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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

66 The Sword God in White

 The place where Meng Qi saw Cui Xu was not the guest room of the Castellan Mansion, nor was its study, but the garden between the inner and outer yards.

Cui Xu was a thin middle-aged man, and it's not hard to tell that he was a handsome man in his younger days. Even now, he still hadn't lost his charm, wearing a handsome beard. Elegance just emanated from his bones, yet there was a sense of sternness about him.

He had four people by his side, two of whom Meng Qi had met before. One who was pretty, and liked wearing red was lady Cui Jinxiu, the other was the long-faced head constable Fei Zhengqing

The other two were a bit older than Fei Zhengqing. One was a stout old man, full of gray hair and wrinkles, yet with a ruddy complexion, his back straight and always wearing a smile on his face, which made him very approachable. The other was over fifty, with a red face, bushy eyebrows and a full head of hair.

Seeing this group of five, Meng Qi was a bit taken aback.

Lady Cui is here but I don't see Junior Castellan Cui Jinhua. Could it be that he has more pressing matters to attend to?

"Master Zhen Ding, do forgive my bold invitation." Though Cui Xu had always been stern, being a grandmaster, he never lacked the necessary formalities.

Meng Qi put his palms together and replied, "Amitabha, the twelve beasts have stirred up Jianghu, their hands are full of blood and have committed unforgivable sins. When I heard the Ennea Monkey had spilled blood with the Destiny city, even if the Castellan didn't invite me, I'd have invited myself."

After Cui Xu finished his greetings, his expression was stern again, he nodded and said, "Master Zhen Ding is very kind, I thank you on behalf of the citizens of Destiny City."

After a bit of chatter, Fei Zhengqing smiled and directed the topic, "Master Zhen Ding, you are a guest from afar, let me make some introductions. I'm Fei Zhengqing, head constable of Destiny City, and responsible for the arrest of the Ennea Monkey. This is You Tongguang, Mr. You, sworn brother of the Castellan, also known as the 'living God of Wealth'."

He pointed toward a smiling elder.

So this is You Tongguang...

Meng Qi greeted him commonly but memorized his looks, body type, and clothing.

"This is elder Mu Shan, the commander of the southern 18 waterways, also known as Third Master Mu, another sworn brother of the Castellan." Fei Zhengqing introduced the red-faced, bushy-bearded elder.

Mu Shan nodded slightly, suspiciously looking at Meng Qi.

"Needless for me to introduce my niece Jinxiu, I'm assuming you're already acquainted." Fei Zhengqing stopped smiling and said in earnest, "Master Zhen Ding, the fact that you can wound the Ennea Monkey means that you're a highly skilled martial artist. We need your help to arrest him."

"Ha." Mushan sniggered contemptuously, but he didn't make any over-the-top reactions.

"Head Constable Fei, feel free to ask anything." Due to the fact that the Ennea Monkey was of similar height to Meng Qi, he did not worry that Fei Zhengqing could figure out that it was he who was disguised as the "Ennea Monkey".

Fei Zhengqing nodded and said, "Master, first, I will apologize for my questioning, this is just the usual routine."

After he got the nod from Meng Qi, he started with the questions, "From where did you come and where did you meet the Ennea Monkey?"

"I come from the land of the extreme west. I was traveling the land, and when I was on the boat I saw the Ennea Monkey trying to kill Donor Zhang and his wife... " With Fei Zhengqing's questions, Meng Qi told Fei about his encounters with a mixture of both truth and falsehood. He boasted that his Bladesmanship was prodigious, and just managed to wound the Ennea Monkey, but the Ennea Monkey was trained in Thwart Kung Fu and escaped by faking his death.

Fei Zhengqing kept asking about the details, but Meng Qi had long prepared the answers in keeping with Zhang Zongxian's answers so as to be sure there weren't any contradictions.

