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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

146 No Mistakes

 After figuring out what had happened, Xuan Bei looked at the group of women and said, "Okay. When you arrive at Tan Han, arrange for those who want to stay in the west regions to go to the Fish Sea. If some want to go to Great Jin Dynasty, bring them with you to Quicksand Town. Uncle Master Kong Jian and the rest are still waiting there."

He paused and explained more in case his disciple would have a bad impression of him. "Since we don't know if you mistakenly entered the Heavenly Sea Source or are detouring here to return to Central Plains, we'd better act separately. One group will wait in Quicksand Town to avoid missing the others. The other group will go searching in Tan Han."

"I'll respectfully obey your orders," Meng Qi replied pleasantly.

With Master around, he can now calmly make proper arrangements for these ill-fated women.

...

After two days, five people appeared in Evil Ridge.

One of them was the farmer-like You Huanduo. After running down the mountain to chase Zhen Guan in vain, he was planning to return to ask Kang Zhi when he overheard in Tan Han about the Thunder Blade Evil Monk rampaging in Evil Ridge.

The camping site was in ruins. Everything was totally burnt. Many corpses were mutilated by beasts. It seemed like a scene out of the Asura Hell.

You Huanduo did not speak. He walked to Kang Zhi's yard and entered the back wing room, only to see charred bodies.

"He didn't even spare children. Is he a real monk... " one of his subordinates said in shock.

You Huanduo frowned. "It might not be the monk. There's that Gu family's son too. But we know the monk must have allowed it."

He took out a transparent stone that glowing dark green from his bosom and opened his palm. Black gas filled the room and heart-wrenching cries reverberated around them.

Though he had yet to achieve the Exterior breakthrough nor learned Haunter's 18 Slaps, the Crying Elder favored him over An Guoxie because he was more tactful. Thus, he was taught some accessorial Dharma Accesses.

The black gas permeated into the stone, turning it dark. From time to time, a contorted face would be reflected inside.

"Boss, what are you doing?" one of Seventy-two Villains of the Helian Mountain asked in confusion.

You Huanduo gave a rare smile. "Of course it's to show the old monks how inhumane and cruel the Shaolin heirs are. They're more like Asura than monks."

"Right!" The man clapped his hands. "Shaolin parades themselves as the paradigm of Buddhism and does everything in accordance with Buddhism. They would definitely not allow such disciples. When that time comes, Shaolin will de-martialize them and lock them in the back mountain or expel them!"

You Huanduo nodded gently. "Whether or not Zhen Ding did this, he's at least involved. President of Shaolin Commandment Yard, Wu Jing, hates evil like it's his enemy. He'll definitely handle this fairly. If Zhen Ding is de-martialized and expelled, that'll be our opportunity. Heh, I thought we wouldn't get any. I didn't expect him to reveal such a gaping flaw."

"Boss, you have to be careful. This Bald Ass can summon the Sky Thunder!" His subordinate reminded him.

You Huanduo spat like he was an old farmer. "What's there to be afraid of? It doesn't matter how he's able to use the power of the Exterior, we know one thing for sure. The skills of the Exterior is a great burden those in the enlightenment period. They consume a lot of energy. I really want to see if he'll still be able to summon the Sky Thunder when he can't use his martial arts anymore!"

"Boss, you're so wise!" Another subordinate flattered him.

You Huanduo put away the stone and straightened his back. He coldly said, "Let's go and kill some people!"

In that moment, he no longer looked like a farmer but the leader of Seventy-two Villains who killed lots of people!

The five men got on their three horses and began chasing after Zhen Ding. A monk would not be able to travel far with a group of women!

...

Inside Jade Gate Pass, Meng Qi and Zhen Hui watched Gu Changqing as he left. They stood there for a long time without a word.

"Senior Brother, why isn't Brother Gu first coming to Shaolin with us and then having you accompany him to Luo Yang?" Zhen Hui thought Meng Qi was definitely capable of going through the Bronzemen Lane.

Meng Qi sighed. "He has completed his revenge and has no other means of sustenance. It's natural that he may be regretful. He implicated his family because of me, so he may be unwilling to befriend us. I hope he'll be able to heal the wound in his heart as time passes."

Besides his comrade and junior brother, Meng Qi also regarded Gu Changqing as his first friend in the World of Samsara. He would feel dejected if they really went their separate ways without contact. But if he left the mountain in the future and had nothing planned, he could visit Gu Changqing in Luo Yang.

He was precisely that optimistic!

"Let's go back and settle the women's affairs. We can't just leave everything to Master." Having collected himself, Meng Qi told Zhen Hui to return to the inn.

Some of the rescued women had already gone their separate ways in Tan Han. They were citizens of the West Regions and were afraid of leaving their hometown. Thus, they traveled by trade caravans familiar with Shaolin and went to Fish Sea. Some moved north to Oases blessed by Snow Mountain Sect and others somewhere else.

Those who remained were mostly from the Central Plains or had no relatives in the West Regions. Wanting a change in their environment and to forget unhappy memories, they went east with Kong Jian and the rest. When they crossed Jade Gate Pass, many bad farewells due to their different destinations. When Shaolin saves a life, they will see it through until the end. Thus they found reliable business caravans or escort agencies to help the women reach their destinations.

Back at the inn, Meng Qi and Zhen Hui saw that their Master was seeing an escort out. Several women followed behind the escort.

When the women saw Meng Qi and Zhen Hui, they were so moved that their faces were wet with tears. "Masters, we'll pray for you two every day."

