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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

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 Zhangsun Jing was puzzled at first, and then joyfully pulled out his long knife to chop at big trees in the courtyard. He fiercely flourished the knife with a murderous look. It could be speculated that his bladesmanship was found out through bloody battle.

He swung the knife more and more fiercely. Into a small place, there seemed to be saber-rattling and a dusty battlefield full of shouting.

With a dull-looking expression in his eyes, Taoist Hu wondered why he always met such geniuses. For him, it had become familiar that Xiao Meng's strength ascended at a speed totally beyond his imagination. However, Zhangsun Jing was also young and had practiced martial arts for only a few years. How could he have so pure of a vital spirit and unique bladesmanship?

No wonder he boasted himself as a bladesmanship genius.

Meng Qi slightly nodded in agreement of his bladesmanship, which could be counted as sharp and powerful because his posture was perfectly matched with momentum although the bladesmanship had many deficiencies, such as loss of careful revision and lack of change, and there was neither guidance nor profound bladesmanship.

Suddenly, Zhangsun Jing changed the way he swung the knife from inflexibility to yielding. He lightly lifted up the knife just as the most special gentlemanlike general before tens of thousands of soldiers.

Meng Qi secretly praised,

"Pretty good, he even knew how to combine stiffness with flexibility."

After completing his practice, Zhangsun Jing put the blade back. He appeared calm but could not help peeping at Meng Qi. "Hero Meng, I appreciate your advice."

"For this movement, you should restrain yourself a little bit." In the same fierce and malicious way, Meng Qi flourished the Evil Ordeal with scabbard. However, his movement and strength were more restrained with a little dignity, so that it was hard to resist as if there continuously came thousands upon thousands of horses and soldiers. Zhangsun Jing was almost breathless.

For Zhangsun Jing's bladesmanship, Meng Qi successively pointed out 27 mistakes in a combination of explanation with practice. They were either omissions resulting from unsolid basic bladesmanship or problems due to the assistance of Blade-breaking Move.

With glowing eyes, Zhangsun Jing contemplated for a while before cupping one hand in the other before his chest. "Thanks for Hero Meng's advice. To my surprise, my Blood-thirsty Bladesmanship could be so invincible."

"Your talent for bladesmanship is good but lacks the basic skills. Without restriction, it's original and imaginative, but it's meant to have impractical foundations and careless omissions." Meng Qi concisely advised as a senior master.

Zhangsun Jing thoughtfully said, "I have looked for the entry-level blade book before, but I didn't find any better than my blood-thirsty bladesmanship."

Meng Qi put his knife back around his waist and said indifferently, "Like Go with a certain pattern, bladesmanship and sword art also have movements. As long as you brandish a knife or sword, I can guess your next movement and make good preparation in advance. At this stage, people possess an incredible memory, so they probably cope with common movements. For a further step, they can combine movements at will and even guess the opponent's movements to win."

"However, any movement is composed of the most basic actions including chopping, cutting, peeling, and waving. After hundreds and thousands of times of practice, their taboos and advantages are absolutely clear in the entry-level blade book."

"You don't know the taboos for the lack of the entry-level regulation. Your innovative movements have a lot of omissions because you failed to learn from past mistakes committed by predecessors. As a result, masters can easily deal with such bladesmanship."

"No wonder I felt that my bladesmanship had got stuck recently without a solution to improve." Zhangsun Jing was suddenly enlightened.

Meng Qi put his hands behind his back, looking at trees of dead leaves. "Until the change of movements is engraved on your heart, you will explore a few invariable laws from complex to simple among the myriads of changes. The more invariable laws you master, the better you will do with ever-changing things. Thus, you can abandon unnecessary constraints and give a full display to change, to realize from simple to complex."

"Both sides are complementary, and each can't be neglected. Without understanding the truth of from complex to simple, how can you realize the higher-level 'to Complex'? Moreover, without further understanding bladesmanship and swordsmanship from simple to complex, how can you further realize 'to Simple'?"

Zhangsun Jing intently listened for this was the first time someone had told him such things. Taoist Hu was also absorbed thinking Meng Qi's simple words summed up all ideas over the years. Moreover, his latter words seemingly further unraveled his puzzles; thus, he had fresh new perspectives and views about sword arts and movements.

"Hero Meng, to what extent can we respectively reach after From Complex to Complicated or From Simple to Complicated?" Zhangsun Jing asked.

Meng Qi forced a graceful smile and sternly said, "You can display blood-thirsty bladesmanship again."

Zhangsun Jing questioningly drew out his knife and fiercely chopped again.

"Stab the right wrist!" Meng Qi speeded up his speech.

Upon hearing this, Zhangsun Jing changed his bladesmanship from inflexibility to yielding and then chopped down to form an oblique arc.

"Lift up!" Meng Qi spat out the words.

Zhangsun Jing was stunned that with real scenes of engagement in his mind, his opponent lifted up the sword in the former high-low trend exactly avoiding his blade to threaten his chest and abdomen.

He dodged sideways with his blade chopping crosswise. How fierce it was as if they were destined to perish together!

"Cut off the left leg," Meng Qi said.

Zhangsun Jing's expression changed because the opponent could hit him by cutting off his left leg with a sword before he flourished his blade. Meanwhile, it could be avoided to perish together.

Considering this, he changed his movements once again.

In this way, he displayed his bladesmanship while Meng Qi pointed out his flaws in words. Alongside, Taoist Hu, Ba Tu, and Ruan Yushu quietly watched.

Gradually, Zhangsun Jing spent more and more time thinking. It took several breaths to brandish a blade. In case of actual combat, he would have already been knocked to the ground. However, Meng Qi just demonstrated without urging.

