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116 The Snow Falling Blade

 "His Dharma Name is Zhen Ding."

These words had struck Che Wanxiu's ears like thunder. Even with the discipline of a grandmaster, she was suddenly speechless and couldn't help changing her face.

It's not that she had a fast-track mind or anything but in the past year, everyone in Jianghu knew this Dharma name; Killing grandmasters, destroying the Animal Gods, a bladestrike connecting heaven and Breaking through space, all these acts have spread wide in Jianghu, it was hard not to know this name.

Her husband had always been quite dull, but even his expression changed upon hearing the name, "Master Zhen Ding?"

I heard he had broken through space and ascended to the Buddhism Amida?

All the Jianghu men on the second level of the restaurant that had heard Duan Xiangfei's reply were frozen in shock. After all, the 'Snow Falling Blade' was the most reputable grandmaster of Wulin and she was a beauty too, so they must have known her and she couldn't have mistaken Mr. Leisure for anyone else. Of course Mr. Leisure couldn't have gotten Master Zhen Ding mixed up with anyone else either.

Duan Xiangfei laughed and said, "Madam Che, people could return even after ascension you know. Master Zhen Ding has a heart of gold, and he knows the difficulty for Jianghu men to break through the Man-God Border. So he returned to us to find the destined man and provide him some guidance."

Duan Xiangfei provided clear and definite answers, which was his intention to let everyone know that this was the Master Zhen Ding, the one that is able to connect heaven with a bladestrike and the one that broke through space.

Tok tok tok, many of the Jianghu heroes' chopsticks dropped on the table or ground. And at the same time, clang clang clang, many bowls shattered on the ground too.

They well all extremely shocked, and turned their heads towards Duan Xiangfei's table. They saw a young monk next to Mr. Leisure, wearing a spotless white frock. He was handsome and graceful, not overwhelmed at all by what had happened. He was smiling while holding his tea, exuding elegance and eminence.

So young? I thought he had a white beard that dropped to his chest?

But I also heard that he was actually quite young!

Che Wanxiu suppressed her anger and concern and spoke politely without that sarcastic tone, "I've long heard that Master Zhen Ding's bladesmanship was marvelous and heaven-connecting. Friends of Jianghu are too polite and have given me the name 'Snow Falling Blade', it'll be my pleasure to spar and learn from such a grand master, please don't hold back."

Let's test the rumors and see if they were right or just rumors!

Meng Qi had planned to spar with her anyway, so he put his tea down and drew the Red Sun Evil Blade, with the back of the blade facing the opponent, he said, "Donor Che, make your move."

"You're just gonna sit there?" Che Wanxiu's face was suddenly sullen.

That's just too disrespectful! I AM THE "Snow Falling Blade"!

That's right! I am looking down on you, I am that dignified!

Meng Qi smiled, "Guests must obey the appropriate mannerisms, so out of respect, please, make the first move."

As he finished these words, the shocked Jianghu heroes on the second floor had all come to their senses, then someone yelled, "Snow Falling Blade is about to battle Master Zhen ding!"

Boom! Sound of an explosion came from the crowded first floor.

"What? What? Master Zhen Ding?"

"Could it be the Master Zhen Ding? The one that is able to connect heaven with a bladestrike break through space?"

"The respected Snow Falling Blade is about to spar against Master Zhen Ding?"

...

For a while, voices of doubt, praise and shock had all entered the ears at once, some people were in a haze, some rushed to the second floor to watch the battle. Moments later, the second floor was filled with people, leaving only enough space for Meng Qi and Che Wanxiu to battle, some even climbed on top of the tables.

Che Wanxiu's face kept changing as she realized that she couldn't back away anymore, she had to fight. She couldn't even worry about the fact that Master Zhen Ding was being very condescending by not even standing up to face her anymore. He was, after all, an immortal-like figure who had broken through the Man-God Border, so it's quite normal for someone of his stature to look down on others.

After thinking about it, she took out her Snow Falling Blade and focused her Energy, Qi and Spirit, then she got on guard, stood in stance and said, "I'm ready to be enlightened."

"Ready when you are, donor." Meng Qi replied with a smile, feeling a little nervous too. After all, sparring with a grandmaster in a sitting position was a hard test that rarely came by accidents.

Che Wanxiu said no more. With everybody watching, she took a light breath and attacked with her Snow Falling Blade

The flash of the blade was like falling snow; it was beautiful to watch, yet she was a grandmaster who had opened her Secret Chambers of Vital Qi and Energy. The momentum of her blade was swift and fierce, like a strong wind blowing at the face. Whilst beautiful to watch, it also contained strong intentions to kill.

Snow Falling Blade did indeed live up to its name, Meng Qi praised under his breath. He didn't move but used the Red Sun Evil Blade to draw a curve in the air, as if to contain everything in sight.

Clang! The two blades struck together and Che Wanxiu took a few steps back. Master Zhen Ding's blade attack was exquisite beyond measure.

After this sparring session, my bladesmanship would definitely improve, as a giant would grow another foot taller!

She no longer held back and started exhibiting all her moves; the flash of her blade surged in waves like a blizzard. Her bladesmanship was indescribably ingenious.

Since Meng Qi was sitting down, he couldn't exactly move his body to dodge, so he had to integrate and focus all of his bladesmanship skills to defend against her blizzard like blade light.

Duan Xiangfei, aka Mr. Leisure had long left his table with his tea. He was joyfully watching the battle, enjoying every detail of their exquisite bladesmanship.

"Beautiful bladesmanship!" Someone yelled, anyone who knew anything about martial arts were immersed in the exchange of impeccable transformations and bladesmanship.

