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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

51 Triple Torments

 Meng Qi looked at the bird with his teeth clenched. Having listened to its unpleasant sound for quite a while, he slowly turned around and walked back to the door of the Frigid Tortoise. He then crossed his legs again to practice.

But this time, Meng Qi tore off two pieces of cloths from his lapels and tucked them into his ears.

"Naive! Do you think you wouldn't hear me now?"

"Where was I earlier? Grandpa's grandfather? Speaking of my grandpa's grandfather, I should start with my grandfather's grandfather's grandfather's grandfather... "

Meng Qi took a deep breath and repeatedly told himself to pretend the bird was a mute.

Meng Qi struggled under the attack of both the cold and noise and barely managed to hold on for ten hours. When he was finally done, his face was green and he was trembling all over.

"Oh? Cold has seeped into your body. If you don't warm yourself as soon as possible, you'll be a bedridden invalid in the future." Since the beginning, the Drooping Wing had not stopped chattering.

Meng Qi moved his body outward with difficulty and said huskily, "Your words are not like a monster's... "

He planned to lure the bird to a cell, tie it, and gag its mouth. That would end everything for once and for all. Meng Qi knew this bird did not have much strength, for it did not even touch the Swastika Seal.

"Of course, as a roc, I'm a scholar of exceptional talent!" the bird said without shame. "What do you, a person from the stupid human species, know of my great ambition? What does a swallow know of the ambition of a swan goose?"

"I'm the swan... " The fire swan cut in, dismissively moving a step inside.

"Really? What's your great ambition?" Meng Qi asked softly.

Drooping Wing burst into laughter. "Aren't you just trying to get close to me and gag me? I'm a roc. How can I be fooled that easily? You dumb monks, I only ate some people and you're already grabbing me. The tigers in the mountain have eaten so many people and lives, but why don't you put them down?! It's normal for beasts to eat people, but it's abnormal for a monster to do so?"

Once the bird started chattering, it would not stop.

Meng Qi deeply regretted asking now. He should not have talked to this chatterbox...

Thus, his life became increasingly difficult in the double torments. However, his Invincibility Skill was improving alarmingly fast. One and a half months later, he had reached the third stage, thus his Invincibility Skill had reached the stage of primary level of Qi-cultivation. That was pretty much on par with his Iron Shirt and its prospects were great!

"Half a month earlier than expected... " Outside the Cold Turtle prison, Meng Qi looked at his bare upper body and he vaguely felt there was some kind of texture on his skin. He was both surprised and happy. He prayed that the next Samsara mission would be after he achieved the fourth stage of the Invincibility Skill.

Meng Qi frowned while putting on his monk's robe. Looking at that Drooping Wing that chattered non-stop, he said to himself, "Can the noise from this ugly monster be a kind of training? Can it train the will?"

Though, he still really wanted to put a rag in its mouth!

"My grandfather's grandfather once had found a relic in the sea, but unfortunately someone had long stolen what was in it. There was only bird shit on the ground. Weird, right? There was actually bird shit in the relic under the sea! Hey, little monk! Don't go! Okay, fine. Let's talk again tomorrow."

Meng Qi suddenly stopped walking and gritted his teeth.

As he had broken through in advance, he returned to Xuan Bei's yard two hours earlier than usual. When he opened the door, he saw Xuan Bei carrying a Buddhist Commandment Blade and smoothly practicing his swordsmanship.

Xuan Bei was not surprised by his disciple's intrusion, because he had long noticed Meng Qi's existence from a distance.

Meng Qi freely took a look around and decided to first return to the meditation room. He decided to report his breakthrough of the third stage of the Invincibility Skill later.

It was not that he was not curious and did not want to secretly imitate his Master's swordsmanship. It was just that he clearly understood his Master's moves were too profound. Without scripts to refer to, it was no use just watching. So his Master could easily practice his swordsmanship in the yard with onlookers around.

But with this one glance, Meng Qi could not move any more. It was just the first part of Ananda Oath-Breaking Swordsmanship, Peace Quietude Split!

