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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

139 Obstacles from All Sides

 The sky was a light blue color without a hint of a cloud. Meng Qi, Zhen Hui, and Gu Changqing followed Hong Neng, walking toward Tan Han on a gravel path.

Though Meng Qi, Zhen Hui, and Gu Changqing couldn't exert all their strength, their Lightness Skill wasn't weak and they moved rather quickly. Hong Neng, on the other hand, seemed to be walking at a regular pace but wasn't at all lagging behind them. When he walked, it was as if a lotus was blooming with his every step.

Several hours later, they came across more and more weathered down rocks that littered the vast Gobi Desert. There were more ups and downs in the terrains as well. Meng Qi could tell they were not far away from Tan Han.

Just then, the sky abruptly darkened. It wasn't overcast like the way it would if there were dark clouds. Rather, it became cool and pleasant as if the sky was covered with a layer of veil.

"Amitabha. Please stay close to me and don't let your surroundings affect you. If your emotions remain untouched, you'll be able to find peace," Hong Neng said.

"Yes, Senior Brother Hong Neng." Meng Qi placed his palms together. Could they be approaching the Heavenly Sea Source? Was the cool and pleasant weather, instead of the blazing hot sun, thanks to the Heavenly Sea Source?

Zhen Hui looked around curiously. "Senior Brother Hong Neng, we haven't entered Tan Han yet. Could the Heavenly Sea Source have moved over here?"

Before Hong Neng could reply, the scene of the desolate Gobi Desert and its weathered rocks before them transformed. From both sides, bluish-green mountain peaks emerged and a large river soared from within. The water was so clear that they could see the bottom, where not any of the pebbles lining the river looked identical.

Warblers flew past the green grass that lined the edge of the river, where it was surrounded by flowers and trees all around. Every now and then, there would be villagers looking up to see the fog surrounding the mountain caves. When one looked closely, one could see the river flowing downstream to merge into a vast lake. The lake was a crystal clear blue, transparent and sparkling as if it was the sea of heaven.

"Heavenly Sea Source..." The three words came to Meng Qi's mind the moment he saw such scenery. It reminded him of another saying, 'It came to Meng Qi's mind when he saw such scenery, which reminded him of another saying, 'Suddenly coming across a forest of peach blossom trees flourishing along the river for several hundred steps; the scent was fragrant without any other trees; the grass was thriving and the petals shed gloriously... entering a cave, where the tunnel was very narrow at the beginning, only allowing one man to walk through; after dozens of feet, it suddenly became spacious...'

In the desolate Gobi Desert, they really felt like they had stepped into a peach blossom garden after seeing such a splendid view.

"Amitabha. The Heavenly Sea Source is a rare place even among those mysterious places that can freely move. It may be in Tan Han today but on the East Sea tomorrow. Unless it's by chance that you somehow come across its entrance, you wouldn't be able to enter. If the host wants you to see it, you will. If the host wants you never to find it, you won't notice its existence even if you pass straight to it." Hong Neng used a rather exaggerated method to explain this. After all, it was impossible to travel from Tan Han to East Sea in just a day.

So this was the feeling of being in a non-world...

Meng Qi told Zhen Hui to follow Hong Neng closely via Secret Voice-sending and not run around. He and Gu Changqing began putting all their attention on their surroundings.

"Hehe! Someone's coming!" From between the flower trees came a group of beautiful and graceful women. They watched Meng Qi and his group walk along the river bank, excitedly pointing fingers at them as if they hadn't seen a human in many, many years.

One young married woman with captivating eyes boldly went up to them. With an enticing gaze, she said, "Young men, you must be tired after traveling such a long journey. Why don't you have a rest at my place and have some tea?"

Hong Neng stared straight ahead and showed the women no attention as if they were all mere skeletons.

Meng Qi recalled the feeling he experienced each time he suffered countercharge from his Ananda Oath-breaking Bladesmanship and his emotions showed no turbulence. He passed through calmly. Zhen Hui was too young to feel anything for the women. Gu Changqing repeatedly muttered, "See no evil. Hear no evil."

One after another woman started going up to them, trying to tug at their clothes and pull them back to their homes. But when they reached out with their hands, they found themselves grasping at nothing.

