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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

88 The Vast Gobi Deser

 The transformations of An Guoxie's palms came one after another, sealing off Meng Qi's retreating lines. But Meng Qi was not at all phased. He retreated to the left and suddenly front-stepped. His body movements were uncanny to the point of being unpredictable.

Meng Qi was well aware that the power of his 4th level Golden Bell Shield had increased by 30 percent with the integration of

the Bone Conditioning Chapter of the Yijin Scripture.

But when facing a skilled martial artist with Nine Apertures opened, he could be defeated with just one palm. Hence, he could either avoid battle all together or put his life on the line and go all in and try to find a chance to run away!

With all Nine Apertures opened, An Guoxie's senses were heightened. He saw through Meng Qi's dodging paths by the way Meng Qi's muscles and skin changed. He crossed his palms and blocked the front of Meng Qi's skull as if the left side of Meng Qi's face had bumped into his palm.

However, An Guoxie's palms felt no resistance. It was like striking nothing but air!

He knew something was wrong, and thus retreated his hands to protect his body.

Meng Qi felt his mid-brow swell and a prickling pain in his skull. He had forcefully used the Transformation Strategy to create these hallucinations for a chance to escape. How could he let this opportunity slip away?

Hence, he was steeped in a world of peace and calm until the Buddhist Commandment Blade came at him. Then all sorts of noises and feelings started coming back, disrupting his peace and Zen.

Blade light flashed like a candle in the wind.

In his trance-like state, An Guoxie could make out that a stubborn young man was coming at him with his blade. He had no choice but to face him. The grand-master had said that the one who lost in a battle must die. Even if he were facing his own brother, he could not show mercy.

His palm hit the opponent, but Meng Qi did not resist as he had predicted. He saw only a pair of smiling eyes showing a sense of relief.

Brother!

He felt a piercing pain inside his heart and body, making him come to his senses. He realized that the Buddhist Commandment Blade had already broken the skin on his neck.

Damn Bald Ass!

His spine suddenly started to move and twist on its own accord, like a snake, allowing the Buddhist Commandment Blade to slide past his skin and muscle.

He grabbed the Buddhist Commandment Blade with his right hand.

Even though the blade had cut through his skin and blood was spraying, he was afraid to make a move!

How could a monk who had not yet enlightened the acupores possess such frightening blade skills!

If it were not for his mastery of Violent Sand Super Force, which required the rendering of all his bones, this blade hit would have severely wounded him!

-For a skilled master who possessed the Protective Upstanding Qi, even if the Buddhist Commandment Blade could cut through his Upstanding Qi, his neck would still be protected. At most, the blade could cut his air pipes and severely injure him!

Yet Meng Qi pulled his blade after just one hit and exerted the move "Arresting Wind and Capturing Shadow" of the Moves of Wind-god's Legs and escaped to somewhere outside the community!

He was so fast; it was like he was riding the wind!

Meng Qi knew that one "Peace Quietude Split" blade strike was not enough to kill this skilled master who had all his Nine Apertures opened, so he had decided in the beginning to defend by attacking first. He knew that if he was quick enough with his first move, he would force An Guoxie to focus on defense and retreat. This would be his opportunity to escape!

He had made good use of the timing!

But he could not escape back to the inn where he had stayed before because An Guoxie was blocking the path. So he had to escape to the Immensity Sea.

After practicing

the Bone Conditioning Chapter of the Yijin Scripture

, Meng Qi no longer felt exhaustion after using "Peace Quietude Split". Although he had no strength left to make another of such strikes, he had enough in the tank to exert the move "Arresting Wind and Capturing Shadow" for escape!

Having been baffled by the Transformation Strategy and wounded in the neck by the "Peace Quietude Split", An Guoxie had instantly fallen into a disadvantageous position, without the chance to even catch his breath. He had depended on the special state of his body to block Meng Qi's blade. After Meng Qi retrieved his blade, An Guoxie took a step back to catch his breath so that he could gather himself and get into a stance. He was prepared to put an end to this little Bald Ass with his palm.

As he was about to lift his hand to block, he saw Meng Qi disappear to the other side of the street like a gust of wind. Meng Qi's movements were graceful. He did not stand a chance to chase after him.

"I'm going to kill you! You damn Bald Ass!" An Guoxie screamed, grinding his teeth. He felt like he had been played like a fool.

