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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

148 The Ranking List of Young Masters

 Seeing four of his men drop to the ground, You Huanduo changed his expression slightly. He praised while frowning. "Fine sword art!"

Derived from the Samadhi sword art, this move was seemingly able to anticipate the opponent's attack. With ingenious artistry concealed in the move's simplicity, it was perhaps the most exquisite form in the array of sword arts he had encountered.

"No wonder he could use one move to blind my four powerful subordinates without the aid of genuine Qi, making them look like normal people without any Kung Fu!"

"Exquisite as the sword art is, without the support of Inner Qi Force, it is still like water without a source or a tree without roots. As long as I ignore the changes and just directly attack him from a distance using my Air Splitting Palm or Palm Gust supported by the Violent Sand Super Force and my inner force, what use would his sword art be?"

"Ha! At last, I've confirmed that your Kung Fu has been wiped out, and I'll see how you're going to summon the Sky Thunder!" You Huanduo got his confirmation and flew off his horse with a kick, then, on tip-toes, and he charged at Meng Qi like a gust of wind.

Meng Qi did not make an attempt to flee, for he knew that within a short distance, You Huanduo could outrun a horse. He would only expose his whole back if he tried getting away.

Meng Qi felt a little uneasy, for he knew that he had only reached the entry-level of his "Nine Strategies Beyond the Swords", and had not mastered the Palm-breaking Move and Qi-breaking Move. Thus, he, without any inner force, was not at all confident in facing You Huanduo, who was adept at his palms and had strong Inner Qi Force.

However, at this juncture where his fate was hung in the balance, he had to go all in knowing that You Huanduo would not spare him even if he pleaded!

"Haha, little bald ass, let's see how you can turn the table this time!" You Huanduo taunted with joy. "Or let's find out which could be the crowned king, your exquisite sword art or my Violent Sand Super Force?"

Knowing that Meng Qi was without any inner force, he planned to use sheer force to overcome Meng Qi's artistry and use his tremendous Inner Qi Force to swamp all!

The very thought of killing the little bald ass who had wiped out An Guoxie, Yuan Mengzhi and destroyed Evil Ridge made him excited.

"When the job is done, the Ancestor would definitely reward me in kind, or might even teach me one move of the Haunter's 18 Slaps."

He usually postured himself as a simple and honest farmer, but that was just an act. If he were not ferocious, how could the burly bandits have listened to such a weak leader? Moreover, as a former member of the Ranking List of Young Masters and leader of the Seventy-two Villains, he was never lacking in arrogance, which would be spoken by his victories.

Seeing You Huanduo get closer, Meng Qi, with his sword across his chest, focused his will and drowned out all the distractions. He was ready for the battle by using a combination of the Nine Strategies Beyond Swords and Lightning Changes.

This time, he did not think about the future, danger or the fact that his Kung Fu was gone. He forgot about everything around him. He focused on You Huanduo's footwork and motion, breaking them down one move at a time.

In such a state of an abyss, Meng Qi suddenly felt something break in his body. A stream of warm energy then rose from his Dantian, quickly traveling through his whole body.

The Golden Bell Shield was once again activated, surging from the first stage to eventually the consummation, the fifth stage. Meng Qi's inner force had recovered in a minute!

Meng Qi was both surprised and stunned by such unforeseen circumstances. As if he suddenly understood something, he muttered with his eyes fogging up.

"Master... "

...

At Jade Gate Pass, Xuan Bei walked into Kong Jian's room.

"Uncle Master, I've taken Zhen Ding to Wu Liang wharf." Xuan Bei bowed with a somber expression on his face.

Kong Jian's white brows fretted with uncertainty. "Did you not send Zhen Ding to one of our affiliated clans for protection?"

Since the horse bandits could be hiding nearby, though they had yet to find them, precautionary measures must be taken. This was why Xuan Bei could not leave after taking Zhen Ding to Wu Liang. He had to entrust their affiliates to escort Zhen Ding to the heart of the Central Plains, where the horse bandits would not travel. By then, things would be considered even.