A moment later, Zhangsun Jing sighed and put his blade back. "Hero Meng, I lost."

With a fully sweaty forehead, he was depressed. It seemed more exhausting than actual combat with real people.

With longing and hope, Zhangsun Jing said, "So that is the realm of From Complex to Complicated. I felt my bladesmanship had been reduced to the simplest changing combinations without any secret. Moreover, you could anticipate my next movement."

"After From Simple to Complicated, there were constant changes, so that flaws and traps were no longer distinguishable. Against the swordsmanship, no one could escape in any way, just like being trapped in a far-flung network. As for which is better, it might depend on the corresponding capability and realm."

"Rather than From Complex to Complicated," Meng Qi said, "if you confront with an opponent who well understands the change of movements, you can use movements which are totally against a few invariable laws of swordsmanship and bladesmanship. In their eyes, it goes against common sense. But, it also means that they can't predict your next movement. It's called 'Void Tactics'."

"However, it's not really Void Tactics, because as long as you still wave the sword, it can be called Skillful Tactics."

"Void Tactics..."

Zhangsun Jing and Taoist Hu became thoughtful.

"It's necessary to have a preliminary learning of the few invariable laws to realize 'Void Tactics'. If you willfully act like a kid, the opponent will knock you down with a move rather than be fooled at all. Moreover, the opponent is easy to see through because it's hard to deliberately avoid invariable laws." Meng Qi coldly said, walking to the front of a big tree with a deep shadow.

"What's the next after Void Tactics?" Zhangsun Jing boldly asked.

Actually, Meng Qi wasn't clear. While organizing the thought, he slowly spoke, "The next is to go back to 'Skillful Tactics', meaning thoroughly master the fundamental laws and essences to skillfully cope with changes, which can be regarded as the most wonderful movement. It might be simple as wisdom disguised as slow-wittedness and complicated as a perplexing maze. Besides, it might be 'void tactics' to take others by surprise. For masters, the 'Void Tactics' becomes meaningless again because movements can only be divided into applicable and inapplicable."

"Then?" Zhangsun Jing listened with fascination.

"Then?" Meng Qi said with emotion, "Whether there is a sword or not, the sword of heart finally is to purify people's spirit. After interacting with their own swords and the natural world, people discover that their movements begin to close to nature and mystery. But in the end, all return to the nature of sword, and the several questions, such as what's a sword? and why?" "Where does it stand in life and martial arts? What does it represent in the laws of heaven and earth and in the Dharma and Logos? With different opinions, the personal sword principles begin to take shape."

"After this, the internal and external worlds meet, and the sword merges with nature. With the sword drawn out, Dharma and Logos interiorize. Thus, the sword becomes extremely powerful to resist floating clouds and the netherworld, and even mountains and seas."

Though Half-step Exterior Scenery is said to be more difficult than the Exterior, both to open the Hidden Latch of Life and Death and to connect the Bridge between Heaven and Earth are closely linked to mysterious and dangerous Primal Aperture at Mid-brows, so you'll become an idiot or die at once with one careless move. Meanwhile, it also has some requirements for mind and perception. Besides, the Exterior isn't so easy."

"Its requirements for the mind is related to the perception towards nature. In case of good practicing methods and resources, the requirements for mind and perception are relatively low. For people like the warriors in this world, who have neither the method to open Primal Aperture at Mid-brows except taking the edge ball like Transformation Strategy, nor the detailed Dharma Access about internal and external Heaven-earth Merging, if they want to succeed, mind level and perception of nature are required to be high, almost as same as those of the real Exterior. Only this, the Hidden Latch, can be broken to connect the internal and external finally to reach the Exterior from Nine Apertures with one move."

"Therefore, Sword Emperor's mind and perception are obviously higher than those of his mortal body and actual military power."

Thoughts of Zhangsun Jing, Ba Tu, and Taoist Hu wandered far away. Whatever true or false, Xiao Meng at least presented them a grand and promising picture of reasonableness.

"Then, the process might be repeated again: arbitrarily apply movements in compliance with Dharma and Logos of heaven and earth, 'Void Tactics' against Dharma and Logos, as well as the already-mastered movements." Meng Qi spoke casually without much knowledge about the Exterior.

"Please don't think too much about the latter part. I just spoke without thinking. For the previous part, do you understand?" Meng Qi turned around and quietly asked.

Zhangsun Jing solemnly saluted, "I'll study the entry-level blade book once again, Hero Meng. Your words enlightened me a lot. If needed in the future, I'll spare no efforts."

Being born into a beggar family, he has never been so polite.

"Until your bladesmanship reaches to an advanced certain degree, I'll fight with you again." Meng Qi amusingly thought, wishing that he would have mastered the gist of Heaven Blade by then.

Because Sword Emperor's guidance benefited him a lot, Meng Qi had the idea to direct Zhangsun Jing.

The situation was diffused just now, so Meng Qi believed that Royal Advisor, Sword Emperor, and Devil Empress had already noticed here. However, they restrained each other, so that everything will be alright at night.

Lu Guan also agreed with this. They decided to discuss it after seeing the Right Chief Minister tomorrow.

After returning to the courtyard and entering the living room, Meng Qi didn't need to pretend to be cold. Giving a stretch and rubbing his face, he said to Ruan Yushu, "I've been thinking about the excuse to see the Third Prince. But now, I don't worry anymore. Tomorrow, let's visit the four princes one by one, to observe their behaviors and know their attitudes towards West Invaders."

"Hum." Ruan Yushu walked to his wing room holding the Chinese zither.

Meng Qi was very puzzled, "Aren't you curious about the excuse?"

"I won't go there anyhow." Ruan Yushu coolly replied.

"Ho-ho..." Meng Qi "laughed".