They were momentarily stunned but their surprise was soon replaced by enticing smiles. They began undressing, allowing their clothes to slide down to expose both their underdeveloped and mature bodies. Some were stroking their hair coquettishly, some were licking their lips, some were wearing mysterious expressions, some were fondling their chests, and some were moaning in a soft voice. Instantly, it was as if Meng Qi and the rest had fallen into a devilish ballroom with rich and diverse colors and sparkling cosmetic powder across skins. It was so tempting that it was hard for them to resist.

Lust was nothing more than that. The smell was so pungent, it was as if there was a faint romantic energy pervading the air.

"Amitabha. Shariputra, substance doesn't differ from emptiness; emptiness doesn't differ from substance. Substance is exactly emptiness and emptiness is exactly substance. Perception, thinking, doing, and knowledge are all like this..." Hong Neng chanted the Sutras in a low voice.

Though Meng Qi was well-versed in this aspect, it was still unbearable for him to face the temptation of the fox family. He wasted no time in using his Ananda Oath-breaking Bladesmanship and borrowed the calmness that came with it. He lowered his head and followed Hong Neng, chanting the same Sutras.

In comparison, Zhen Hui was looking around curiously with round eyes. He felt not even the slightest bit of lust and looked rather dumbfounded. In contrast, he exuded the feeling that silent water ran deep. On the other hand, Gu Changqing was panting. His eyes were shut tightly as he repeated the teachings of the saints. He clasped his hand together and endured greatly to resist the temptation.

"You're finally here." When the faint and sweet voice rang, the naked foxy women and the devilish illusion suddenly disappeared with the wind. In their places were decently-dressed women who looked red in the face. Some were covering their faces, evidently embarrassed by how hard they tried to put on illusions earlier. Some were blushing but forced a look of composure. They stuck their tongues out and made faces at Meng Qi and the rest.

For some inexplicable reason, Meng Qi felt they were even more enticing now compared to when they were deliberately trying to seduce them earlier.

"Amitabha. Fortunately, they didn't know that..." Meng Qi immediately steadied his mind.

The figure before them walked leisurely toward them like a willow trembling in the wind. It was the little fox they met earlier. She dressed conservatively; besides her enchanting face, only her two hands and a portion of her neck were exposed. Her snow-white dress wrapped around her figure tightly without losing an ounce of elegance.

There was a saying that went, 'If one wanted to look attractive, dress head-to-toe in obedience.' The little fox was already pure and beautiful in the first place. The way she dressed made her look even more enticing and attractive beyond means. With her slender, white neck and fingers that retained some baby fat, there was a natural charm that shined through her pampered and naive appearance. Her conservative appearance didn't appear conservative at all; instead, it tempted others to go mad and tear off her clothes. Compared to the naked women earlier, she was by far more tempting.

Meng Qi swallowed, not daring to keep staring at the girl. He shifted his gaze to his toes. The entire fox family was exuding their charms at full force. It could only be resisted by eminent monks and Taoist priests. His cultivation was too shallow to resist such a feeling. Though if he practiced his Ananda Oath-breaking Bladesmanship to its end, it didn't seem impossible...

His thoughts fluttered. Without being even aware of it, his mind had already reached another place, forgetting the little fox who was standing before them.

Like him, Gu Changqing didn't dare to look at the little fox in the eyes as well. He kept his eyes trained on the ground as if he could spot money to be picked up.

Zhen Hui, like Hong Neng, was looking straight at her with honest appreciation.

"Amitabha. There's resentment in your heart; it's rare for you to be calm," Hong Neng said, no longer looking at the little fox.

Moments later, the four of them walked past the little fox without any more trouble. She was so angry that she stamped her feet, exposing her pampered and simple-minded side.

"Do you think the Heavenly Sea Source is uninhabited?" From afar, a ghostly and dignified sound came, carrying with it a darkening sky. A fox's head with a mouth large enough to swallow a mountain appeared mid-air, where eight white tails swayed behind it.

The fox's Demon Odor was terrifying, towering from the end of the sky to the netherworld. It was the dreadful Demon Odor Meng Qi had ever seen.

The deterrence power that came with the fox's Demon Odor was enough to make Meng Qi shiver deep inside. He subconsciously wanted to activate his Golden Bell Shield when he recalled Hong Neng's warning not to struggle. He was to face in a peaceful and calm mood.

