoist Shou Zhuo was ghastly pale. "I'm also able to give a conclusion like this. But how about the true murderer Who is this true murderer that can let two Enlightenment-level juniors sneak into my yard without being discovered by me Who is this true murderer that can commit murder in Shaolin without being noticed by you, the great master who has both Heaven Eye and Heaven Ear"

"I was meditating in Dhyana yesterday and spiritually visiting the pure land of Buddha and the gods and goddesses. The true murderer might have exploited this as his chance," Kong Wen answered with perfect calmness, and his expression implied some regret and apology.

Taoist Shou Zhuo didn't concede. "Great master Kong Wen. I'm afraid that few people knew you were deep in Ding. How could things be so coincidental Please show us the capabilities of your golden body and seek out the true murderer!"

His words were very reasonable. Xuan Yuan Zi and the others all slightly nodded their heads and looked to Kong Wen.

Kong Wen put his palms together. "Amitābha. I've already tried my best, but the true murderer's power is not lower than mine. We have lost the 'clue'."

"Do you mean Shaolin won't be able to find the murderer Then I will have to report to my big brother, the head of my sect, and bring out the Time Blade to look for the true murderer on my own!" Taoist Shou Zhuo said with fury.

"Amitābha. I feel guilty to all the benefactors of Xuan Tian Sect. I'm willing to go up the Jade Emperor Mountain, apologize to benefactor Shou Jing, and look for the true murderer together with you," Kong Wen said with sorrow and sympathy.

Several heads and elders that stood behind Kong Wen had dissatisfied expressions. Shou Zhuo was being way too aggressive, and the abbot was acting way too weak! Nevertheless, they understood too that the murder was extremely odd, and before they could find the true murderer, if the abbot didn't deal with it this way, Shaolin's reputation might be destroyed completely.

Hearing that Kong Wen was willing to go up the Jade Emperor Mountain and apologize by himself, everyone became speechless due to astonishment. Taoist Shou Zhuo also felt awkward for the first time. "Great master Kong Wen, you don't need to do this. I can feel your sincerity, and I only hope that Shaolin can keep its promise and search for the true murderer together with our sect."

It would be an ordeal for his Taoist heart if the Golden-Bodied Luohan, who ranked third on the Heaven Ranking, and whose reputation ruled the world for more than 100 years, really visited them himself. Since Xuan Tian Sect also didn't have any trustworthy evidence that Shaolin had something to do with the murder, they didn't want to be too threatening and aggressive.

Listening to the seniors' discussion about the true murderer, Zhang Yuan Shan couldn't stop thinking. To be honest, even though Zhen Wu sect put an emphasis on sending disciples out to gain experience and refine themselves, and the missions in the "samsara world" could also be considered as an unusual type of exercise, yet he had just entered Enlightenment and was far from being suitable to dive into things like this.

Therefore, he really wanted to stay away from the "Owner of Samsara", and stay away from the "samsara missions". He did feel enthusiastic about the godly weapons and kungfu, and the magical pills and medicines, yet considering his current realm, he already had enough scripts, weapons, and pills. Moreover, his strength didn't stop improving nor did the improvement slow down, and he wasn't in a helpless position where all his sectmates started to surpass him.

Now that the "Dragon-Taming Luohan" was here, it was a chance for him to break away from the "Owner of Samsara"!

A Dharmakaya-level master could already be considered an immortal and omnipotent. Even if his power was still weaker than that of the "Owner of Samsara", he should be able to resist against the "Owner" and assure the safety of Zhang Yuan Shan and the others. If not so, why would the "Owner of Samsara" secretly and mysteriously take them away to finish the "samsara mission"; he would be able to directly bring the whole world's masters there.

Of course, it might be something else that the "Owner of Samsara" was scrupling about.

"Should I reveal what I know about the 'Samsara World' The 'Owner of Samsara' wouldn't be able to kill me under the eyes of the 'Dragon-Taming Luohan', would he?

"Even if the 'Owner of Samsara' is in fact abbot Kong Wen himself, he would disguise his identity in front of all the seniors from different sects and try his best to get vengeance for us. The world is so vast, and he is not the only Dharmakaya-level master. For example, master Chong He, who is also a Taoist, is ranked higher on the Heaven Ranking than he is!

"But if abbot Kong Wen is collaborating with some other Dharmakaya-level master, then the moment I reveal everything I know, the other master can kill me very easily. Kong Wen only has to pretend that he was caught unprepared, and so was unable to save me...

"Or maybe the 'Owner of Samsara' is far stronger than Abbot Kong Wen and has attained the level of the Taoist Primogenitor and Buddha, so he can kill anyone who leaks the secret without leaving any trace behind...

"If I had already opened the Nine Apertures, I would be able to use the 'samsara world' to refine myself..."

Many different ideas went through Zhang Yuan Shan's mind, yet he still couldn't resolve and go for it.

He sighed to himself. He was not brave enough to risk his life, which has always been his weakness.

He knew himself very well. His calmness and capability were very outstanding, and had always been praised by senior people, and he seldom became flustered facing emergencies and accidents. However, for the same reason, he always thought too much and cared too much. When the situation required him to take risks and go for it, he always lacked the necessary courage to do so. This was the true reason why he couldn't pass the entry level of Zhenwu's Seven Strokes Scripture.

Thinking about this, he looked to Jiang Zhiwei. From this aspect, she was far better than him.

Jiang Zhiwei stood behind Su Wu Ming, looked down at her nose, and concentrated on maintaining inner peace. Although she seemed slightly sad, there was no sign that she wanted to step forward and reveal the secret of the "samsara world".

A thought popped into Zhang Yuan Shan's mind. He thought about Jiang Zhiwei's enthusiastic eyes when she looked at the list of sword arts. He then gave a bitter smile and quietly shook his head.

"Great master abbot, I've something to report. It is related to Qing Jing's death." Suddenly, Zhang Yuan Shan heard Qi Xia's voice.

He looked to her with great astonishment, and there he saw a pretty face that implicitly showed her resolution.

Jiang Zhiwei, who seemed as if she was counting how many ants there were on the ground, also raised her head in shock.