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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

117 The Letter Yuan Meng Left Behind

 Yellow walls, black tiles, and the sound of Buddha chants resounded through the serene temple and pavilion, far away from the secular world.

Meng Qi's frock, socks, and shoes were free from dust, so clean as if he had just stepped out of a bath. As he entered the temple with Duan Xiangfei to find the reception monk, he basked in the rare moment of serenity.

"You want to ask about Master Yuan Meng?" The reception monk was a decent young monk with the gift of gab and a fair amount of knowledge about the masters in recent generations.

"Yes. When I was young, Master Yuan Meng gifted me with an amulet and it worked wonders. Now that I'm old, I'm here worship him and donate to the temple," said Duan Xiangfei, sighing in melancholy. Everyone once had their youths, but time and tide awaited no man. No one would not panic feeling the weakening and shriveling of their muscles and seeing the gradual wrinkling of their skin. Therefore, the dream of growing old with unfailing eyes and ears had long been cherished throughout generations.

The reception monk said, "You're the donor Duan Xiangfei?"

"Ah, you know me?" Duan Xiangfei was surprised because the incident happened several decades ago. Meng Qi was stunned himself but thought it was understandable to be surprised as the matter of little Jade Buddha was strange in itself.

The reception monk smiled. "That's because Master Yuan Meng left a letter before he passed away. He said I should give it to you. But in the event that you're here with someone, I should give it to the person who has the amulet."

How could Master Yuan Meng have foreseen this? Meng Qi was again shocked, finding the matter of the little Jade Buddha complicated and confusing. There was absolutely something mysterious behind it.

Duan Xiangfei did not speak for a long time, as if in disbelief that Master Yuan Meng who had looked so ordinary would be so miraculous. Only after the reception monk invited him in with a smile, he sighed and said, "May I know where the letter is?"

"In the Sutras Depository. Please come with me, donor Duan and master." Due to Meng Qi's appearance as a monk, the reception monk referred to him as a master.

The Bodhi trees were green and lush, giving an air of tranquility. As they walked, Meng Qi asked the reception monk about Master Yuan Meng.

The reception monk told the truth. "Master Yuan Meng was an orphan adopted by someone in the temple. He was ordinary in his youth; he could be considered as mediocre. But he seemed to receive sudden enlightenment when he was about 30. He spent ten years in the Sutras Depository to read all the sutras and percept Zen. He later became the host of the temple thanks to the exquisite teachings of Buddhism. When he passed away, the golden lotus lanterns emerged, the sound of Zen and sutras resounded, and eight treasures fell down from the sky."

"After his death, he didn't leave any Buddha's relics, but the eminent monks in the temple said he had claimed the Luohan Buddhist Realm."

It seemed like ordinary compliments coming from eminent monks. Since he had often seen the golden lotus and heard Zen sounds when he was by his master's side, Meng Qi did not find this phenomenon that strange.

The reception monk led them into the Sutras Depository as they were reflecting about Master Yuan Meng. He told them to wait on the first floor and went upstairs to get the letter by himself.

A moment later, the reception monk came downstairs with an old letter and handed it directly to Meng Qi.

Meng Qi thanked him and carefully unfolded the letter.

It was a paper that had already yellowed, with only a few words written on it:

"Where to find Spirit Mountain?"

Where to find Spirit Mountain? Meng Qi repeated the words again but had no clue at all. What did Master Yuan Meng meant? And what did it have to do with the little Jade Buddha?

Duan Xiangfei was even more puzzled when he saw the contents of the letter.

Meng Qi came to himself and put his palms together. "Amitabha. Senior Brother Reception, may I stay here for a period of time?"

He planned to trace Master Yuan Meng's footprints and see if he would find any more clues to understand the meaning of this letter.

With Duan Xiangfei donating to the temple, the reception monk did not turn them down and arranged accommodation for all of them.