He never mentioned any of this, because he knew Xuan Bei, who had always looked out for Zhen Ding, was the one to escort him. Kong Jian thought that Xuan Bei had everything under control.

Xuan Bei suddenly dropped to his knees and cried in a painful tone. "Uncle Master, I should be blamed for a mistake."

"Xuan Bei, why?" Kong Jian frowned.

Xuan Bei lifted his head with his face looking somber and twisted."Since entering Shaolin, though I'm devoted to Buddha, I still can't totally be rid of my Jianghu habits. I was supposed to eradicate Zhen Ding's Kung Fu, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it, so I only sealed off his Kung Fu. He could break the seal if he focused his Energy, Qi, Spirit, and Will. I beg to be punished."

"By doing so, you've forfeited the opportunity to do high-level training up in the stupa." Kong Jian did not appear angry but let out a sigh. "But why? You've defended Zhen Ding more than once. You treated him more than a disciple. What is the real reason?"

Xuan Bei inhaled and revealed a hint of a smile. "Though my family had been murdered, a younger sister fortunately survived. In her younger days, immature and capricious, she married into the Su family of Luo Yang as a concubine, which had provoked father to disown her. Hence, she survived the tragedy. I'd checked and found that she died three years ago, and Zhen Ding is her son."

"And, And... " Xuan Bei's expression suddenly turned blank as if reminiscing the past. His eyes were radiant with love. "If my children hadn't died, they too would be Meng Qi's age, and have a similar appearance."

Kong Jian let out a long sigh. "You're affectionate, too."

...

Having regained his strength and Kung Fu, Meng Qi no longer wavered. Even if he could not beat You Huanduo, he would definitely be able to escape, especially when he was in the familiar environments of the Central Plains.

"More importantly, this fool still thinks my Kung Fu has been totally eradicated by my Master!"

He controlled his boiling emotions, extended his right hand to grab the handle of his blade and ripped open the cloth that was covering it. As he pulled out the dark red Buddhist Commandment Blade, white smoke was emanating from its body as if it were boiling hot.

You Huanduo was not the least bit surprised that Meng Qi had chosen to draw his blade, for it had long been rumored that the little bald ass' bladesmanship was more superior to his sword art. He had mastered one Exterior Saber move, which was stronger than the sword art he had displayed earlier was only close to the Dharma and Logos stage.

"Superior as his

bladesmanship

is, without the support of Inner Qi Force, how could he exploit its true power? Even if the saber transformations are exquisite, it would still only be at the Enlightenment stage, which could not even compare to the sword art exhibited earlier!"

He did not laugh that Meng Qi made the wrong decision when facing an impasse, because Meng Qi was using his left hand to wield his sword, which did not conflict with his using the right hand to wield a blade. He thought that Meng Qi was about to put up a desperate fight.

"But, without the Inner Qi Force, what is the use of putting up a desperate fight?"

He entered the attack range of neither the Buddhist Commandment Blade nor the long blade, just hovering at the peripherals. As he struck with his palm, the burning blast was overwhelming, as if it were about to dry out all of Meng Qi's blood, not leaving him any chance to retaliate.

Seeing You Huanduo's palm strike, Meng Qi activated the Golden Bell Shield to counter the Palm Gust. He then focused on all his Energy, Qi, Spirit and Will into one move with the Red Sun Evil Blade!

A glimmer of a bright yet unyielding flash of the blade lit up in You Huanduo's pupils, rendering him to think about how Meng Qi would be too weak to react.

Once the palm hit, the little bald ass would instantly fall. He then would undergo the ensuing sequence of events along the lines of recognition from the ancestor, imparting the supreme arts, stepping into the Exterior stage, accomplishing the Haunter's 18 Slaps, murdering Ze Luoju and Yan Shiche, then assassinating the Ancestor, marrying the daughter of Yan Shiche, inheriting Hahler, conquering the nearby lands to unite Immensity Sea and God-burying Desert, and finally reaching the zenith of life.