So he converged his Energy, Qi, Spirit, and Will. With his left hand supporting Gu Changqing whose knees were weakening and his right hand holding Zhen Hui who couldn't suppress his subconscious reaction, he infused energy into them to calm them down.

Hehe. Though Gu Changqing was an intelligent man who appeared slow-witted, this temptation still proved too hard for him to resist... As for their junior brother, he was slightly better at resisting the temptation of the beauties.

He was precisely such a narrow-minded man who wouldn't let go of any opportunity to laugh at others!

"Amitabha. Why persist in past causes and effects?" Hong Neng sighed. He moved forward, giving off a feeling that walking with bamboo sandals was better than riding a horse.

Meng Qi once again adopted the Out of Dust posture and followed after Hong Neng with light steps as he suppressed a smile.

...

The Ze Luoju Camp at the Evil Ridge.

"Kang Zhi, you must send out more men to help me find that brat!" a humpbacked, dark-skinned man said mournfully. Whether from his looks or his clothing, he seemed to look like a countryside farmer frowning about his harvest this year. He had a thumb-sized mole at the corner of his eyebrow.

A man in his thirties, resembling a scholar from the Central Plains, shook his fan and chuckled. "Head Keeper You Huan, you're Leader Luo's nephew. That means your business is our business. Though our leader is still escaping the Shaolin reinforcements in Hahler, your word is our command."

"Don't make it so serious! It's nothing more than hunting for a kid." That farmer-like man was You Huanduo, the Uprising Yama of the top of Seventy-two Villains in Helian Mountain. He was No. 41 in the Ranking List of Young Masters and fell out of the rank automatically when his age exceeded 35 years old.

He could hear the subtle provocation in Kang Zhi's words and didn't dare to answer anymore. Instead, he said, "I didn't even who I provoked! I don't know which brat escaped during our robberies and came back for revenge with strong martial arts. He ended up killing a whopping 18 of us! That's 18!"

"I chased him all the way to Tan Han yet somehow lost his trace. I didn't have a choice but to come to the Evil Ridge to seek your help."

Kang Zhi turned solemn after hearing the great loss You Huanduo had suffered. "Please, I'll be troubling you to describe the kid's appearance so it'll be easier for me to start a manhunt for him."

"No problem. You're Uncle Master Luo's top military adviser. I'll just leave everything to you." You Huanduo seemed to carry no imposing aura. "By the way, you mentioned the reinforcements of Shaolin. Who has come?"

Kang Zhi sighed. "Shaolin is taking this very seriously this time. They sent the President of Dharma Yard, Kong Jian, and President of Commandment Yard, Wu Jing."

"Kong Jian? Though he hasn't entered the Half-step to Dharmakayais, he's still ranked within the top 30 in the Terrestrial Rankings." You Huanduo frowned.

Kong Jian was one of the last few senior monks around.

Kang Zhi shook his fan and said, "Isn't that right? Is an Exterior of mainstream martial arts someone that a mere Exterior can rival?"

Though an ordinary person who succeeded in reaching the peak level of Exterior could be considered as a person who had many adventures, only very few were blessed with the inheritance of ancient gods and immortals. Those people could directly practice mainstream martial arts that were heir to the Dharmakaya supreme art. Compared to them, others with the peak of Exterior were more or less inferior.

"Since the Ancestor has returned to Hahler now, there's no need to think about it any further." You Huanduo sighed.

Kang Zhi snorted. "It's true I don't dare to think too much about those from the Shaolin, but that little bald ass? There was something I found out. There were a few people who identified him as Gu Changqing of the Gu Castle. The day An Guo, he happened to be there and left the next day in a hurry. Humph! If we don't dispose of him, he'll think our Evil Ridge is incapable!"

"What do you want to do?" You Huanduo was still wearing that sorrowful expression.

Kang Zhi chuckled. "It's most disgraceful for Asura to help people out of West Regions to bully the natives. I'll see if Shen Du Liao will protect the Gu Castle."

"Don't push them too hard, Shen Duliao has an obstinate temper." You Huanduo scratched his head.

"Rest assured. I won't push the Gu Castle too hard. After all, it's a big family that has stepped into the Exterior. Perhaps they have some backing. Kang Zhi laughed before his expression became cold. "I've already sent them a letter, asking them to hand over Gu Changqing's lineal relatives for us to execute in the Gobi Desert as a warning!"