The escort who was receiving orders from the Elder of the Exterior of Shaolin became light-headed when he saw them, almost forgetting where he was.

After exchanging greetings, Meng Qi and Zhen Hui could no longer take the enthusiasm and hid upstairs.

"Those heading to the north and south had left. We only have women who want to head east left." When Xuan Bei came upstairs, he did not carry any trace of annoyance. He was happy to help others.

"Xuan Bei, Zhen Ding, Zhen Hui, come to my room." The long-bearded Kong Jian and the angular-faced, bronze-skinned Wu Jing wore serious expressions. Meng Qi suddenly felt a bad premonition.

Xuan Bei led his two disciples to Kong Jian's room. After Kong Jian waved his tunic, the glass light flashed and completely enveloped the room.

"Did you hide anything about the incident of the Evil Ridge?" As President of Commandment Yard, Wu Jing had always been straightforward.

In Quicksand Town, Xuan Bei played down the fact that his disciples had helped Gu Changqing take revenge and instead stressing that they had rescued a group of ill-fated women. Based on the Merciful Impunity Commandments, they should be exempted from punishment. The commandment stated that monks loyal to Bodhisattva should rescue everyone from misery. In that case, Meng Qi and Zhen Hui did not violate any rule as they had killed the wicked and rescued the kind.

Though Xuan Bei understated matters, he naturally did mention about the revenge. But he argued his disciples were just watching over Gu Changqing lest he was blinded by hatred. That was why Wu Jing did not punish them for killing out of self-defense.

"No." Meng Qi thought for a while and decided to give the same answer. He actually did conceal nothing because he had clearly told them about Gu Changqing's revenge. He had simply left out the details.

"Amitabha, my sin, my sin. Someone was requested to send me this." Kong Jian repeated Buddha's name in a low voice and took out a stone with swirling black gas. Numerous rays of light emanated from his palm, permeating the stone.

The black gas rose and the ghost appeared, replaying the scene that had happened.

Meng Qi became numb with fear. Blinded by his grudge, Gu Changqing had overdone his revenge. Kang Zhi's ghost then transformed into the scene when he dragged Zhen Hui out.

I should have asked Junior Brother to expiate the sins of the dead with Woe-surviving Buddhist Beads... Unlike a real monk, Meng Qi hadn't thought of it until this moment.

Xuan Bei looked at Meng Qi and Zhen Hui in surprise. He did not expect something like this would happen.

"You allowed others to kill the innocent; that's your first mistake. You denied your sins and concealed it; that's your second. You two are cruel and merciless. You don't have sympathy for others. Neither of you knows repentance!" Wu Jing solemnly said. He had just checked with Kong Jian that the ghost was not lying.

Meng Qi did not know how to reply because the details were right. But he was not as evil as President had described him!

After collecting himself, Xuan Bei stepped out and solemnly made a bow.

"It's my fault. I saw Zhen Ding was regretful, so I ask him to lie to conceal."

Meng Qi looked at his Master in confusion. He had helped him once again...

Xuan Bei signaled him to apologize immediately. There might still be hope.

When Meng Qi was about to confess his faults, Wu Jing sternly said, "They had made an irreparable mistake. Zhen Hui was kind in nature. He was too weak to resist Zhen Ding, so he was exonerated. But he helped Zhen Ding to conceal and disrespect the disciplines, so he shall be isolated for two years after he returns to the temple."

As President of Commandment Yard, he had the right to punish them along with an Elder before reporting to His Abbotship.

"Xuan Bei, you didn't set an example for them as their master. Instead, you instruct them to escape their punishment. I hereby sentence to one year of isolation." Wu Jing stopped Xuan Bei from speaking and turned to Meng Qi. "Zhen Ding, you have committed the worst kind of sin. You're cruel and merciless. You must be de-martialized and expelled. You must also take the Soul-pledging Oath to prevent you from imparting supreme arts to others!"

Xuan Bei was shocked and anxious begged. "Uncle Master, please be more lenient on Zhen Ding on account of him saving so many distraught lives."

"Merits can't offset faults. Saving lives is his own blessings. It must be the Crying Elder's scheme to send this ghost stone. They're probably waiting in ambush somewhere nearby. So it can be seen as an award to send Meng Qi to another city," Wu Jing impartially said.

Meng Qi became light-headed. How could this matter end up this way...

Xuan Bei's expression was etched with grief. He kneeled down and kowtowed to Wu Jing. "I'm willing to give up my chance to cultivate my skills in the stupa in exchange for leniency for my disciple."

After reaching the peak of the Exterior, he had the chance to enter the stupa and cultivate himself in Buddha's relics of supreme monks. By doing so, he could truly understand himself to lay a solid foundation for his Half-step to Dharmakaya in the future.

Meng Qi was shocked and moved. He looked at Xuan Bei with teary eyes as he struggled internally. Will Master really give up such a good chance?

No, he could not allow Master to pay such a heavy price!

Even if he was expelled, he could return to World of Samsara. There was still hope to regain his kungfu. As long as he could make it to Zhen Wu Sect and Sword Washing Pavilion where he could ask Zhang Yuanshan or Jiang Zhiwei for help, he had no need to fear Ze Luoju's men.

As for the difficulties he would face along the way, he would consider it as repaying his master's kindness.

Gritting his teeth, he raised his head to look at Wu Jing with an obstinate expression.

"President, I didn't make any mistake!"