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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

119 The "Warm-up"

 An aurora broke out of the night and reddened clouds of tens of thousands of leagues. It dawned into the meditation room and poured brightness inside.

Perceiving the grand sun rise and switch between day and night, Meng Qi opened his eyes from meditation in Dhyana. Shining dense golden rays, his eyes saw an assortment of colors, as well as billowing purple gas. Into his ears clearly entered the chirping and crawling of insects and the yell and whisper of winds. The quietude of night was replaced by the pulsation of life.

After days of hard practice, not only his Ear Aperture was solidified, but also the defects of his Eye Aperture, caused when he forced them to open with elixir without time to stabilize, were removed, and brought him onto a new stage.

This only was well deserved for the spending of Samsara Ticket!

Meng Qi spun the string of beads in his left hand unconsciously. Except for the expected slow progression of Golden Bell Shield and Transformation Strategy, he had achieved his goal in all other aspects. The only pity was that he had not found other relics of Master Yuan Meng and failed to acquire any valuable news after even dozen days of stay in Changhua Temple. The only clue was still the letter saying

Where to find Spirit Mountain

.

"Doo! Doo! Doo!" Someone was knocking on the door.

"Donor Che, Donor Xiang, you may open the door and enter." After having opened Ear Aperture, Meng Qi could easily identify the sounds of others' footsteps.

With a rusty sound of the door, Che Wanxiu walked in with her husband, smiling deferentially.

"Master, Mr. Leisure told us you were leaving soon, are you?" Che Wanxiu asked softly.

Spinning the Prayer Beads, Meng Qi transformed himself into the status of a "High Monk". "Amitabha. The secular association is about to end. I have already prayed for the one for whom fate had destined, and should have no lingering over the mortal world."

Che Wanxiu said regretfully, "Master's bladesmanship could connect to the Heaven. It has been a great learning opportunity for me. It's a pity we're only destined to be together for forty days or so."

She paused and continued, "I happened to know that Mr. Leisure has been collecting normal martial scriptures for you, especially the ones about sealing acupoints. I have brought a book from my home for you to give it a try. It is

"Snowmelt Acupinning Hand".

Much obliged to Meng Qi's "reconstructing" of her, she wanted to show her appreciation, so she alluded to Duan Xiangfei and managed to know what the Senior Monk wanted. Duan Xiangfei knew her thoughts before she even finished her words, so he mentioned to her his need of the scriptures of sealing acupoints. Actually, Snowmelt Acupinning Hand of Che Family was as famous as its "Snow Falling Bladesmanship".

"Donor Che is very kind. I am deeply honored." Meng Qi knew her intention and accepted tacitly. He needed exactly a decent kungfu on sealing acupoints.

Che Wanxiu was relieved as she had been afraid of being declined. If she could not reciprocate with something for such a great grace, she worried that she would be afflicted by her conscience and consequently lose concentration on martial practice.

Meng Qi browsed through the script with a blue cover, and realized that though it was not a top-shelf sealing acupoints kungfu, it was still of Enlightenment level, better than the sealing acupoints and disacupinning arts appended to Golden Bell Shield anyway, and it will suffice for a short term.

"Maester, this is a copied version. You may keep it and read slowly." Che Wanxiu and Mr. Xiang were afraid of disturbing his practice, so they left the script and went on their way.

Sealing acupoints was a practical art. Meng Qi had a rather deep inner qi kungfu as well as some basic knowledge and martial foundation, so it was not hard for him to get started. While he was engaged in reading, a sound of knockings on the door came again.

"Donor Luo, please come in." Meng Qi smiled and shook his head.

Still dressed in white, Luo Qing was grim without emotion in his face. "Maester, these are some of my sword scripts and experiences of practice. They could serve as advisors while you practice sword arts."

How many white clothes does this guy own...

Meng Qi thought something bizarre. He did not decline but accepted with pleasure. For his hesitation would make Luo Qing embarrassed and would show little tact.