All of this seemed so real, because it had stemmed from his heart, in which he was still foolishly immersed.

All of a sudden, a sharp pain erupted from his throat, disrupting his breathing. By the time he collected his senses, he saw the dark red Buddhist Commandment Blade on his neck.

"Could this be an Exterior blade strike?"

"I thought his Kung Fu has been wiped out? How could he then exploit its power?"

You Huanduo was both startled and shock but dared not linger. His neck bones started cracking, like a snake twisted himself around the Buddhist Commandment Blade. Meanwhile, he grabbed the blade with his right hand and dared not let go even after the blood started flowing out and bones began showing.

"His strength is even above An Guoxie!"

At this moment, he finally saw the dark gold glow on Meng Qi's skin, which displayed a sense of calm and solemnity.

"I must fight! His Kung Fu has not been eradicated!"

"Damn, I've been fooled by the little bald ass!"

As a prudent man, his first thought that he had been duped, and then he thought about summoning the Sky Thunder.

Meng Qi did not let up after landing one hit. Having identified You Huanduo's weak points, he brandished his sword with his left hand and simultaneously used the Nine Strategies Beyond the Swords and Yama's Invitation!

-The Nine Strategies Beyond the Swords had no specific form, which meant that upon an attack, as long as one followed the course and did not waste time, any transformation could be concealed within.

A pure and concentrated sword flash gleamed, as though it had been revived from the stillness of death, and thrust directly towards You Huanduo's mid-brows!

Yet Meng Qi's mid brows were pulsating with his will turning into a thorn, and then he thrust out his strike.

As You Huanduo grabbed the hold of the Red Sun Evil Blade, his intuition from years of battle experience had warned him that he was in peril. Without hesitation, he softened his bones. After a round of cracking sounds, his body had turned into a pile of "mud". Though he felt hasty, he was just able to avoid Meng Qi's blade. It had only managed to slice off half of his ear!

You Huanduo held back the immense pain throbbing from his ear. Using his feet and hands, he "slid" out of the attacking range from Meng Qi's sword and blade. He then reconstructed his bones and turned to escape!

He was either afraid of falling into another trap set up by the Shaolin bald ass or afraid of Meng Qi summoning the Sky Thunder. Thus, he chose to run for his life instead of enduring the non-stop attack and fighting until the end.

With the activation of the Violent Sand Super Force, he ran as fast as the wind, but Meng Qi was on his tail, as he also activated Moves of Wind-god's Legs.

"I can still use the Yama's Invitation twice along with the Ananda Oath-breaking Bladesmanship, so if I don't go at him with all I have and kill him, I will not rest!"

You Huanduo had come to a river. Just as he was about to jump, a clear flash of the sword erupted from a boat. The flash was exactly the same as what Meng Qi had displayed earlier, but it was more scary, deadly, and unyielding!

As the sword flash dissipated, he kept running. But, after a few steps, he suddenly collapsed with his blood covering the area.

A beautiful young lady in a yellow dress holding a sword looked at Meng Qi with a smile. "The renowned Violent Sand Super Force is merely so."

Meng Qi was overwhelmed with joy. "Zhiwei, how come you're here?"

"Whilst on my journey, I was thinking that if you hadn't succeeded, An Guoxie would've held you captive and taken you to Hahler. Thus, I decided to go up Northwest to personally meet him, but I didn't expect to see you here." Jiang Zhiwei glanced at You Huanduo and asked, "What has happened?"

Meng Qi told Jiang Zhiwei about his experiences. By the end, he turned to face the Jade Gate Pass. He sincerely knelt down and pledged in a grieving tone, "Master, I've wronged you. I only hope to repay you in the future!"

