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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

75 Two Wily Old Foxes

 Raising his eyebrows lightly, Meng Qi followed his gaze and turned around. He saw a silhouette at the side of course way where the firelight was dim. Wearing a silk head dress and frock, the grey-haired, thin-faced man was none other than Mr. Leisure, Duan Xiangfei.

His appearance was not abrupt, as if he had appeared out of thin air. Rather, it reminded Meng Qi that he had simply never noticed where he stood before. It gave him the feeling what seemed like an imperceptible fog obscuring his eyes had disappeared.

A transparent jade fell from the top of course way, separating Meng Qi and Duan Xiangfei.

"I kept feeling that I was being stalked along the way, but I didn't have any clues. I'm surprised to find it's you, Mr. Leisure. How have you been since we last met?" Meng Qi suddenly understood what was going on.

With his hands behind his back, Duan Xiangfei still remained calm despite being trapped in course way. He smiled. "I'm worried about my son's life and had to follow you. I didn't expect you'd turn out to be a fake."

"Being a fake doesn't make me incapable." Neither did Meng Qi panic. He sighed and said, "So you're the one who killed Frost Herald? Why did you kill them all?"

"That's simple." An elegant voice came from the entrance of the course way. Cui Xu, in plain frock and wearing a wooden hairpin, was standing there before they noticed him. This was precisely why Duan Xiangfei did not immediately run to escape.

With a sword in his hand, Cui Xu wore a cold expression with dim eyes in his face. He said,

"He's the ruler of Snow God Palace."

Meng Qi clapped. "No wonder! Mr. Leisure, your Transformation Strategy was so marvelous that I didn't notice you following me along the way."

"It's just a laughable, small trick." Duan Xiangfei did not deny Cui Xu's words. "I killed Frost Herald because Cui Xu and his men were nearby. If Cui Xu caught them and heard what they've told you, he'd find out about my identity."

He paused, turning towards to Cui Xu. "Old Cui, when did you start suspecting me?"

Cui Xu did not hurry to attack, but said coldly, "When we were investigating Ming Cheng's case, all evidence indicated Snow God Palace. Yet you were unconcerned and simply left with the excuse of bad parent-child relationship. Others may believe you, but I don't. I was thinking you wouldn't have done that unless you were sure Snow God Palace wasn't involved. But how could you confirm that?"

"And thinking of the dirty deal of Treasure Map between Snow God Palace and Ming Cheng and his disguise as a playboy to conceal his powerful Kong Fu, I roughly understood. I was not sure, so I looped you with this fake Ennea Monkey."

Duan Xiangfei smiled bitterly. "Exactly. Only the master of Snow God Palace could confirm that it wasn't the work of Snow God Palace. I thought Ming Cheng couldn't bear the cruel torture and told you that."

"Ming Cheng is a true man. If you're not the master of Snow God Palace, he may be very suitable for you." Cui Xu rarely complimented others.

"I suspected then that you had abducted Ming Cheng, but I was afraid of exposing my identity. So I made use of Ennea Monkey to investigate this case. Yet I didn't expect you're the one who formed Twelve Animal Zodiac Gods. I deserve this failure." Duan Xiangfei sighed.

"You're really a scheming old fox. If Ennea Monkey's identity wasn't exposed ahead of time and you faced great threats, you'd be safe and sound." Cui Xu nodded, praising Duan Xiangfei. He seemed to want his old friend to die with complete understanding of the situation.

Duan Xiangfei crackled. "How could I be more cunning than you? I couldn't even distract you after I incited Luo Qing to challenge you."

"So you're the one who sent Luo Qing. No wonder the timing of his appearance was perfect. If not for Senior Monk Zhen Ding who could pose a threat to him, I wouldn't have escaped so easily. My senior brother alone couldn't stop you."

The truth hit Duan Xiangfei. He said, "So that's why. The Hare abducting You Hongbo made it hard for me to figure out that you're behind Twelve Animal Zodiac Gods. But when I left, how could Luo Qing be so badly hurt even if he had lost the upper hand?"

"I lent him a hand later on. So Luo Qing sent me a letter to put off the duel for seven days," Cui Xu said, as if he was talking about something trivial.

Duan Xiangfei said with a sneer, "How could Luo Qing who first opened his mental Secret Chamber defeat you? You must've opened one of Vitality or Vigor Secret Chambers, haven't you?"

"Yes, it's the Energy Secret Chambers. Brother Duan, you said you opened Vitality and Vigor Secret Chambers. But it looks like you lied. You must've accomplished Transformation Strategy instead." Cui Xu nodded slightly.

Laughing, Duan Xiangfei said, "With Transformation Strategy, the mental Secret Chamber is comparatively easy. I opened Mentality and Vigor Secret Chambers."

"You're honest," Cui Xu said, expression unchanging.

Duan Xiangfei smiled. "It doesn't matter since one of us must die today. There's no problem to be honest."

"You can't win. This course way is interspersed with mechanisms that could launch numerous arrows. Each of those equals a sword of 70% or 80% of my power. My brother had fabricated the missing of the 300 Sky Fulminator of Thunderbolt Hall to bury them here. But to attack Luo Qing, we had to use this thing to lure You Hongbo who's ignorant of the matter. To dispel your suspicion, we had no choice but to give up." Cui Xu coldly described the traps. "But with me around, it doesn't matter."

These two wily old foxes! Meng Qi's mouth twitched, feeling like he was a chess piece for them to sound out each other!

Humph. Whether they had schemed for a long time or were simply farsighted, he only knew he was not that easy to deal with! Meng Qi clenched his fists quietly.

