Fantasy Romance Xianxia Anime Sci-fi Historical WNMTL
Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

65 Word on the Stree

 Wu Fengyu was both shocked and frightened when he remembered what happened last night. He had no idea why he was attacked.

He monetarily dazed before he started searching himself. Apart from the night-traveling cloak, he did not lose anything or receive any particular wounds.

"What happened?" He was full of fear and confusion. When he lifted his head, he saw a familiar face sizing him up.

Zhu Mingyuan... A thought suddenly popped into Wu Fengyu's head. Last night, it was his partner trying to kill him.

Zhu Mingyuan had a serious expression. With a half-smile, he said, "Old Wu, whose home are you sleeping in here? Did your wife kick you out?"

"I drank too much last night and some hobo took my clothes!" Wu Fengyu answered, clenching his teeth. Suddenly a scary thought appeared in his mind. Could this be a warning to him for trying to harm Zhu Mingyuan's family?

He was more convinced the more he thought about it. He noticed Zhu Mingyuan appeared more cautious and wondered if there was someone powerful protecting the man.

Zhu Mingyuan saw the blade next to Wu Fengyu and laughed coldly. "Seems like you're really distressed over losing the parcel and don't know how to face Old You?"

"Alas..." Wu Fengyu sighed. Only he could understand his own feelings.

...

As daybreak was approaching, Meng Qi found an abandoned temple and slept for half a day to recover his strength.

He did not leave the temple until it was time for lunch. With his blade on his side, he found a crowded restaurant and walked in.

"Young master, you've come to the right place. Exquisite Dining Building has the best vegetarian dishes in town..." The waiter welcomed him as soon as he stepped in, making introductions.

"Amitabha. Please find a quiet spot for this poor monk and bring four of your top vegetarian dishes." Meng Qi did not care much for vegetarian food, so he was not picky. He came in to hear the word on the street. From the waiter's attitude, he could see that the monks here do not eat meat to avoid prying eyes when trying to find information.

"Coming right up!" The waiter cried, extending his syllables. "One guest, four top vegetarian dishes..."

As he screamed, he showed Meng Qi to a corner. He took off the tea-towel hanging on his shoulder and gave the table another wipe.

After he sat down, Meng Qi pretended to be resting his eyes as he listened carefully to the conversations around him.

"Did you hear? Jin Ancheng of Heaven Fragrance Building is dead!"

"What? The Hell Killings Hands died?"

Seeing the shock on his friends' faces, the one bragging said smugly, "Why would I lie to you? My brother-in-law works in the precinct. He went with Head Constable Fei last night to examine Jin Ancheng's body."

Meng Qi was confused to hear this.

Did Fei Zhengqing try to hide the cause of Jin Ancheng's death?

"We believe you, but it's just a little shocking! It's Jin Ancheng, the Yama Deadly Hands! He earned his nickname from trampling over other dead bodies. He escaped death so many times that we thought he'd live a long and affluent life. Who knew the heavens would have other ideas?" said a chubby merchant, a hint of joy in his voice.

"People like him rarely die peacefully..."

"Heh. It must be chaotic at Heaven Fragrance Building right now. The Jin brothers are a handful."

The guests at the surrounding tables had started discussing Jin Ancheng's death upon hearing the news.

The chubby, merchant-like bloke continued, "Brother Cao, do you know what caused Jin Ancheng's death?"

The one who answered Brother Cao coughed. Under many eager eyes, he had a sip of his tea and pretended a bit, before answering, "He was killed by Ennea Monkey of the Twelve Beasts."

"What? The Twelve Beasts?"

"Ennea Monkey?"

Sounds of shock and fear were heard, as if the Twelve Beasts were devils and the source of their nightmares.

Meng Qi's mouth twitched. Fei Zhengqing seemed to have pinned Jin Ancheng's death on him to cover up for the suspected culprit, Snow God Palace traitor. What was the point for him to do so?

A few moments later, the chubby merchant collected himself. "Brother Cao? Was it really Ennea Monkey? Jin Ancheng is considered one of the best fighters of the southern five states. Not many could take his life."

The battle record of the Twelve Beasts was incomplete. For some, people regarded them to be grandmasters. The rest, people doubted they could even defeat a skilled master like Jin Ancheng. Ennea Monkey belonged to the latter group, which was why people were doubtful. When any of the Twelve Beasts killed, provided they were not in a rush, they would leave their sign behind to add to their legend.

"A monkey-faced mask was left behind and Jin Ancheng's throat was slit in one motion... " Brother Cao went on to explain the details.

One motion? Perhaps they were trying to cover up the sword wound on his throat...

Meng Qi smiled as he watched the waiter bring him his vegetarian dishes. It was quite nice when he gave them a taste. Going vegetarian once in a while really refreshed the body.

A wave of gasps later, people were chattering among themselves.

"Aren't the Twelve Beasts too terrifying? They killed even Landlord Jin..."

"That's right. It has long been rumored that the Twelve Beasts were the strangest, scariest, and most mysterious group. I didn't believe it at first, but after today, I know it's not just a tale!"

"They dare to commit murder in Destiny City. Aren't they worried about angering the great Castellan?"

"I heard Zodiac Dragon and Primus Rat are grandmasters who fear no one!"

"Never mind them, you can't underestimate Ennea Monkey's strength either. Jin Ancheng has always been ranked in the top 20 skilled martial artists in Destiny City and the southern five states. Seeing as Ennea Monkey could easily kill him, his Kung Fu is perhaps on par with Head Constable Fei."

"Who cares? I just know he's not someone we want to mess with."

During their discussion, their fear of Ennea Monkey had increased quite a bit.