"Master Zhen Ding truly is a grandmaster of the blade, such skilled bladesmanship of the Ennea Monkey, not to mention his Thwart Kung Fu was still no match for you. I must ashamedly confess that judging from lack of evidence from the effortless murder of Landlord Jin Ancheng, I'm afraid that I won't stand a chance against the Ennea Monkey." Fei Zhengqing said smiling, but his expressions showed a hint of suspicion.

Even if the Ennea Monkey was well-trained in Thwart Kung Fu and avoided serious harm, he was wounded earlier in the night and recovered later the same night, which seemed a bit too miraculous. It was too hard to believe unless the Ennea Monkey had reached the level where he's just half a step away from breaking through the human body's Secret Chamber.

If that were the case, then Zhen Ding, who faced him straight up, was at the same level, which was even much scarier given his age.

Before Meng Qi could answer, Mu Shan already let out a fake laugh. He gave Meng Qi a harsh stare and said, "Master Zhen Ding, your story is convincing, but I'm having trouble believing you, even a gifted genius cannot bypass painstaking practice!"

"Allow me, a dotage to test you personally!"

In the same instant, he drew a long blade from his hip and started attacking. Cui Xu, Fei Zhengqing, and You Tongguang made no attempt to stop him, instead, they watched Meng Qi with interest.

Meng Qi, who was sitting on the stone stool smiled, he didn't move, just lightly blocked with his own blade. Before Mu Shan's blade could truly stretch, Meng Qi's blade had already landed on his most vulnerable spot.

This wasn't the Blood Bladesmanship, nor the Blade Art of Five Tigers Cracking the Gate, it was, in fact, the "Ananda Oath-breaking Bladesmanship", which Meng Qi had been pondering for the past 7 months. He took out the relatively easy changes of the "Peace Quietude Split", and combined it with the two blade arts which he already knew and came up with a new style that did not involve blade-intentions.

Meng Qi hoped that in the future, he could invent a complete bladesmanship, favorable even during the enlightenment period.

Even without blade-intentions, or blade-charm and excitement, but just basing it on the standard of the Qi-cultivation period, these moves were considered refined and exquisite, giving off an indescribable charm.

Yet in this world, apart from the Seven Grandmasters whom he never fought with, Meng Qi reckoned the finest martial ar-tists were the ones who achieved advanced success of Qi-cultivation and got close to Enlightenment-For some reason, Meng Qi thought there was something missing when trained in this world, too many constraints and shackles. The efficiency could not compare to that when he was at Shaolin.

Seeing Meng Qi's ingenious blade motion, Cui Xu slightly squinted at him, and Fei Zhengqing and You Tongguang had no other expressions on their faces apart from focus and shock.

The power of the blade was blocked at the critical moment, Mu Shan just felt his blood boiling and breathing becoming difficult but he didn't give in. He clenched his teeth and changed forms, taking a diagonal step and sliding sideways.

Meng Qi neither moved his feet nor his body, he casually waved his blade and a loud clang erupted, cutting the weak point of Mu Shan's sword, forcing him to take a step back.

Mu Shan screamed in anger and attacked again, but his strikes all seemed to have been casually blocked by Meng Qi's blade and dissipated.

"Brother, stop trying, Master Zhen Ding's bladesmanship is marvelous." Cui Xu opened his mouth to stop Mu Shan attacking again, and used the word "marvelous" to describe Meng Qi's self-invented bladesmanship.

Mu Shan finally stopped, breathing heavily. In hindsight of what just happened, Mu Shan's ego shattered.

Upon hearing the compliment, Meng Qi smiled and said, "I'm not worthy of Castellan's high praise."

His newly invented bladesmanship was still very scattered and unsystematic, the changes in form were not linked either. If he kept battling, he would've lost the marvel effect, and show the weaknesses, he then would've had to have gotten up from the stone stool and into the fight stance. If he were forced to use "Lightning Changes" like last night when he was desperately trying to hold on, then Fei Zhengqing would have definitely recognized it.