With the help of the wind, Meng Qi quickly ran off to the outskirts of the community, and into the Gobi Desert. There, sand was swirling in the air, providing a timely cover.

Having learned from the recent Samsara tasks, he constantly changed directions and routes, cleaned up his tracks and created some dummy traces. He was afraid to let his guard down for even a second.

An Guoxie covered his neck with his left hand as blood dripped down. The cut which was so deep that bones were showing was slowly healing, just like in the desert where every trace would be covered up after sandy wind.

"He could actually project his will and create hallucinations? Could it be that there exists a way to break through the Hidden Latch of the mid-brows?" An Guoxie, "The White-headed Vulture", did not immediately chase after him but instead carefully recalled the details of the battle. There had been an unusual thing.

He had already opened up his Eye Aperture, Ear Aperture, Nose Aperture, and the other six Innate Apertures, which meant he had the ability to overcome hallucinations. He could not imagine how a little monk who had not reached enlightenment could do Will-projecting and disrupt his senses and create hallucinations. He had been blind-sided because of his carelessness. Not only had he lost his advantage but he had almost lost his life.

What he had seen shocked him.

"I, with Nine Apertures opened, had yet to break through the life-death Hidden Latch of my mid-brows and link the bridge between heaven and earth so as to step into the Half-step Exterior Scenery realm. Yet a little monk who had not even reached enlightenment could do it? How could this be?"

Could there really be some special training? Or a major secret?

His

bladesmanship

was scary too. It had the feel of the

grand-master's

"Haunter's 18 Slaps"!

An Guoxie could not help but feel excited when thinking about advancing past his current knot, which was the inability to break through the Hidden Latching of his mid-brow. The anger he felt looking in the direction where Meng Qi had disappeared had now turned into pining and jealousy.

He laughed coldly and said to himself, "You could've gone anywhere, yet you chose to escape to the Immensity Sea. You have no idea what's coming for you!"

He was a bandit who often roamed the Immensity Sea of Death and the surrounding Oasis alone. He was also friendly with Ze Luoju, one of the leaders of the horse bandits from the Immensity Sea. This meant that he was very familiar with the landscape and weather changes. How could a newcomer compete with that?

An Guuoxie was confident that even if Meng Qi had entered the Immensity Sea for a while, and had the time to cover his tracks, he could still capture him and torture him for his script, given his knowledge on the unique Gobi Desert "language".

He started moving his body and headed for the Immensity Sea. He dove into the sandstorm like a snake moving in the sand, disappearing in just seconds.

The Gobi Desert was different from ordinary deserts in that the sand granules were bigger, more like small stones. It was not as attractive as fine yellow sand and there were no hidden streams gushing out to form a sand lake. The Gobi Desert seemed even more barren because the rare appearance of a water hole, small lake, or bits of green with some antelope or camels could not soften the feeling of desolation. In fact, the contrasts made people feel worse.

Many large rocks that had been corroded by wind were still erect in the Gobi Desert, the shapes of which were twisted and terrifying like stone monsters. Meng Qi was hiding in the gaps between some of these rocks, harmonizing his Qi-circulation through meditation and preparing for what lied ahead.

He exhaled deeply, took out a small porcelain bottle and poured the wax-sealed elixirs out.

When he sliced open the wax with his thumb, a heady aroma rushed to his nostrils, making his body and heart feel light and at ease.

"No wonder it's called the Heavenly Acumen Pill. It does indeed live up to its name... " Meng Qi gasped in admiration.

Meng Qi had escaped to this spot. As he had achieved some success in his practice of the Primal Aperture at Mid-brows and he could project his will somewhat, he seemed to be having a slight mysterious intuition too. He constantly felt that An Guoxie was on his tail and had almost caught up with him, so it was fortunate that he had changed routes.

But Will-projecting was extremely taxing on Meng Qi's body. His head was swelling, and he was too exhausted to hold on. So when he found this spot, he decided to rest and regulate his Qi to try and open the Eye Aperture - Meng Qi had planned on doing it these last couple of days anyway. The only difference was that he could not fast or burn incense, otherwise, everything was the same.

Once I am in the enlightenment period, then the difference in levels between me and An Guoxie will not be so great. Though the difference in strength still exists, at least I will be able to counter a bit and find a better chance to escape. Perhaps I will exceed An Guoxie's judgment of my strength and he will not tail me so closely.