"Why did Ennea Monkey want to kill Jin Ancheng?" the chubby merchant asked curiously.

Brother Cao sneered. "Twelve Beasts never reveal their tasks or explain their reasons, but Head Constable Fei suspects it has something to do with the disappearance of Duan Mingcheng, Lord Duan's son. Perhaps there's some big secret behind it."

Everyone had their own opinion about Duan Mingcheng's disappearance, meaning that Meng Qi could not get any meaningful information out of them. He slowly finished his vegetarian dishes, paid the waiter, and left the restaurant. He walked in the direction of the watergate.

The information that Mr. Leisure, Duan Xiangfei, had provided did have some notes on the Snow God Palace traitor. It seemed like Duan Xiangfei had done some investigation of his own.

The traitor that Duan Xiangfei had discovered was called Wu Cheng, the owner of a northern goods shop near the watergate. He usually stayed indoors, but loved befriending the poor.

After leaving the Jinshui bridge, Meng Qi came to the most affluent part of the city. It was also where Heaven Fragrance Building was situated, but he did not go through there. He stayed away and went around to avoid the place.

Inside the North-South Pass shop, Meng Qi was holding a string of sanders beads and smiling. He asked the shop attendant, "These Buddha beads aren't too bad, but do you have something better?"

"Something better?" The attendant looked him up and down. Judging from Meng Qi's clothes, he was just a common monk. What could he afford?

When Meng Qi took out a handful of silvers from his pocket, the attendant immediately smiled and said, "We do indeed have better beads. Allow me to go and get the owner."

Duan Xiangfei had told him that once an item exceeds a certain price, the shop manager would have to get the owner, for it was beyond his decision, by which time Wu Cheng himself would come out, Meng Qi just used Duan Xiangfei's method.

Moments later, a plain-looking man about 30 years old walked in. He was holding a string of Buddha beads. With a smile, he said, "Young Master, this is made of Aloeswood from the south sea. It calibrates Qi and calms you down."

Meng Qi gently rubbed the beads, a heady aroma rising to his nose. It was a strong yet not overpowering smell, giving off a calming feeling.

"Not bad. I didn't think a northern goods store has Buddha beads from the south sea," Meng Qi said casually.

Wu Cheng kept smiling. "The shop is called The North-South Pass. We naturally carry products from both the north and the south. Are you happy with these beads?"

"Very satisfied." Meng Qi reckoned these beads were beneficial for his cultivation and practice. He did not mind buying it. He looked up and down Wu Cheng and said seriously, "Donor, I see that dark clouds have covered your aurora. You're in for some strife in the near future."

Wu Cheng's smile disappeared immediately. He wanted to give the monk a good beating. Damn these Jianghu frauds. If he believed him, the monk would make these beads the key object that could block his troubles, allowing the monk to leave with the beads without paying.

His expression fell and he said, "I've never believed in Buddhism, Young Master. Please see yourself out."

Meng Qi said nothing else. He laughed coldly and left the store.

If the average person was cursed, they would at least be angered and yell insults. But Wu Cheng was a little too polite, making him more suspicious. It was inconvenient to move around during the day, so Meng Qi decided to return to check things out at night.

After walking around for a bit, Meng Qi decided to return to the abandoned temple. When he got close, he saw Zhang Zongxian pacing out in front.

"Donor Zhang, are you looking for me?" Meng Qi walked up to him.

Zhang Zongxian was a little startled. He said, "Master Zhen Ding, Castellan Cui invites you to have a chat in his home."

"Castellan Cui?" Meng Qi was surprised. He had not expected things to proceed so fast.

Zhang Zongxian replied bitterly, "Ennea Monkey has popped up again and killed Landlord Jin. Master, you have fought him. That's why Castellan Cui and Head Constable Fei want to ask you some questions to see if they can find any clues."

"Ennea Monkey appeared again? I struck him with my blade! He was wounded quite severely!" Meng Qi acted like he was shocked. He had long practiced this reaction.

Zhang Zongxian looked at Meng Qi oddly. "Master, I have my suspicions too. Even if your strike didn't kill him, it would at least force him to lay flat on his back for a couple of weeks. Unless the killer is an impostor?"

"Perhaps Ennea Monkey is trained in Thwart Kung Fu as well. It's my oversight," Meng Qi answered hastily. "Donor Zhang, did you tell Castellan Cui about my battle with Ennea Monkey?"

Fei Zhengqing and the rest were exceptional bladesman and well-trained in Achievement of the Pure Body. Besides, they had almost killed Ennea Monkey in the past. If Zhang Zongxian told Cui Xu, it would not be hard for Fei Zhengqing, an experienced Jianghu person and a constable, to figure out Ennea Monkey from last night was, in fact, Meng Qi in disguise.

Zhang Zongxian shook his head. "That's your personal business. I dare not discuss it with others. So I said that it was chaotic and that I simply saw how you struck Ennea Monkey's abdomen with your blade in the last moments. My wife and I said nothing to the Castellan about the Treasure Map. We just told him it was a copy."

Meng Qi looked at Zhang Zongxian deeply and saw the honesty in his eyes. He felt at ease and sighed. "I'll follow you to the manor right away."

If it was up to people like Gu Xiaosang, Zhang Zongxian and his wife would have long been killed a hundred times over to prevent the secret from being leaked. But he cannot do that. Either way, he had already accepted the main task. As long as he can find Duan Mingcheng, it was not a big deal not to have Ennea Monkey's identity as a cover. So it did not matter if the couple accidentally leaked his secret. At most, it would just hinder his chances of completing his auxiliary task.