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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

99 Simple and Crude

 The underground river within the culvert had long dried up. Some rocks had collapsed in the distance, blocking the flow of the river. What remained were also jagged rocks of grotesque shapes, resembling evil spirits baring their fangs and brandishing their claws in the dark. It was as if it was the entrance to hell.

To avoid exposure, Zhang Yuanshan did not light a match. He depended only on his eyes, with opened Aperture, and used the faint light coming from outside as his guide to move forward. Fu Zhenzhen was holding firmly onto his sleeve tightly, following behind him. Though she could not see as well as he could, she felt a strange sense of safety, as if she could wholeheartedly trust and depend on him.

Bypassing a strange-looking stone, Zhang Yuanshan stopped moving forward. If he went any further, he would not be able to notice any changes in the sandstorm at once, thus missing his opportunity to attack his opponents.

Shadow Kill was born with night vision and all the skills he exchanged for were kungfu about hiding and assassinating. Thus, like a duck to water, he sneaked into the culvert and quietly went closer to Zhang Yuanshan and Fu Zhenzhen.

He melded into the dark night. He hid in the shadows of the night and moved forward step by step. He was soon only about 3.3 meters away from Zhang Yuanshan and Fu Zhenzhen.

With his right hand on the dirk, he arched his back to condense all his energy and genuine Qi into a point as he prepared to attack. His assassination was not flashy, but effectively simple.

Clenching the Winged-python Sword, Zhang Yuanshan positioned himself into the Tai Ji defensive posture. His central eyebrows swelled with pain and he projected his Will to prevent any sneak-attacks.

A sudden thought came to him. He thrust his sword in front of Fu Zhenzhen, dragging it from the bottom to the top as if he was drawing a beautiful circle.

Clang!

The sound of metal striking against metal reverberated in the culvert and immediately died, leaving only a profound silence. It was as if everything was mere illusions.

Zhang Yuanshan's defense was flawless, not leaving a chance for his opponent to attack. However, he was upset because his opponent had disappeared into the darkness after the failed attack. The man was hiding somewhere and he did not know where he will strike from the next time.

Based on the attack earlier, Zhang Yuanshan realized his opponent's strength was beneath him, so much that he can actually kill him with ease. But the opponent ought to be a master with his Four Apertures opened and an expert at hiding and assassinating. Under such circumstances, the level of danger had multiplied. Once Zhang Yuanshan exposed a flaw, he would incur a deadly attack. So he had to take precautions and keep his mind sharp without letting up. Though he wanted to kill his opponent, he could not even find the man's shadow.

Zhang Yuanshan understood clearly that keeping himself in a state of high concentration would consume a lot of his energy. His Eye Aperture, in particular, cannot be maintained for long. The swelling pain had become more and more distinct. The longer it lasted, the worse it was for him. This was unless the sandstorm outside would subside.

After hitting nothing, Shadow Kill flew to hide behind another rock. Melding into the darkness, he watched the two people right in front of him and patiently waited for a chance.

As an assassin, Ying Sha had always been patient. He had once hidden in a marsh for seven whole days, awaiting a good opportunity to attack a Seven-Apertures master who had a grudge against him. In the end, the master was staring down at the dirk in his throat and died without ever avenging himself.

Those without patience would never become good assassins!

"Yuanshan, the darkness is to our disadvantage. I'll light the match first." Fu Zhenzhen's gentle and sweet voice came into Shadow Kill's ears.

Unconcerned, he stood still. If they thought they could spot him with just a light, then they had underestimated his ability to hide. It was only called the Shadow Kill when one hid in the shadows!

He had once met a terrifying master who could use the momentum of all living things. Under the master's guidance, Ying Sha managed to properly cultivate the exchanged supreme art, Shadow-blending.

"Okay." Zhang Yuanshan's voice was low as if there was something in his mouth or he was too alert to speak fluently.

The match was lit, spilling rays of light all around to replace darkness with dimness. Yet shadows remained everywhere and it seemed as if adversaries hid in every corner. The situation did not seem to have improved.

Qi Zhengyan lurked in a place further down the end, where he could still see parts of the sun unobscured by the sandstorm. He was on full alert.

The cultivation of Book of the Chaos required him to draw support from the heterogeneous energy of the heaven and earth. Thus, he was more sensitive to astronomical changes than average Enlightened Master Pros. He seemed to have detected something wrong, but the sand had piled up to block the path and prevented him from finding a way.

Qi Zhengyan suddenly felt the sunlight becoming so vibrant and dazzling that he could not help squinting.

A human silhouette emerged from the dazzling golden light and pointed his dirk directly at Qi Zhengyan's throat. His appearance was as if he had been hiding in the sunlight all this while!

Gravels and soil suddenly swelled to form a tomb on the ground behind him. Another human silhouette jumped out at him, with glowing hooks on all his fingers.

The arrival of the two Secrecy-reaching Messengers in Devil Cult was surreptitious and unexpected!

The two messengers had no doubt they would kill their opponent, dubbed the Dead Person's Face. Whether it was Sun-blending or Earth-blending, both were beyond an average man's understanding and impossible to defend against effectively.

Something seemed to abruptly flash before their eyes. A puff of white smoke rose like landing clouds. A white mist blurring enveloped them, obstructing the view all around.

Rosy clouds swirled like they were performing a lotus dance and the points of their dirks and fingers were all directed at nothing.

To think Dead Person's Face was someone of the Venerable level who had mastered two Secrecy-reaching extraordinary powers!

Holding Loving Couple Swords, one longer and the other shorter, Xia Dandan leaned behind a poplar tree to keep away from sand and wind.

The burning desire for revenge surged in her, but she could only calm her emotions in the face of the might of the heaven and earth. Under such circumstances, she and her team could not besiege the opponents and the other side could not take a single step either.