Fearing he would be discovered by his Master, Meng Qi did not have a chance to practice this swordsmanship and only practice it repeatedly in his head. He planned on quickly practicing it when he was in the Samsara space and doing missions. He did not expect to see an Exterior master practicing this part today, and particularly inept at that.

So this was what was going on... Seeing his Master's moves, many of his swordsmanship questions were answered. He felt like he had received a sudden enlightenment.

"Zhen Ding, did you reach the third stage?" Xuan Bei asked softly, stopping his practice when he noticed his disciple did not leave.

Meng Qi collected himself and said, "Master, I'm lucky enough to break through in advance."

"You look like a frivolous person, but your willpower is deeply rooted and you're calm and dependable. It's only natural you have these results now." Xuan Bei nodded his head approvingly. "Beginning tomorrow, you'll practice to reach the fourth stage between the fire swan and cold turtle. Right, I'll come with you to the stupa. After all, it may be hard for you to control in the place where cold and warmth, yin and yang are balanced."

"Yes, Master." Meng Qi answered enthusiastically. "Master, what swordsmanship were you practicing earlier? It seems so profound, much better than what I'm practicing now."

Xuan Bei patted the Buddhist Commandment Blade and said, "Ananda Oath-Breaking Swordsmanship. After hearing about it from you, I became quite interested in it. When you reach your enlightenment period, I can teach you if you're still interested in learning."

"Thank you, Master." After bowing, Meng Qi returned to the meditation room full of confusion. Then he saw Zhen Hui who was happily munching on dim sum.

"Junior Brother, you don't have practice today?" Meng Qi felt it strange.

Zhen Hui answered happily, "Senior Brother, I've opened my Dantian at noon. This is Master's reward."

He showed the dim sum to Meng Qi, presenting it like it was a treasure stained with saliva.

"You've already opened the Dantian?" Meng Qi was astonished. Normally one only needed two to six months to open the Dantian. It was not a big deal that Zhen Hui opened it after three and a half months. Some people could so within just two months. But the fact was Zhen Hui had already learned Flower-Pinching Finger, one of the hardest unique skills in Shaolin. And it was normal to not open the Dantian within three years. But how could Zhen Hui progress so fast?!

Zhen Hui honestly nodded his head. "Senior Brother, did you have something to ask me just now?"

Meng Qi decided to ignore the thought whether this guy was born with an affinity for learning Flower-pinching Finger. He nodded and said, "Do you know since when Master started practicing Ananda Oath-breaking Swordsmanship? Why is he practicing it?"

"One and a half months ago." Zhen Hui had a good memory. He looked at Meng Qi with confusion and asked, "Senior Brother, isn't Master practicing so he can teach you?"

"What?" Meng Qi was quite confused.

Zhen Hui did not understand why Meng Qi was asking this question. He said more solemnly, "It's because you want to learn the swordsmanship."

"This... is this possible... isn't Master being so kind to us?" Meng Qi admitted what Zhen Hui said made sense, but he felt quite uneasy about it. "We're completely unrelated to him. Why is he treating us so well?"

Zhen Hui said matter-of-factly, "How are we unrelated? He's our Master."

"But Master wouldn't be so good to us without reason." Meng Qi frowned.

Zhen Hui looked at him like he said something ridiculous. "Senior Brother, you're also good to me. What's the problem?"

Meng Qi curled his lip. He could not have a proper conversation with this kid. So he took out the Ganoderma Elixir of Restoration and continued to do his 'homework'.

...

"Here." Entering the stupa, Xuan Bei pointed at the blank ground in front of him, standing at the outside edge between the fire swan and cold turtle prison.

Answering him, Meng Qi walked there and sat down cross-legged. Immediately he felt the left half of his body was burning while the blood in the right half was stagnant. One was hot, the other cold against each other. He felt unprecedented suffering and torment.

Clenching his teeth, Meng Qi did not make a single groan. He started to work the heart sutras of the fourth stage of Golden Bell Shield.

He did bring up the Dropping Wings with his Master. He knew his Master made him practice here to temper him. If he could not even bear the noise, he would do better to quit as soon as possible.