Hence, Cui Xu intervened just at the right moment.

Cui Xu turned to look at Fei Zhengqing, he was full of shock and gravely shook his head, indicating that this Bladesmanship was far different from that of the Ennea Monkey, two completely different levels.

Ennea Monkey's bladesmanship, aside from the common big movements, had a hint of ghostly weirdness, whether the blade or body movements, all were unpredictable and evil. In contrast, Master Zhen Ding's bladesmanship gave off a sense of maxim, refined and exquisite.

Lady Cui Jinxiu couldn't close her mouth from the moment Meng Qi drew his blade, intensely watching the battle, she then said embarrassingly, "Master, you were holding back so much when I battled you... "

I thought that my skills could compare with the Master and Ennea Monkey...

Cui Xu stood up, cupping one hand in the other before his chest and said, "I had thought that since the Ennea Monkey had been wounded, I suspected that the Ennea Monkey from last night was in fact disguised by the master. I see that I've made a grave mistake for ever doubting Master, I beg for your forgiveness."

He apologized and confessed honestly.

"I understand the Castellan's urgency." Meng Qi replied "honestly".

Just as he was about to ask details about "Ennea Monkey's" crime, a servant came from the outside garden, his face was in shock and fright.

"Castellan, Castellan, something bad has happened!" He screamed, waving a piece of red paper.

Everyone turned, including Meng Qi, Cui Xu said in a low voice, "Calm down and tell us slowly."

The servant took two big breaths, he presented the red paper and said, "Castellan, this is a challenge invitation from the Sword God in White. He will come to challenge you in seven days."

The word had already spread, which was why he didn't hold back in front of Meng Qi.

"God of Sword in White!" was it Luo Qing?

It's him! One of the Seven Grandmasters!

This would be a rare battle between two grandmasters!

Meng Qi and the others were all stunned, but Cui Xu's face didn't change, "I've long wanted to test myself against Master Luo's sword art."

By saying this, he pretty much accepted the challenge. This battle of the grandmasters could not be avoided!

"This truly is the season of troubles... " Yong Tongguang and Fei Zhengqing both sighed.

Because of this incident, their focus had been moved away from the Ennea Monkey, they talked with Meng Qi for a bit and saw him out.

"They're using the same tone as the rumors outside. What are they trying to hide? Perhaps they're afraid of alerting the enemies?" This incident was hard to figure out, which made Meng Qi scratch his head.

"Anyhow, this incident is quite a big deal, meaning You Tongguang would not get home until late, which has given me an opportunity." Meng Qi thought to himself.

You Tongguang might be the Snow God Palace's traitor. He might know "Transformation Strategy" and other strange forms of martial arts. Meng Qi did not go straightly knocking on the door like he did with Jin Ancheng, instead, he planned to check out the surroundings first.

Additionally, Meng Qi wanted to take this opportunity and find a way to complete a side task.

...

Just as it was getting dark, Meng Qi, who had been staking out You's Mansion to make sure Yong Tongguang hadn't returned, put on his night-traveling cloak and mask and sneaked into You Tongguang's library.

There was nothing out of the ordinary in You Tongguang's library aside from a mutton-fat nephrite, which looked extremely valuable.

Meng Qi then searched You Tongguang's bedroom and found no clues relating to the Snow God Palace. So he went back to the library and found a piece of blank paper. He intentionally changed his handwriting to emulate Master Thief Chu Liuxiang and wrote,

"I've heard that you owned the white jade joss, which was done with uncanny workmanship carved by highly skilled man, so I yearned for it and had a visit today, it deserves its reputation as expected."

"While it's not right for a guest to take it without notice in advance, I leave this letter to sincerely tell you that I will get it in six days when the moon hangs in the sky. You are always reasonable and lofty so you must not make me go back fruitlessly."

"Yours, Ennea Monkey."