After stripping away the wax, a light teal colored elixir appeared before Meng Qi's eyes and the aroma still surrounded him.

Meng Qi was afraid that the elixir might dissipate, so he swallowed the Heavenly Acumen Pill without hesitation.

It melted in his mouth. It felt as if a stream of energy had entered his chest.

Meng Qi shut his eyes and slowly cultivated the elixir's strength. At first, he felt calm. Then gradually he felt his eyes swell, and the darkness before his eyes had turned into light as if someone had lit a big fire.

He knew he had reached the crucial moment, so he practiced the last chapter of the 4th level of the Golden Bell Shield. His skin started to form a dark golden glow, and rays of light gathered around his eyes.

The dark sight that was now full of fire had gathered all nine Aperture acupoints and each was lit up like a star. The light was so pure and bright that it penetrated straight through the heart.

He continued activating the Golden Bell Shield. A faint dark spot could be seen between the nine "stars". It soaked up all the light as if it ha been invisible.

This was the big secret of the body, with the Nine Inborn Apertures concealed in it. It would not have been found was it not for the concentration of the associated acupore point.

The rays of light that had appeared around Meng Qi's eyes had been integrated and the genuine Qi from the Golden Bell Shield had traveled up the peculiar path and blended with the power of the Heavenly Acumen Pill. It headed towards the line which joined the nine "stars"!

Bang!

Meng Qi's head felt numb and he felt the pain of his spirit tearing. His inner organs felt as if they were being twisted and his eyes like they were being gouged out. If it were not for the power of the "Heavenly Acumen Pill", Meng Qi would have fallen into hallucinations and suffered Qi-deviancy Derangement.

Bang!

The integrated "light rays" had surpassed the extremity of what the Eye Aperture could hold. Rays of light burst out and lit up the darkness, which in turn put out the fire clouds.

Bang!

Meng Qi could not help opening his eyes, and when he did, it seemed like light rays shot out. His face was blue, and he was within an inch of his life.

But all this soon disappeared, leaving only a pair of dark eyes.

The patterns of the stones, which concealed the secrets and rhythms of mother nature, appeared before Meng Qi's eyes.

The sky was blue as always, the wind was still dry, and the granules of sand were still gloomy. Everything was back to normal, but in Meng Qi's eyes, there was a vastly different feeling. He felt as if he could see everything more clearly, deeply and in more detail.

For example, there were large granules and gravel in the sand, and every single granule had a unique pattern.

Such as how the Gobi Desert brought with it a sense of death, a sense of desolation. It seemed so profound and heavy.

For instance, the objects that had been swooped up by the sand, now appeared slower and more apparent.

Moreover, all that had been split in the past now seemed to be joined by invisible lines, forming a kind of indescribable entirety.

Mountains were no longer mountains and water was no longer water. This was the feeling Meng Qi had after opening his Eye Aperture.

There was a possibility of opening his Eye Acupores just with the "Heavenly Acumen Pill", but after half a year of practicing

the Chapter of Muscle and Vessel Changing and Bone Forging

, it seemed like a natural progression.

"It's no wonder that the stored Qi could be suppressed during the enlightenment period. Once the Eye Aperture has been opened, the opponent's moves would seem to be 'in slow motion', and I could see it clearly... " Meng Qi retrieved his vision, pleased.

It was not that the opponent's movements had been slowed, but after Meng Qi had opened his Eye Aperture, he could better see and react to the opponent's moves, which in turn made it appear as if the opponent was moving in "slow motion". This would be a huge advantage during a battle.

The advantages did not stop there. Since the eye was the acupore of the liver, the Eye Aperture was also the liver acupore, meaning that he had also cultivated the energy of his liver. As a result, he had increased his recovery ability and genuine Qi. In addition, his strength had also increased significantly. By the time he finished cultivating the energy of all his visceral organs, the Secret Chamber of Vital Qi and Energy would naturally be opened too.

After harmonizing his Qi-circulation and the new Qi level had been stabilized, Meng Qi quickly got up and went on his way. His Moves of Wind-god's Legs was even more unrestrained.

A while later, An Guoxie appeared at the place where Meng Qi had just been. He stared coldly at the spot where Meng Qi had meditated.

Though most of his traces had been covered up, to someone who traveled the Immensity Sea as often as he, the traces were apparent.