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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

32 Reunion

 The sun was shining brightly over the gurgling creek. At the foot of the mountain, a dozen warrior monks were guarding the pass to the temple. Some shabby inns and bustling bazaars were scattered about, giving off a lot of noise.

"The gate here is very similar to yours..." Qi Zhengyan frowned a bit and said to Meng Qi.

Since he had never left the mountain, Meng Qi did not know what the foot of his gate looked like. "I was in a coma when the old servant carried me up, so I've never seen this gate before," he shook his head and said.

That was indeed true, for it was the coma of this body's owner that provided the possibility for him to be transferred to this world.

"I have seen this place when I visited the Shaolin Temple with the elders of my sect. The landforms are generally the same." Although he did not say much, his face was showing some doubt. How could they be so similar if they were in two different worlds? Nevertheless, the Shaolin Temple of his original world was located on Mount Liantai, while in this world it was on Mount Shaohua, a completely different mountain.

Meng Qi thought for a moment, then said, "Things will be clear after we see it up the mountain. But even if the building layout is also the same, there is no need to worry. According to Dominator of Samsara in Six Realms, the Worlds of Samsara are as numerous as stars in the universe. There could certainly be coincidences. After all, they are all Buddhist monasteries."

Behind them, Little Zi was listening languidly, while Xiang Hui half-covered his face and moaned now and then, for the cut on his face wounded his nasal bone and facial muscles. He had to stop fawning and ingratiating like before to avoid the nasty pain caused by talking.

Qi Zhengyan, not understanding why, nodded his head and walked with Meng Qi to a watcher monk. "Honorable masters, I have important news to deliver to His Abbotship," he respectfully said.

"I wonder what news it is. Nowadays, there has been much chaos and war, so we are not at liberty to let you go up," the leader of the monks said humbly with his palms and fingers clinging together.

"May I have your honorable name?" Meng Qi asked solemnly.

"My Dharma name is De Guang." The monk smiled. "Could I be honored to know your name, Junior Brother?"

Meng Qi managed to connect with his counterpart somehow.

"General Duo Ercha intends to lead his army and Kung Fu experts to eradicate Shaolin," after giving his Dharma name, Meng Qi said briefly. "I, with the help of some heroes of justice, obtained this news and managed to acquire the list of moles hiding in your honorable sect. Things are of great significance that we had better talk in private. I'd appreciate it if you could inform His Abbotship."

De Guang frowned. "Junior Brother Zhen Ding, I wonder, have you have divided into two groups?"

"Exactly, Senior Brother. So the other group has arrived already?" Meng Qi asked with elation.

"That's right. There are two benefactresses and two benefactors." De Guang had no qualms about telling him all of this. "This affair has been known to the public. Masters and benefactors of nearby sects all come to offer help. Now they are gathering in the inn over there."

Meng Qi smiled and nodded, feeling extremely relieved. Fortunately, Zhang Yuanshan and Jiang Zhiwei were safe. In the World of Samsara, it was precious to have friends from sects of a righteous path who had principles and integrity. If they were killed, chances were that he would be in the company of people of hypocrisy and ruthlessness. Besides, they already had good relations with one another and started to call each other friends.

De Guang put his palms together and quoted a Buddha's name. "Namo Amitabha. At this moment of life and death, our humble sect is at no liberty to admit anyone up to the mountain, for fear of spies blending in. I would appreciate it if your honorable guests find accommodation in that inn. After I report this to His Abbotship, I shall come back to invite you."

As his words were sincere and candid, Meng Qi and Qi Zhengyan made no objection. After returning a salute, they walked toward the inn. The population of Shaolin monks was huge, so visitors and traders aggregated beneath the mountain and formed a residential community, which was similar to the case of many other sects.

"Lady Jiang and Senior Brother Zhang arrived earlier, so we are of little help. No wonder they won't let us in," Meng Qi complained slightly.

Qi Zhengyan did not rejoin. He raised his head and watched the daylight. "There is still half a day before time is up, so we still have plenty of time to get in."

"I wonder if bad things will happen..." Meng Qi did not finish and shut his mouth, out of fear of jinxing them.

"Haha, you guys are also coming to defend the Shaolin Temple?" From the inn came a stout and rough guy, cackling as he asked.

"Indeed," Meng Qi smiled and replied.

"So are we. Yesterday, after learning that the cannibalistic devils of the Barbarians are coming to exterminate the Shaolin Temple, all men of justice were determined to offer help." The big man pointed at himself. "I am Wei Wuji of Heluo, and I haven't acquainted myself with your names."

When mentioning his name, Wei Wuji straightened his back, seemingly ready to accept admiring looks. Apparently, his reputation was quite known.

Meng Qi secretly tilted his lips.