The cold turtle and the fire swan were gradually closing into the iron bars, trying to torment Meng Qi in the worst way possible.

Both cold and heat intruding, his Dantian seemed to be pierced by thousands of steel needles, putting him in extreme agony.

He worked his inner power, slowly training his body with the help of the changes in temperature.

His body was changing inch by inch, his Dantian enlarging step by step, and his meridians broadening little by little. While suffering from the extreme torment, he could clearly feel his progress.

Beside him, Xuan Bei nodded and smiled. "Zhen Hui has learned the Flower-Pinching Finger far smooth than I had expected. He has opened his Dantian yesterday and the primary level of Qi-cultivation will follow soon. Perhaps he'll catch up with you in the near future."

After opening up the Dantian, the primary level of Qi-cultivation just needed the cultivation of genuine Qi. So that was why Xuan Bei thought Zhen Hui could catch up with him soon and have similar strength with Meng Qi, who was also in the primary level of Qi-cultivation.

He said these to give Meng Qi a sense of urgency. Additionally, that sense of urgency not only helped his current practice, but acted as a mental barrier which could help better temper him.

"But, Zhen Ding, you've also exceeded my expectations. Your fortitude is impressive. If you go on step by step like this, you can also have great success despite your slow start. Others need a year to accomplish the fourth stage, perhaps you need only half a year. At that time, you'll be ahead of Zhen Hui again."

After giving Meng Qi a sense of urgency, Xuan Bei started encouraging Meng Qi to prevent him from being overwhelmed by the mental barrier.

After accomplishing the fourth stage of Golden Bell Shield, he had gained advanced Qi-cultivation. Then it was time to concentrate on the Aperture acupoints and get ready for Enlightenment. As for Flower-pinching Finger, it might take a year, two years, or even eight or 10 years.

After saying what he wanted to say, Xuan Bei turned and left, leaving Meng Qi alone to suffer the ice and fire.

"You think I'll be afraid just because you brought a powerful monk here?" The moment Xuan Bei left, Dropping Wings began chattering once again.

"Shaolin Kungfu is nothing! I know where the Lexicon of Demon Emperor is! It's an unparalleled book left by the one and only Demon Emperor... "

"What do you think? If you let me out, I'll take you to the Demon Emperor Hall."

For some reason, the voice of Dropping Wings would always ring in the deepest nook of Meng Qi's heart. It was the most horrible noise in the world and a spiritual torment. Its overlap with the cold and heat in his body doubled the effect of the torment on him.

He gradually became distracted and unconsciously recalled the Ananda Oath-breaking Swordsmanship his Master had practiced yesterday. He compared what he saw with what he understood. The miseries of the world, the breaker of peace.

The miseries of the world, the breaker of peace... While suffering the cold, heat, and noise, Meng Qi suddenly comprehended what it meant. The blade was suddenly distinct to him. He seemed to see that miserable monk was moving forward firmly despite the difficulty.

"Break the oath; the world of mortals is like a furnace; train my Buddha heart!"

Break the oath; the world of mortals is like a furnace; train my Buddha heart... All the mental and physical torments he was currently suffering, did it not resemble like a furnace where he trained his inside out?

Bang!

Meng Qi's blade feeling burst and became very clear. He distinctly felt the mental and physical torments and how they tempered him, compressing inch by inch, changing inch by inch.

The outside evil was the furnace and the mind evil was the charcoal. Meng Qi kept to the rule and let the blade feeling of Peace Quietude Split fill his body!

Under the attack of both internal and external forces, Meng Qi who was conscious of the blade feeling was unaware a layer of deep yellow had appeared on his body.

Under the pressure of both cold and heat, the blade feeling penetrated Meng Qi with ease and swiftly cut through various passes. He promptly refreshed himself to defend against the external evil.

Pa, pa, pa. Sounds of beans sizzling appeared in his entire body. The deep yellow increasingly brightened, making him look like a brass Luohan!

This was precisely the sign of the advanced success of the fourth stage of Golden Bell Shield!