When Duan Xiangfei was about to speak, Meng Qi suddenly said, "Mr. Leisure, please make sure that this man lying here is Duan Mingcheng."

Cui Xu, Duan Xiangfei, and You Tongguang all looked at him doubtfully, wondering why he was concerned about this.

"It's indeed my son." Duan Xiangfei nodded after overcoming his surprise.

Meng Qi grinned, showing his white teeth. "My task here is done. Mr. Leisure, where's my remuneration?"

Their doubtful expressions all turned into sneers, as if they were looking at an idiot. At this time, he was still thinking of about his task? He should talk about if after leaving this place safely! If he can, that was!

Cold air began to surge inside the ice cellar, condensing several words again:

"Duan Mingcheng was found."

"You've completed the main task. Your reward is 150 Karma points."

"You can't return while you're in a battle. You can choose to return within one hour after getting out of it."

Meng Qi was stunned. He thought he would be able to return at once, but this was within his expectations as well as he had considered the possibility of something like this happening."

Alright. At least he could go back as long as finishing his battle. He did not have to worry about his wounds or whether he would die at all!

Thinking of this, his will to fight surged and he held his Buddhist Commandment Blade tighter.

"Master Zhen Ding, do you think I'll prepare your remuneration?" Duan Xiangfei answered scornfully.

Meng Qi grinned, showing his teeth. "I don't want any of the remuneration you promised now. I only want Transformation Strategy. For Castellan Cui to trap you here and talk to you so much, I assume he's also aiming for the same thing."

After a short shock, Cui Xu collected himself and said, "Brother Duan, repeat the secret of the boundary between humans and gods in Transformation Strategy. Don't get wise with me. You should know I can figure out whether it's true based on my knowledge of Mentality Secret Chamber. If you cooperate with me, Ming Cheng could survive. If not, I'll kill you both."

"I don't understand why you're so desperate for this," Duan Xiangfei said after thinking.

Cui Xu shifted his eyes from Duan Xiangfei and Meng Qi towards the coffin inside the ice cellar. His expression became soft. "As I improve my cultivation base, I become more convinced of the existence of the boundary of humans and gods. The key is the Mentality Secret Chamber. If I could get Transformation Strategy to improve my Primal Aperture at Mid-brows, I could break through the boundary of humans and gods and ascend to the heaven. At the time, I could do whatever I want and even bring the dead back to life."

"Your longing is deep." Duan Xiangfei sighed.

Cui Xu looked back, saying, "You can choose not to tell. I have Treasure Map. I'll end up getting it anyway."

"So Jin Hua have yet to make it to Treasure Land. I thought of kidnapping him as our hostage." Shaking his head, Duan Xiangfei said, "You're so prudent."

"He's just in hiding to give you hope so you'll be lured in." Cui Xu gave a rare smile.

Duan Xiangfei looked back at Duan Mingcheng and laughed at himself. "Ah, when you become old, you find it hard to be away from your sons and grandchildren. Well, listen carefully. 'Keep your heart bright and your mind in the Primal Aperture'..."

Cui Xu was not the only one who was listening carefully, so were Meng Qi and You Tongguang.

Transformation Strategy is the kungfu that exclusively cultivated Primal Aperture at Mid-brows. The whole book only contained five chapters about a thousand words. With Duan Xiangfei's slow retelling, they gradually made it to the end of the book.

"'One round object comes from chaos'..."

Before he finished his words, Duan Xiangfei suddenly jumped at Cui Xu like a puff of green smoke. His hands got green and his figure was dimly discernible.

Though his sword art was powerful, but his key power lied in Transformation Strategy!

So the five fingers cut off from his right hand did not impair his strength!

Meng Qi, You Tongguang and Cui Xu were all distracted by the final and key chapter of Transformation Strategy, so they froze for a moment.

But how was Cui Xu an ordinary person? With his concentrated Primal Aperture and his mind, he quickly collected himself and stamped heavily on the floor.

Holes abruptly appeared on the walls of the course way where numerous crossbows peeked out. Wind howled and arrows rained on them like waterfalls. It was hard to dodge them for they came from both sides.

Moving quickly and twisting his body, Duan Xiangfei dodged the parade of crossbows and arrows and he shunned many. But there were so many crossbows that he was shot and bled like pools.

Although Meng Qi and Duan Xiangfei were separated, what Cui Xu stepped were all locks that triggered mechanisms. Therefore, crossbows peppered them from both sides.

Instead of using Lightning Changes, Meng Qi curled into a ball and protected his weak points like his deutocebrum.

The crossbows whizzed past, hitting Meng Qi. Even though he turned his body, he was punctured like a hedgehog.

There was a moment when the heaven and earth disappeared. So did the crossbows. After a round, no crossbows came from the holes.

Duan Xiangfei's frock was dyed with blood after being shot by some eight crossbows, but he remained embroiled in a fight against Cui Xu.

Meng Qi stood up slowly. His back and body were shot by numerous arrows, causing unstoppable bleeding. The blood dyed the arrows and his white frock. With his bloody body and his golden face, he did not resemble a monk, but rather a hungry ghost returning from hell.

His injuries were heavy. Were it not for Golden Bell Shield healing them, he would have already died. But the shield was nearly broken.

"Open!" With glowering eyes, he crashed forcibly into the wall.

The shield was nearly broken, but Meng Qi still kept some inner force. The cultivation of the shield enhanced his strength, allowing him to crack the ice wall.

Bang! The ice wall cracked open. You Tongguang slowly extended his hands towards Meng Qi. He wanted to take advantage of Meng Qi's injured state and unsteadiness to take his life!

At this exact moment, he saw a black cylinder appearing in Meng Qi's hands!