Luo Qing was not a talkative person, so he just left after having presented his gifts. Meng Qi resumed his reading of

Snowmelt Acupinning Hand.

Before long came another knocking on the door.

"Old Duan, come in. Why don't you come together?" Meng Qi said helplessly.

Duan Xiangfei came into the meditation room, smiling, his left hand holding a long sword sheathed in a dark golden scabbard. "Giving presents should be an act done discreetly. When done if front of them I would worry that my gift would seem either too good or too bad."

Appreciation of gifts calls for reciprocation of presents, but if one's present was not as precious as others', it would be awkward. Yet if one's gift was too much better, one may make other present-givers embarrassed and cause unnecessary rancor. So it was better to send respectively and do not know what other people gave.

"You are reasonable anyway you put it." Meng Qi smiled and shook his head. The old fox was indeed sophisticated. "It seems that this long sword is a gift you will give me?"

Duan Xiangfei laughed. "Aye. I see that you have a good blade but not a good sword, so I dared to present you with this."

He paused and said, "This sword was a treasure which I had belonged to Snow God Palace for generations, and it's the very sword I was wearing before my five fingers of right hand slashed off. It's called "Ice Portal Sword". I once passed it to Mingcheng, but he had not practiced enough swords but preferred palmstrikes, leaving the sword an dust-covered useless ornament. If he wants to practice some day I can still find many good ones at home for him."

As an old fox, he certainly knew the sword was too precious to be accepted without hesitation, so he explained exhaustively.

Meng Qi nodded, accepting this "Ice Portal Sword", and had it unsheathed slowly.

During the drawing out, the sword and the scabbard harmonized melodiously. Even by tis sound one could tell how sharp it was.

The size and thickness were normal, but the material seemed transparent. It was as if forged by Frigid Crystal, covered by a layer of frigid Qi.

Sharp with its own frigid Qi, it might yield freezing side-effect while cutting the enemy...

Meng Qi estimated the sword generally through his perception. Then he sheathed it and laid it aside.

After Duan Xiangfei left, Meng Qi finally gained quietness. He resumed reading the sealing acupoints art.

About dusk and supper time, a reception monk came in with a letter. "Junior Brother Zhen Ding, someone sent you a letter."

The reception monk and Meng Qi now were quite familiar with each other and called each other brothers.

Meng Qi took the letter in confusion. He had acquainted himself with only a few people in this world.

Who would have sent this letter? Cui Jinxiu? Zhang Zongxian and his wife? The Four Meritocrats in the South of the Yangtze River

?

Upon the envelop he saw a seal, which was a figure of swarthy palm. The palm stretched its five fingers and showed a sense of evil.

"This is the symbol of Gai Yuan." Duan Xiangfei recognized it immediately. "He had gone missing in Jianghu for two years. Now he actually came back for the sake of you."

"The Reincarnated Skyscraping Devil, Gai Yuan?" Meng Qi nodded, and checked the envelop circumspectly. Then he unsealed and withdrew the letter.

"Having heard your bladestrike that connects the heaven and breaks the Man-God limit, I was much elated, for finally there is someone worthy of suffering my power. I have opened all three Secret Chambers. Tomorrow noon I will come by and battle with you. Please await me and do not escape. Gai Yuan."

"Had he opened the Secret Chamber of Spirit?" Che Wanxiu was consternated while Meng Qi was reading the letter. Gai Yuan was at about the same level as her, with the Secret Chambers of Qi and Energy opened. Though they had their own specialized moves, they were both weaker than Cui Xu, and other grandmasters who had opened the Secret Chamber of Spirit. But now that he had secretly opened the Secret Chamber of spirit, he had become the first ever the master who opened all the Secret Chambers!

This must be the most astounding news besides the advent of Master Zhen Ding!

Duan Xiangfei froze for a while, then he sighed deeply. "Time and tide wait for no man. I'm indeed lacking in vigor compared to Gai Yuan. He hasn't shown up in Jianghu, probably because of his concentration on the opening of Secret Chamber of Spirit."