"How could I know who you are? Don't give me that conceited and arrogant look."

Except for Duo Ercha, Meng Qi literally knew nobody. Having deliberately avoided the eyes of Wei Wuji, he made his introduction with a smile.

Wei Wuji looked a little embarrassed, but quickly became normal and smiling. "My friends, you seem to have come through a bloody battle? Miss, it does not seem to me that you know martial arts."

His doubts were natural. Meng Qi was not surprised, for the same question would have come to his mind if he were him. But he would not necessarily say it out loud.

Having pondered for a moment, he nodded. "We came across several barbarian Kung Fu experts on the way here, but managed to break through."

Then he pointed to Little Zi. "She is the fiancée of Brother Qi. Though too weak to tie up a chicken, she gave up the stability of home, came through difficulties with her husband-to-be, and willingly joined us. She wants nothing but to be with Qi, come what may."

Followed by a clank, Qi Zhengyan's sword fell to the ground, and with a complicated look, partly angry and partly condemning, he glared at Meng Qi. But Little Zi did not understand the situation, and looked as ignorant as ever.

Meng Qi waved his hands secretly. There was no way to say that a monk had a fiancée!

"Hehe. On the ability to make up ludicrous stories, who can compete with me in this world?"

Wei Wuji nodded his head approvingly. "Brother Qi won the affection of such a loyal and virtuous beauty. It really makes me envious. You guys are as kind as some of my old friends. Why not let me be a host, regale you with some wine, and offer you some clean garments?"

"So this is the so-called Jianghu generous hero?"

Meng Qi asked himself. This place was close to the Shaolin Temple, so he supposed there was not much danger. He reached out his hands. "We are deeply honored."

"Haha, Master Zhen Ding is indeed an agreeable person." Wei Wuji laughed again and made a welcoming gesture.

On their way to the inn, Meng Qi naturally seized the chance to pry the news out of Wei Wuji, hoping to find out where Jiang Zhiwei and the others were.

"No sooner was the news released than the entire Martial Artists Community of Heluo became indignant. Under the leadership of a venerable master, many friends came to offer help, as well as Lin Biexue, the leader of the Heluo Sect..." Wei Wuji talked ebulliently as if masters and the army of Duo Ercha were soon to be obliterated.

Meng Qi casually laughed. "I suppose Hero Wei is one of these venerable heroes."

Wei Wuji refrained a bit and smiled. "Well, well, I am merely a mediocre follower of prominent elders. Alas, I studied martial arts for over 30 years, but only touched the threshold of Preternature. Compared with geniuses such as leader Lin, who made the breakthrough to Preternature before 30, you can easily tell the difference."




Meng Qi and Qi Zhengyan glanced at each other.

"Is there even a distinction for level classification here from our own world?"

"But this time..." Wei Wuji's expression suddenly became a bit dazed, seeming to ponder over something incredible.

Meng Qi felt something strange about his looks, yet he followed him into the door of the plain inn.

Guests were bustling in the small inn, a place so crowded that not only were all tables taken, but many places also were filled with people standing.

"Can it be more crowded?" Wei Wuji pulled over a young and charming girl and asked with confusion.

The young heroine pointed to the corner with awe and fondness. "Young Master Zhang went downstairs. He's enjoying tea and wine with leader Lin."

"Young Master Zhang?" Wei Wuji's expression changed into the same respect and awe.

Following the girl's pointing, Meng Qi looked over and saw an unusually clear corner in the inn.

Inside the corner was placed a square table, with two men sitting opposite. In front of them were cups, teapots, and other dishware.

One of the men looked mature and refined, with a smile on his face, while the other was wearing a Zhenwu Taoist robe. His nose was straight, giving off a jubilant impression, and his face was handsome and masculine. No doubt he was Meng Qi's acquaintance, Zhang Yuanshan.

Guests passing by left a space around them subconsciously, thus the corner looked unusually roomy.

"Young Master Zhang?" Meng Qi repeated the question of Wei Wuji, but he certainly knew something else.

Wei Wuji turned around and looked at Meng Qi and gently nodded. "Young Master Zhang is an apprentice of a hermit grandmaster. It is his first time to take a walk in Jianghu, so it is normal that you don't know him."

"Oh?" Meng Qi saw a good chance to be informed of the experience of Zhang Yuanshan and others, in case there would be misunderstandings of the occasion. So he affected a curious air.

Wei Wuji gave a look in awe at Zhang Yuanshan again. "Young Master Zhang is of paramount justice and peerless honor, and is not to be compared with us. He not only broke through Preternature before he was 20 years old, but also came thousands of leagues away for the sake of the Shaolin Temple. It was he who managed to inform us, despite the countless hindrances and assassination attempts."