Soft giggles suddenly came to her ears and she looked back in surprise. She saw a lovely girl dressed in white dress gently emerging from the sandy gust. Though the wind was strong and the sand dense, they slowed and then faded away when they reached her. So she had walked through the sandstorm but not one speck of dust clung to her.

The girl seemed like a fairy descending onto the secular world. Yet she carried an ethereal, untouchable quality and was deadly charming.

Xia Dandan found that she had difficulty to even eke out her voice. She said hoarsely, "Gu Xiaosang?"

Little Zi, also known as Gu Xiaosang, laughed leisurely.

"It's hard to live in the human society and there's a great deal of hardship. Why not return to Vacuum Hometown and enjoy bliss together?"

The sandstorm gradually subsided and the sky seemed to have brightened a fair bit. From a distance, there were faint ethereal sounds.

In the dilapidated temple of Devil Lord, Meng Qi, Chen Xiao, and Luo You also realized the sudden fierceness of sandstorm.

"Good thing we've hidden in advance," Chen Xiao said happily.

Luo You naturally complimented his beautiful junior. "It's all thanks to your wisdom. In such a severe sandstorm, we wouldn't be able to move forward at all. We might even get ourselves lost in the desert."

The desert had a varied climate and sandstorms were a common sight. They had once experienced such a sudden change in the weather, so they assumed it was a natural occurrence even if they were currently in a semi-desert area.

Carrying the Red Sun Evil Blade, Meng Qi frowned and went to stand beside the corpse of the Devil Cult disciple. The unexpected natural disaster and abnormal sandstorm strongly reminded him of the Crying Elder. Perhaps the leader of the Devil Cult had arrived and brought with him astronomical changes, in the manner of Gu Kongshan, the heightslord of Windcloud Heights.

Of course, such an astronomical change was nothing compared to the Violent Sand Super Force of the Crying Elder. The elder had the power that could affect the whole world, covering a radius big enough that made it felt like it was the advent of the world. His was a terrifying destructive force.

He became more alert, opening his Primal Aperture at Mid-brows and keeping Will-projecting, as he examined the corpse of the Devil Cult disciple.

The dead man had pale skin and dark meridian, with the faintest of black vapor streaming from him. The vapor instantly disappeared under the Red Sun Evil Blade when it drifted close to Meng Qi.

"His ability to hide in the shadows earlier was close to the magic talent of the Exterior. Yet his strength was much lower. He had so much Evil Qi in his body... How could he get the Secrecy-reaching ability?" Judging from the amazement of Luo You and Chen Xiao earlier, Meng Qi estimated that this was the so-called Secrecy-reaching ability. He became more intrigued by the energy system in this world. If he could learn this ability without any risk and combine it with his bladesmanship, it could end up being his trump card.

Earlier, Meng Qi had demonstrated a completely different side to him when he executed the Peace Quietude Split. Luo You and Chen Xiao had acclaimed it as the acme of perfection and they no longer looked down on him. They had also gained more admiration for their Master who had the foresight to have them watch over these Power Gang members.

"Master Zhen Ding, what are you looking at?" Chen Xiao ventured to ask. She realized her Wind-blending ability and matched sword art were no match for the little monk, so she unwittingly changed how she addressed him.

Meng Qi did not want to expose his ignorance about Secrecy-reaching and held a hand up. "Amitabha. Though killing you is protecting you and cutting your evil is not cutting you, this is, after all, a life. Still sinful! Still sinful!"

"Your kindness has gained all our admiration, yet this man who had practiced kungfu with the help of Devil Qi. His humanity had gradually disappeared and he became cruel and vicious. Since he had killed so many people, killing him was equal to saving even more lives. That earns more merit than building a pagoda of seven stories," Luo You said fluently.

Chen Xiao nodded slightly at Meng Qi's response. Though she had once killed, she was a kind person after all. She would definitely feel at ease at ending one's life.

"Master Zhen Ding, since you're so kind, I'm sure you'll become an accomplished monk one day." Chen Xiao smiled. "The bladesmanship you used earlier... "

She was to ask when Meng Qi's premonition from Transformation Strategy resurfaced again. He abruptly turned to look at the broken-down window.

He saw only a thin pipe poking inside through a hole, emitting wisps of faint mist.

"Be careful," Meng Qi said quietly, holding his breath as he activated his Golden Bell Shield to keep dark golden glow flowing around his body.

Following his gaze to the window, Chen Xi and Luo You were shocked once again. It was that poison expert who put everyone on edge that night!

Meng Qi also knew it was the poison expert from the opposing camp. He was aware this fight should be instantaneous, thus he raised his Red Sun Evil Blade and performed Moves of Wind-god's Legs that charged at the window. The speed coupled with his glowing golden skin made him look like an unstoppable chariot.

Charging into the mist, he used Golden Bell Shield to block against any poison infiltration. He slammed the window with his shoulder and saw it ripped wide open. He jumped out immediately.

The sandstorm was still raging outside the fane, yet slippery poisonous snakes, fluffy spiders, and colorful insects lined the ground. A colorfully-clad girl stood in the middle of it all.

Meng Qi did not stop and nor did he use the small move of Lightning Changes. He directly walked to the center of poisonous insects, approaching the girl.

Poisonous snakes raised their head, the spiders jumped up, and insects flew. All fell atop Meng Qi's body, but they might as well be biting a golden stone for they were rebounded one by one.

Like a chariot, Meng Qi had broken through all obstacles and fiercely ran to the girl in an instant.

Hong Xiu had never expected the Little Bald Ass's way of fighting would be so simple and crude, with unparalleled boldness. She was momentarily stunned but soon recovered. She opened her palm and shot the hidden Tang Flower.