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58 Twelve Animal Zodiac Gods

 Meng Qi thought he had done well with this slash. It fully conformed to his requirements of being a handsome and elegant move. Thus he said nothing and waited for the couple to snap back into focus.

After a moment, the scarf-wearing man looked at the body behind Meng Qi and swallowed. Carefully and excitedly, he said, "I'm Zhang Zongxian and this is my son, Li Xinyu. Thank you for saving our lives. Would you let us know your Buddhist name?"

He dared not call this acolyte with formidable power a Little Master.

"My name is Zhen Ding. By chance, I walked by and noticed something happening, so I decided to come and take a look." Meng Qi patted his frock and leisurely stood up.

It would be better if he was wearing a white frock!

"Alas. My son and I survived thanks to you coming to our rescue." Zhang Zongxian sighed and gave Meng Qi a deep bow along with his wife.

Meng Qi put his palms together and spoke as if he was an esteemed monk. "Amitabha. Saving one life is better than building a seven-storey pagoda."

He smiled at Zhang Zongxian and his wife, waiting for them to tell him the cause of this attack.

Zhang Zongxian felt the necessity to explain. After all, Meng Qi roped himself into this issue to save their lives. He must give him a proper explanation. And Innea Monkey had brought up the Treasure Map a few times. He wondered how much Meng Qi had heard...

His expression was solemn as he said, "My son and I accidentally received a Treasure Map, a relic of the great Snow God Palace of yesteryear. But somehow information was leaked and someone asked the murderous and plundering Twelve Beasts to snatch the treasure. The opponent you killed earlier is one of them, Zodiac Monkey."

Meng Qi had a rough idea of what was going on, but he was still unclear on some of the terminologies used. He frankly said, "I have lived in the west since young and just returned recently. May I ask you to explain about Snow God Palace and the Twelve Beasts?"

Oh... Zhang Zongxian and Li Xinyu looked like they finally understood the reason why. No wonder they had never heard of a monk with such excellent kungfu! And there were no rumors in the Jianghu about someone like him!

Concealing her surprised expression, Lin Xinyu said, "Master Zhen Ding, Snow God Palace was the most powerful sect in the world 50 years ago. But unfortunately, those in the sect led decadent lives and eventually lost themselves to the demon. After becoming immortals, they bossed around others in Jianghu. Later, the sect was attacked by various sects. After several ups and downs, the sect eventually broke down 30 years ago. Only one or two secrets remained in Jianghu. But it was said the head of Snow God Palace had predicted this outcome and secretly buried numerous treasures, scripts, and Magical Arms for a comeback one day."

"Twelve Animal Zodiac Gods is a secret organization in Jianghu. There are only 12 formal members. They use animal signs as nicknames and all have great strength. Their moves are always mysterious. They accept any job as long as the client can pay what they want. Whenever they're not doing a job, they often involve themselves in some major events in Jianghu. They're obviously scheming some big. In Jianghu, they're called the Twelve Beasts."

"Great strength? How great are they?" Meng Qi asked plainly.

Ennea Monkey's strength earlier was near Enlightenment. Meng Qi could only easily behead it due to the dreadfulness of his fourth stage of Golden Bell Shield.

His was a technique comparable with Dharmakaya, whose fourth stage was far better than most Thwart Kung Fu in the same level. With Ennea Monkey's strength, it could not have hurt Meng Qi without Jiang Zhiwei's Sword of the Sun-Penetrating Rainbow. As for the masters who had opened up the eye acupuncture, if their kungfu were not on his level, they had to use at least 80 percent of their strength to hurt him. And the damage reduction was obvious.

Based on information related to Golden Bell Shield, Meng Qi speculated that the masters who had just reached Enlightenment needed at least three or four palms with their full strength to break his Golden Bell Shield.

Zhang Zongxian was momentarily silent, thinking about how to describe it in a proper way. After a few breaths, he smiled. "The Seven Grandmasters in the world are the best masters who have opened the Secret Chambers. This includes most of the Twelve Beasts and they're considered some of the very best masters. In terms of the realm, they're second only to Grandmasters. It's said two among them are Masters who have opened the Secret Chambers, but they're deeply hidden."

"So you'd best not underestimate the Twelve Beasts, Master Zhen Ding," Li Xinyu warned.

Meng Qi slightly nodded. "Who's better and worse among the Seven Grandmasters?"

The Body Secret Chamber sounded quite similar to the Enlightenment, but there may be some differences...

He found it uncomfortable to ask about the technique in detail in case he seemed ignorant. Further, the couple was not strong enough to be familiar with that level.

"Fights between the Seven Grandmasters are rare. We truly don't know. But their fights with other masters are all intense." Zhang Zongxian shook his head.

Li Xinyu also nodded and said, "The exact Master who has opened up which Secret Chamber is a personal secret. Outsiders can only guess."

"And who are the Seven Grandmasters?" These were the people Meng Qi should pay most attention to.

"Fa Xuanzong Grief divine monk, Cui Xu Castellan of Destiny City, Luo Qing the Swordsman in White, Wu Caisha the Ice Needle, Che Wanxiu the Snow Blade, Gai Yuan the Skyscraping Devil, and Duan Xiangfei the Mr. Leisure... " Zhang Zongxian briefly introduced the Seven Grandmasters, including their titles, appearances, and the kungfu they mastered.