Jiang Zhiwei watched in silence as Meng Qi apologized, and then comforted him with a sigh. "There is no definite right or wrong on this matter. It's just your ideas aren't in accordance with Buddhism, so no one is to blame. If it were in my Sword Washing Pavilion, your punishment would just be copying some scripts to cleanse your soul."

"Master Xuan Bei wouldn't lie to me, and that we're together now is a little too obvious, so it wouldn't be too hard for the authoritative monks to find out. You had better go to Senior Brother Zhang or Senior Brother Qi to bide some time. When you're taller and become more mature, you can roam Jianghu freely again."

Meng Qi nodded in agreement and took out a black skin to be appraised by Jiang Zhiwei. Unfortunately, it was not worth much. Then, they searched You Huanduo's body, only to find a bag of pearls and some silver.

Since meng Qi was quite well-off, he didn't care much for money, so he handed it to Jiang Zhiwei.

"Great, more money for the road." Jiang Zhiwei did not refuse, but being worried about the Shaolin monks' pursuit, she dared not waste Meng Qi's time. She bid a farewell and said, "Looking at you from a distance earlier, I noticed that your sword art has vastly improved, and next time we must have a sparring session."

Meng Qi felt like a load had been taken off his shoulders, and he had no other concerns in the main world aside from pledging to repay Master. Hence, he laughed and turned to leave with a song in his voice. "The ocean roars, waves smashing the shores... "

As Jiang Zhiwei watched him leave, she could not hold back her laughter. "Where did he get such a weird song, not to mention the awful lyrics... "

"What do we know about the world even after the waves and sand have gone... " Meng Qi's silhouette gradually disappeared in the distance and his singing faded away.

Jiang Zhiwei turned her head and mumbled, "On a close listen, it's actually not bad with thoughtful lyrics... "

...

The headquarters of Six Fan School, Luo Yang.

There was a screen full of yellow paper in the square outside.

Many loitering citizens had gathered over to see whether there were any changes to the Ranking List of Young Masters.

Soon after, an arrester of Six Fan School walked in front of the Ranking List of Young Masters and torn down the old list and stuck a new one on.

"Wow, such a big change?" Many people were taken aback, thinking,

" could it be that someone has suddenly jumped in the ranking, hence causing changes to the whole list?"

There were no changes in the top nine, but some added battle records. When it came to the 10th, however, someone had voiced his shock, "Jiang Zhiwei of the Sword Washing Pavilion, the Fairy of the Extinctive Sword and the Pretty Yama, killed the 'Sun-mirroring Evil Sword' Kang Dahai... killed the 'Uprising Yama' You Huanduo with one strike, ranked 10th of the Ranking List of Young Masters... "

"It's expected that she would climb up the list, for word on the street says that many missionary disciples with Seven Apertures or Eight Apertures opened couldn't beat their Junior Sister Jiang Zhiwei after they returned. Now since she's officially gone down the mountain to roam Jianghu, her ranking would naturally rise." Another explained.

"That does make sense." No one had any objections to her climbing the list.

As more candidates got posted, people didn't say much as they were all familiar faces except when it got to the 33rd ranking. "Who's Zhen Ding?"

All eyes were focused on this post, and the yellow paper read,

"Name: Self-proclaimed Little Meng, formerly known as the Buddhist name Zhen Ding."

"Kung Fu: Opened Four Apertures. Reaching the fifth or sixth stage of the Golden Bell Shield. Left-hand sword and right-hand blade. Exquisite sword art. He attained the first move of the Gist of Trueness of the Ananda Buddhist Commandment Blade, possessing the ability to call Sky Thunder."

"Battle record: He Killed the 'White-headed Vulture' An Guoxie, utilized the Sky Thunder to kill the 'Gray Jade Hand' Yuan Mengzhi with one move, overtook Evil Ridge, and fended off the 'Uprising Yama' You Huanduo."

"Ranking: 33."

"Nickname: the 'Thunder Blade Furious Monk' and the 'Reckless Monk'."

"Identity: Abandoned disciple of Shaolin."

(End of volume two)