For a period of time after, Meng Qi wasted no time concentrating Ear Aperture and related Aperture acupoints. He constantly recalled the voice of Thundergod in silence.

The voice was loud and full of dignity, piercing through his heart. It could scour his Ear Aperture, stimulating it despite him recalling only a little by memory.

Moreover, Che Wanxiu came to his place each day to learn from each other's bladesmanship. In the beginning, he could only win if he depended on the Mortal Dust Fall. Later he refined his bladesmanship to a point it was indistinguishable from Snow Falling Blade. He had improved his bladesmanship, which was also a form of practice for him. He also felt more skilled at opening Ear Aperture by himself after practicing with Duan Xiangfei in terms of the will and moves.

But he felt something was lacking because he could hardly open his Ear Aperture with one clean attempt.

On this day, Meng Qi had just finished Golden Bell Shield, Transformation Strategy, and Bone Conditioning Chapter of the Yijin Scripture. He was about to practice Yama's Invitation and find someone to do it with him, when Duan Xiangfei came in wearing a beaming smile.

"Old Duan, what's the good news?" Meng Qi joked.

Duan Xiangfei grinned. "Master, weren't you looking for a Great Master to practice your blademanship with? Another Great Master has come to our doorsteps."

The fight between Master Zhen Ding and Che Wanxiu, famous for her Snow Falling Blade, became widespread at an unbelievable speed in Jianghu. Everyone was excited to hear it. For the Great Masters, fighting masters who broke the Man-God Border was one of their few options to make progress. Thus they would definitely come to the fight if they had not given up on themselves.

Meng Qi had expected this, explaining why he was comfortable waiting in Changhua Temple rather than wasting his time going around.

"Who is it?" Meng Qi asked, smiling.

Duan Xiangfei crackled like an old fox. "It's my old acquaintance, Luo Qing. Monk Beiku can't come due to Stark Meditation. Wu Caisha lives in the south so she'd only hear about these two months later. Gai Yuan has disappeared for two years. The only one who could come is Luo Qing."

Sword God in White Luo Qing... Meng Qi nodded thoughtfully, happy he could try his sword art once again. But when he thought of Luo Qing, he was reminded of something else. "Old Duan, you've taken the treasures in Snow God Palace long ago, right?"

A rare blush appeared on old Duan Xiangfei's face. "There are two treasure maps. One was separated into four pieces under the care of four Guardians respectively. The other map went to the son of the temple master; that's me. I retrieved the treasure when my kungfu was strong enough to protect myself. Otherwise, it would have been difficult for me to be a Great Master and rebuild the secret Snow God Palace."

This was what it should be. Why would the treasure map be given to the four Guardians instead of the heir of the palace master? Unless it was safety reasons... Meng Qi did not really desire the treasure. He patted his robes and left the meditation room with his Red Sun Evil Blade, making a turn into the nearby courtyard.

In the courtyard, Luo Qing was standing under the bodhi tree with his cool sword. Dressed in snow-like white, he had tall brows and a straight nose. He looked truly handsome.

"Rumors have it that your bladesmanship has connected to Heaven. I only believe in half of it," Luo Qing briefly said. He had once fought Meng Qi and knew his strength level at that time. But he was also aware that Meng Qi had a move called Heaven-Connecting bladesmanship. Putting the same words in a different order would result in a different meaning.

When Meng Qi fought Luo Qing then, he was so weak that he could only rely on the Peace Quietude Split. The Pearflower Storm Needles were useless for trapping Luo Qing. But at this moment, Meng Qi had made great progress in his bladesmanship because he could almost integrate what he had learned. Though he could not understand the principle of the sword to create new moves the same way Jiang Zhiwei can, he was close to the current level of Zhang Yunshan's move. Hence, he was calm and found it easy to once again confront Luo Qing. He smiled and raised his sword horizontally. "I hope you'll believe in it completely after this fight."

Instead of attacking, he waited for Luo Qing to make his move.

Luo Qing showed no mercy and drew his sword, thrusting it forward.