The fact that Che Wanxiu was on the same level as the likes of Duan Xiangfei before opening her Spiritual Secret Chambers meant that her bladesmanship was indeed marvelous. Plus her Vital Qi and Secret Chambers had been opened, she was even more fierce, the flash of her blade was like a snow storm, instantly covering the vicinity.

Under the pressure, Meng Qi gradually amalgamated all of his skills and bladesmanship. Be it the Five Tiger-like Bladesmanship or the Blood Bladesmanship, he integrated them with the transformations of the "Peace Quietude Split", all were at his fingertips. Hence each counter-move he made gained Che Wanxiu's respect and praise.

But Meng Qi was still restricted by his sitting down, so under the ferocious attack of Che Wanxiu, he was finding it difficult to counter.

He took a light breath and suddenly retrieved the Red Sun Evil Blade.

Had he continued battling while seated, either he would have been forced to leave the table, or admit defeat, so he had to use his trump card.

How could he admit defeat with all these people watching?

When there is still a choice, I'd protect my reputation at all costs! My reputation is everything!

When there is no choice, however, reputation is useless.

Even if the crowd were inferior in martial arts, they could still see that Che Wanxiu had the upper-hand, and started whispering,

"Master Zhen Ding's bladesmanship is damn marvelous, but battling while sitting down is still strenuous."

"That's right, even the immortals that have broken the Man-God Border, would not be able to defeat the grandmaster sitting down."

"But the 'bladestrike connecting heaven' should not... just be like this... "

Suddenly, a bright flash of blade light filled their visions.

Then they all had smiles on their faces, as if they were enjoying the best that life could offer, gold, fame and women.

Even after transitioning from an opponent to a bystander, Duan Xiangfei again felt tranquilized, hallucinating about the reemergence of the Snow God Palace.

The flash of the blade was abruptly snuffed out, Che Wanxiu was suddenly standing stiffly and breathing hard. Her mature and charming face was red like blood and about to burst out. Her chest was puffed up too, very eye-catching.

When her Snow Falling Blade dropped on the ground, Meng Qi had already retrieved his Red Sun Evil Blade. His mouth twitched. What made her to be in this state? Was it that she had been hypnotized by some kind of "shattered wishes" lust in the mirage of "Mortal Dust Fall"?

He didn't think too much and restrained himself both physically and mentally, because he could only draw others into a tranquilized state if he himself fell into the Mortal Dust Fall too. Therefore Meng Qi was daydreaming as well, so he had to concentrate and collect himself.

The Sound of the Snow Falling Blade dropping to the ground had awakened the people that were in a daydream. They looked despondent, as they came to their senses from all kinds of embarrassed poses.

Moments later, someone had finally said in full consciousness, "That was 'A bladestrike connecting heaven', that was it, wow!"

"What a Heaven-connecting bladesmanship, no wonder it could breakthrough space... "

"Such bladesmanship is beyond imagination."

"Master Zhen Ding really is immortal like."

"He is a monk, so you should've said 'Bodhisattva' like."

These praises were all genuine, Meng Qi just put down his blade and smiled, sipping his tea.

"Wow, Master Zhen Ding's grace and demeanor do live up to the legends!"

They were still reminiscing that last blade move, praising Meng Qi's grace and Kung Fu, yet no one laughed at the losing of 'Snow Falling Blade' because they thought that there was no shame in losing to Master Zhen Ding, or aka "A bladestrike connecting heaven"! Any grandmaster would have lost!

Che Wanxiu let out a deep sigh, and not bothering to pick up her Snow Falling Blade, she cupped one hand in the other before her chest and said, "I now realize that I am limited. Martial art is infinite, master's bladesmanship is just surreal."

She was a beautiful woman of about 40, her demeanor and temperament was excellent as well, not to mention a voluptuous body. All these qualities have drawn the eyes of the bystanders.

Yet when Meng Qi had recovered from the countercharge of the "Mortal Dust Fall", he had no such feelings when looking at Che Wanxiu, he was calm and peaceful, saying, "Donor, you're being too modest, I've also learned much from witnessing your marvelous bladesmanship."

Che Wanxiu then picked up her blade, and her face was back to its normal color, "My husband and I live just outside the city, it'll be our honor if master would be our guest."

The fact that she could achieve grandmaster status meant that her love for martial arts and bladesmanship is undoubted, so she was eager to learn more.

Meng Qi smiled and said, "I already have a place to stay, but if you need anything, you can find me at the Changhua Temple tomorrow."

He intended to stay at Changhua Temple for a while to investigate "Yuanmeng".

After finishing these words, he realized there was something wrong. He was a man, and in his past life, a sociable man, so desire was something that he craved for from time to time. That was apparent from the hallucinations caused by the Devil Qi from the stone door; so now, facing the voluptuous Che Wanxiu, though he wouldn't act on anything, he did have a strong desire to look and appreciate her beauty, it was difficult to be like a real high-monk.

Ah, the Ananda Oath-breaking Bladesmanship really is "evil", if I keep using it, as long as I don't suffer Qi-deviancy Derangement or break the peace and vows, I really will become a true monk... When Meng Qi realized this, he gritted his teeth. No, things can't go on like this, I gotta think of something. I'll discuss it with Zhiwei and the others and see if they have any new findings or suggestions. Even if I can't avoid it, I'll exchange it for some other Exterior Bladesmanship, like the bladesmanship I always longed for, the Seven Purple Thunderstrikes!

Che Wanxiu and husband accompanied Meng Qi and Duan Xiangfei to dinner before leaving-She came into town to honor her duties as a host upon hearing that Mr. Leisure was in town.

The reputation of 'A bladestrike connecting heaven' and the grandmaster had frightened those bystanders in that they were afraid to approach them. They all went on their separate ways, continuing to boast about what they had witnessed.

The next morning, Duan Xiangfei led Meng Qi to the Changhua Temple.