Meng Qi smiled as he listened. "The meeting of fated people is a blessing and thus shall not be missed. I shall not delay you from leaving. But if the Twelve Beasts come to you again in the future, how will you deal with them?"

He casually mentioned this.

Different expressions fleeted across Li Xinyu's face and she said, "Master, Senior Cui Xu of Destiny City is my close friend. We have planned on taking refuge with her in Destiny City. No matter how savage Twelve Beasts are, they dare not run amok there."

"Then I'm reassured. How far is it here to Destiny City?" Meng Qi wondered why there were no mission hints this time.

Did this mission need a trigger? Should he head to Destiny City?

Li Xinyu slightly took a breath. "It takes about two hours if you go down along the river."

At this moment, Zhang Zongxian seemed to have made a decision. He took out an old fur and said, "Master Zhen Ding, my son and I were too greedy earlier. How dare we convert this treasure? Please take this source of trouble and mitigate our disaster."

Earlier Enna Monkey had revealed Treasure Map, so he chose to confess rather than making up another lie that the Twelve Beasts were chasing after him. He had sobered up and overcame his greed. He was unwilling to risk being killed and robbed by this monk before him.

Looking at the Treasure Map, Meng Qi smiled and said, "Is there a meaning to this? If I desire this treasure, I'll still kill those who know about it to prevent information from leaking."

He was still not used to referring himself as a monk each time.

Zhang Zongxian and Li Xinyu's faces suddenly paled. They both had seen the fight between Ennea Monkey and Master Zhen Ding. They knew they were definitely not his match.

The monk looked only about 13 or 14, barely an adult. How could he have such powerful kungfu? Even if he had been practicing since a very young age, he still could not possibly kill a first class master as if he was killing a dog!

Was he some old monster who had broken through the limit of Body Secret Chamber, breaching the limits of Snow God Palace set on human beings and immortals, and renewed his youth?

"You should go on now." Meng Qi paused and looked up the sky, a little embarrassed. "Well, you can make a copy of the Treasure Map for me."

If he had spare time, exploring treasures could improve his mission appraisement. What was more, there were many things that he could find that could be exchanged with Karma points.

It was his first time to truly explore Jianghu. And he did not have similar experience in his past life, thus naturally he could not plunder. But it was not his style anyway.

"There's no need. It'll only spell disaster for us if we have it," Li Xinyu said firmly.

Meng Qi shook his hands. "Without the Treasure Map, how can you calmly settle down in Destiny City for a long time? Make a copy and take it for your own use."

When it came to treasure-hunting, there ought to be someone to explore the place before him. It was not the best idea to hastily go himself. Additionally, he may not even have the time for it.

Seeing Meng Qi's sincerity, Zhang Zongxian tore a white cloth from the body and copied the map with blood. Then they left the original map on the deck, again giving a big bow, and left with the boat by the river.

Meng Qi put away the Treasure Map, and still he did not find any mission hint. He crouched down, worried, and uncovered Ennea Monkey's mask.

Behind the mask was a good looking middle-aged monk, his face frozen in shock and panic.

Meng Qi searched the monk's body and only found a peculiar token, neither gold nor wood. It felt cold to the touch, with a smiling monkey head carved on it.

"Is this identification of Twelve Animal Zodiac Gods?" Tossing the token, an idea came up to him. Meng Qi put on the mask and walked back and forth.

Since before the time-travel, he was deeply interested in various mysterious organizations, particularly those secret and powerful ones.

"I'll also establish a mysterious organization later and I'll be the mastermind... " Meng Qi relied on these thoughts to ease his mood. "What should I call it? Saint Seiya Knights of Goddess? But it doesn't seem right... "

Just then, a tired voice came from the direction of the river. "Is that Mr. Zodiac Monkey of Twelve Animal Zodiac Gods up front?"

"Ah?" Meng Qi was momentarily stunned. Was he regarded as Ennea Monkey just like this?

"I'm Duan Xiangfei. I'm here with a request for you." A shallop came down the river, with an old scholar standing on the bow.

"Mr. Leisure?" Meng Qi was rather stunned to see it was one of the Seven Grandmasters, Duan Xiangfei! What was it that he could not do himself, but needed to find Twelve Animal Zodiac Gods to complete?

If he denied he was the monkey now, Duan Xiangfei might kill him!

Though Meng Qi was really afraid, he decided to cautious in his pretense. Though, once he threw his mask away after Duan Xiangfei left, where will he even start looking for him?

Suddenly the blood on the deck started moving, shaping several words:

"You've triggered the Primary Mission. Pretend to be Zodiac Monkey and accept Duan Xiangfei's task in finding his son, Duan Mingcheng. If you succeed, you'll be rewarded 150 Karma points. If you fail, 150 Karma points will be deducted."

"You've triggered the Side Mission. Sneak into the Twelve Animal Zodiac Gods and find out its secret. If you succeed, you'll be rewarded 150 Karma points. If you fail, there's no punishment."