"So the Preternature here refers to enlightening the Apertures?"

Meng Qi slightly nodded.

"It is plausible. According to what Jiang Zhiwei and others occasionally mentioned, after the advanced success of Qi-cultivation, with an exhale of foul gas, you will resume the status of a pristine infant, and thus you could refine your inner universe and enlighten the Interior, and open up the apertures."

"And among the expert assassinators was the 'Dominator of Heluo', Guan Haoran. He reached Preternature 20 years ago and was one of the best masters in the world. Such a shame the years made him addled. He turned against our country, served as a barbarian lackey, and eventually got himself slain by Young Master Zhang."

The lady heroine beside them nodded assertively, her face flushing red. "The incident took place by the entrance of Guanhe Town, with witnesses of many Jianghu heroes who were then shocked by the power of Young Master Zhang. His name became renowned all over Heluo."

"Guan Haoran, though old and frail, still was an expert above Preternature. What is more formidable, Young Master Zhang is only 19 years old! Alas, I feel the first half of my life was lived as a dog." Wei Wuji made a self-mockery with quite a bit of frustration.

"Yes, I am afraid only elites, like leader Lin, are entitled to make friends with Young Master Zhang. An apprentice of a hermit grandmaster, truly outstanding." A man walked by also acceded to the admiration.

"Let's make way to the other side, lest we bother Young Master Zhang and leader Lin." Wei Wuji touched his chin, inhibited other emotions, and said in awe, "You, you..."

His voice had hardly faded as he watched the little monk in front of him walk blatantly toward Young Master Zhang and leader Lin, ignoring his urgent calling.

He was being too reckless! Even out of admiration toward elites, this was certainly offensive!

Beside the square table, Lin Biexue raised his cup and sipped the wine. "30-year-old Heluo Wine, mellow and aromatic."

Zhang Yuanshan tried a sip in return and nodded. "It is indeed extraordinary."

"Alas, not much time is left for us to enjoy the tea and wine. Chaos prevails in the world, and even the Shaolin Temple has to deal with such an ordeal. I do not know when we could enjoy peace again." Lin gently sighed.

Zhang Yuanshan smiled and tasted the tea. "The logic of the world has always been demonstrating the vicissitudes. Wane follows wax, and life follows death as well. Although the Barbarians are strong for the moment, they will certainly decline someday. We shall maintain our useful bodies as seeds of renaissance."

Lin Biexue was stunned for a moment, then immediately laughed. "Truly an eminent student of a hermit sect..."

Suddenly, his smile disappeared and his expression became grim, though far from getting angry. A filthy little monk walked over without much attention.

"You are?" he asked slowly, with an overbearing air that would disaffect ordinary Jianghu fellows. This made Wei Wuji agitated. After all, it was he who had brought him in.

However, he saw the young monk sit down without minding anything. He took a cup in front of Zhang Yuanshan and poured a glass of spirits boldly. "A respect is paid by drinking first." He made a toast casually.

Zhang Yuanshan smiled and showed no objection. He picked up another cup and poured a cup of tea.


Given the look of Zhang Yuanshan, the faces of Wei Wuji and the heroine beside and other people turned frozen.

"This seemingly discomfited little monk is an old acquaintance of Young Master Zhang? Is he also a competent disciple from a reclusive sect?"

Lin Biexue was about to be irritated, but now he was surprised. Back to smiling, he picked up the glass and clinked with Meng Qi.

The expressions of the confused people around them became extremely exuberant. They started to speculate which famous master he might be.

"Cough, cough, cough!" After he drank the liquor, Meng Qi felt a hot string blazing from his throat to stomach, and could not help coughing.

"Oops, I forgot that this is not the original body that I trained to be so adaptable to alcohol."

At that time, Meng Qi saw nothing but the cup of tea before Zhang, so he just grabbed it and drank it down. Finally, his rolling stomach stopped its struggle.

"Junior Brother Zhen Ding, putting the precepts aside, you should not have been so reckless when you drunk for the first time," Zhang Yunshan said mildly, apparently knowing Meng Qi had no experience of drinking before. It was easy to guess, for children from noble family were generally prohibited from all temptations. Besides, he was so young when he was sent to the Shaolin Temple, and certainly had no access to wine.

Meng Qi managed to stop coughing, and smiled and played with the glass. "Without knowing the taste of spirits, how can a little monk understand the value and necessity of precepts."

"Aye, no breakings, no establishments," Zhang Yuanshan echoed casually.

"Where is Lady Jiang?" Meng Qi looked monastically solemn.

Zhang Yuanshan smiled wryly. "Junior Sister Jiang has no interest in socializing and is reposing herself upstairs."

"May I have the honor?" Lin Biexue could not help asking.