Gai Yuan was a dozen years younger than him and was in his prime.

Luo Qing said nothing and touched the long sword by his waist.

Meng Qi smiled and put down the letter. "Then I should await Gai Yuan to come."

As the Reincarnated Skyscraping Devil, Gai Yuan had hands of butchers and had committed lots of crimes. Meng Qi needed not to reserve his strength.

"Maester, you must be careful. Though Gai Yuan has not concentrated his Aperture acupoints and opened the Nine Innate Apertures, having three Secret Chambers opened is still formidable," Che Wanxiu said with concern.

Duan Xiangfei also nodded. "Three opened Secret Chamber will be united as one. His strength is at least above mine."

Snow God Palace had recorded much this kind of knowledge, so Duan Xiangfei understood a lot.

Meng Qi said emotionlessly, "I understands. I will not belittle him."

At such a fine moment! Someone is going to

be experimented

under my sword before my departure! I will try to wield my whole power with one

bladestrike

, without using the Sacrifice Formula!

For when facing An Guoxie, he had to end him as quickly as possible. As long as he found it out and regained his attention, An Guoxie would still be able to escape even after he was deeply wounded. Then Meng Qi would worry about future danger!

Therefore, this combat would be a "warm-up" before the battle against An Guoxie!

The second day, the sky was cloudy and somber at around noon.

Gai Yuan had deliberately dispersed the news of this challenge, drawing all the martial pros around who aspired to seeing the Three-Secret-Chamber-opened versus A Bladestrike Connecting Heaven.

How could they miss this grand martial tourney? All the heroes in Jianghu, devils and swordsman who could come in time, assembled inside Changhua Temple, cramming into every corner on the roof, on the tree, and around the square.

"Swordsman Nie, what do you think? Will the Reincarnated Skyscraping Devil be able to defeat Master Zhen Ding?" A curious guy asked a swordsman who was modestly famous.

Swordsman Nie sneered. "Even if Gai Yuan has opened three Secret Chambers, he merely touched the Man-God Border. How can he rival with Master Zhen Ding, whose one bladestrike could connect with God and break space. Gai Yuan will definitely lose."

"I don't think so. If Gai Yuan knows he will lose, why would he still come? He should be confident enough to win."

"Master Zhen Ding defeated Master Che, the 'Snow Falling Blade', even without moving his body and feet. He was clearly much stronger than grandmasters." Swordsman Nie said assertively.

"Possibly. Gai Yuan might only want to challenge Master Zhen Ding and improve himself, and make the breakthrough into Man-God Border. Hey, let's wager on how many moves he could take before he loses."

"Ten moves at least, I guess?"

"If he uses the Heaven-connecting bladesmanship, ten moves are too many."

"Yes, with that bladesmanship, even Gai Yuan has opened three Secret Chambers, Gai Yuan could resist no more than three moves."

"Should be around five."

"You wanna a bet?"

Soon there were many gambling pools set up among those heroes. This situation was quite common.

Suddenly someone exclaimed lowly, "The Devil arrived."

On the stair up to the square, a man in black dress and shoes paced over. He was about 40-year-old, a face without beard. Though he looked normal, everyone knew he was an atrocious guy. He had crashed dead a baby, whose father was a swordsman of a righteous path and unwilling to yield to him. And this was only a minor one of many crimes committed by this Skyscraping Devil.

Gai Yuan was on the square. He stood aside and waited. The cloud was dark and thick. The sky was even gloomier.

"Master Zhen Ding is coming!" Roars of acclaims undulated.

Of the Great Buddha's Hall paced out a young monk in white frock, his face handsome with hidden solemnity, his garb, shoes and stockings immaculate, a dark red Commandment Blade suspended to the right of his waist, and a long sword in a golden scabbard to the left. He seemed to be coming out of mortal world placidly.

"Truly really stylish!" Numerous people praised silently.