The bright sunshine was suddenly gone, seemingly absorbed by the sword. Only the sword was bright, leaving the entire yard in darkness.

The light from the sword was bright and powerful, so horrific it could cover all the sky.

Meng Qi did not panic as he had done before. His eyes were shining as if golden rays were shooting out of it. The space between his eyebrows was bulging and his will was scattering. He no longer saw any mysteries and thrust his long sword into the air. He titled the sword and charged in Luo Qing's direction, though he was actually not truly there.

However, he was vaguely aware of Luo Qing's two positions and unleashed his sword radiance, so the light touched both positions.

The tinkle of the sword meeting the blade resounded. Their fight became faster and faster, lifting the Bodhi leaves in the courtyard.

Che Wanxiu, who had arrived early in the morning to learn from Meng Qi, stood aside with Duan Xiangfei to watch the battle. She whispered with emotion, "Even if Master Zhen Ding didn't attack with Heaven-connecting, his bladesmanship isn't inferior to ours."

"When I see Master Zhen Ding, I really feel like I've lived for decades of years in vain," said Duan Xiangfei, mocking himself.

Meng Qi had just completely demonstrated his bladesmanship and felt so refreshed that he wanted to shout. This time, he made his Mortal Dust Fall move with the help of momentum!

Being at the pinnacle of martial art, experiencing the pleasure of fighting, reaching the climax of life, integrating all with the blade; It was just like the view from the Man-God Border!

His strike amazed Duan Xiangfei and Che Wanxiu to the point that they found it difficult to control themselves. Which Great Master did not aspire to ascend to the top and defeat the heroes in the world?

The blade was retrieved and the sword fell on the ground with the tinkle. Luo Qing stayed rooted, looking disappointed and at a loss. He had just been properly defeated by Master Zhen Ding.

Meng Qi put his Red Sun Evil Blade away at his waist and put his palms together. "Amitabha. Donor Luo, I'm pondering over sword art recently and I'm wondering if I can exchange ideas with you."

Without Sacrifice Formula, he only had a formidable blade for the moment so he decided to study sword art.

Luo Qing became serious and said coldly, "As you like."

The loser had no right to choose.

Time passed by in a flash. Meng Qi seemed to have truly grasped his bladesmanship after he worked hard in his practice with Duan Xiangfei, Che Wanxiu, and Luo Qing. He had also almost mastered Mortal Dust Fallseven. It was not as good as Peace Quietude Split, but was an absolutely deadly move. His Ear Aperture had also become clearer, seemingly awaiting a chance to be opened.

After the opening of the Seven Apertures, including eyes, ears, nose, and mouth, when the inner heaven and earth were formed, the Secret Chamber of Vital Qi and Energy would be opened naturally. Meng Qi did not rush to practice this so he would not affect the Enlightenment of all the Apertures.

While he had made little progress in Golden Bell Shield and Transformation Strategy, he had improved his sword art by leaps and bounds thanks to his practice with Luo Qing. He had roughly grasped the changes of Yama's Invitation. All that was left was putting it into actual practice. He was also close to beginning the Nine Strategies Beyond the Swords, only lacking one final step.

"There are seven days left. I 'll try Yama's Invitation first. If the Ear Aperture cannot be opened in due course, I will take Pill of Heavenly Vision and Earthly Hearing." Meng Qi thought. On this day, he finished his assignment and went through the Nine Strategies Beyond the Swords to think about his own arrangement.

After a while, he put the script away properly. He smiled at Duan Xiangfei, Che Wanxiu, Luo Qing, and Duan Mingcheng who were waiting for him on one side. "Would you all be willing to learn what you still lack in opening the Man-God Border?"

They had been his training partners for more than a month. He should reward them a little.

"Ah?" Even the cunning Duan Xiangfei and cool Luo Qing were wearing the same expressions as Che Wanxiu and Duan Mingcheng. They all looked at him with surprise and implicit excitement.