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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

190 Floating "Away"

 After breaking through the roof, Meng Qi stepped on the tiles and made a desperate break for the side courtyard. Hot on his heels was Ruyi Sceptre and several other masters who had leapt out after him.

"Catch the assassin!" The other masters hollered as they tried to alert the various guards scattered around the Crown Prince's residence to chase after Meng Qi and surround him. That short-haired, devilish monk had to be ground into pulp.

Meng Qi used his Arresting Wind and Capturing Shadow and became as quick as a puff of smoke. From time to time he used Lightning Changes footwork to avoid the barrage of concealed weapons and sniper shots rapidly approaching from his back.

As he ran, he kicked out some of the roof tiles, aiming at the guards who were trying to surround him. At the same time, he activated his Thundering Scream and yelled fiercely,

"The Crown Prince committed regicide and killed the king! This is an unforgivable crime, and he has now been decapitated!"

"The Crown Prince has been decapitated!"

The voice was like rumbling thunder, rolling out in all directions, shaking the guards up so much that they felt dizzy and theirhearts were stricken with fear. The Crown Prince was actually dead? Then why were they all risking their lives and what were they fighting so hard for?

Even most of the highly-skilled experts could not help being dumbfounded for the moment. Indeed, if the Crown Prince was dead, why should they have to risk their own lives? They should scheme for some of his wealth while it was still early, and seek the help of the other Imperial Princes instead!

To martial artists like them who had only been gathered for a cause, if the Crown Prince were still around, they would still be fiercely loyal to him; since the Crown Prince had perished, dreams of his ascending the throne were dashed. If his promise to them could not be fulfilled, there was no reason to be loyal.

Moreover, this was a critical period in the competition for the throne. It was unlikely that they would be lucky again.

Thus, the majority of the experts who were not guards turned and scattered like birds and creatures, taking along valuables with them. The Crown Prince's residence became a mess, creating the perfect situation for Meng Qi to escape, given that the many twists and turns he had had to make had been giving them a difficult time.

Had the Right Chief Minister Lyu Ling still been around, he would have told them to halt their actions and pushed out the Crown Prince's heir, the genuine grandson of the emperor, to calm everyone down and handle the situation. To them, they had the advantage in any case; whether it was the Crown Prince or the emperor's grandson who ascended the throne, there was not much of a difference. Unfortunately for him, Meng Qi's eventual deliberate coughing up of blood had been used to counter the crafty man of a lower martial arts level.

All of the scholars were adept at martial arts, but Prime Ministers were not necessarily scholars, especially those known for being cunning. Lyu Ling was skilled at analyzing human psychology and was also a shrewd plotter who had always had a clear image of the big picture. He was even able to put his pride aside to butter up others and was cruelly decisive. Naturally, he was valued by the emperor, in accordance with the saying that everyone majors in one field. But it was precisely because of this that he was completely unable to demonstrate his capabilities before the unreasonable Thunder Blade Furious Monk. He had barely opened his mouth before he had gotten slaughtered.

The Crown Prince's residence was in a state of chaos. Meng Qi flashed past the battleground where the Sword Emperor was intercepting a blow from the Royal Advisor, and bolted out of the mansion. He was still being chased by a few masters-Ruyi Sceptre, a line of Royal Advisors, and a couple of other devoted fellows.

The stars overhead were shining brightly, and the rainbow in the sky forbidding. The two Great Grandmasters were having a serious duel. The sides of the battlefield were swept over with Sword Qi and swift and fierce Palm Gusts. Meng Qi unleashed both his sword and blade, focusing on using the core essence of the Qi-breaking Move to separate the two. His feet did not slow down.

Under such a situation, the masters who had come running over had to watch their step, and thus gradually formed different layers nearing the center. Ruyi Sceptre charged up front first, followed by a few Royal Advisor disciples and a loyal expert. The others fell behind to try to surround them and block off any chances of escaping.

The wall surrounding the courtyard outside the Crown Prince's mansion fell into Meng Qi's line of sight as a guard suddenly attacked from the front, waving his sword fiercely.

This was supposed to be a well-protected area to prevent enemies from intruding.

Meng Qi inhaled deeply and continued advancing. As he was in the midst of beating up the guard, a longsword was brandished, its tip quivering and its brightness momentarily blinding.

"Arghhh!"

Amidst the blood-curdling cries, weapons clattered to the ground. Some grabbed their hands while others shielded their eyes. Meng Qi's body was cut in multiple areas with the blades, revealing lines and lines of bleeding wounds. However, owing to his tough skin and thick flesh, his wounds were not serious.

His feet never stopping, Meng Qi leapt onto the wall and was about to take off when Ruyi Sceptre made it just in time. A large handprint, seemingly slow and congealing, was launched at Meng Qi's temples.

"Clank!"

Ruyi Sceptre heard the sound of someone being killed before a sharp and strong wind pierced right at his throat as fast as thunder.

Ruyi Sceptre had been planning to use his Protective Upstanding Qi to counter the attack. The clanking sounds continued as another two gusts of wind came blasting forth, unexpectedly aiming for the same area.

He ducked to avoid it, but because he was too slow, Meng Qi's blade managed to slash him, causing lightning to spread everywhere and numbing his senses a little.

Meng Qi spat out yet another mouthful of blood from the effort of launching himself into the air using the energy from the palm. He landed at the entrance of a small alley and dashed into it, and disappeared in an instant.

Ruyi Sceptre slowed down and stopped chasing Meng Qi. Firstly, the distance between them had increased and Meng Qi was good at Lightness Skill and speed. Secondly, the night was very dark which made it difficult to track him. Thirdly, they were unaware of how many aides their opponents might have hidden in the darkness, where hastily pursuing him may lead them into a trap.

"I can't believe 'God-petrifying Sword' Little Meng is most adept at the Hardness Protection Skill and Lion Roar... He is a monk who has broken his vows..." Ruyi Sceptre sighed.

After fleeing from alley to alley and making a detour, Meng Qi finally reached the rendezvous spot he and Ruan Yushu had agreed on.

The gentle starlight was sprinkled over her figure; her white skirt appeared to be covered by a brilliant radiance as she tied the strings of her zither carefully with her head dipped. It was like a scene out of a poem or a painting.

Meng Qi coughed up more blood and felt much better. He fished out the remaining Haunter's Replenishing Bolus from his robes and promptly swallowed it, feeling its effect spread throughout him. There was still some time before the completion of the main task. The two could not afford to be careless lest they suffer a setback, as it was easy to take advantage of their being wounded.

"Let's go meet up with Old Luo," Meng Qi suggested, changing the way he addressed Luo Shengyi.

Ruan Yushu nodded gently. Hugging her zither, she walked next to Meng Qi. While her demeanor was one of aloofness, her gaze kept swaying-whenever Meng Qi was off guard, she would glance at the top of his head.

"I know my wig is gone!" Meng Qi thought. He said in a grudging manner, "If you want to look at it then just do it."

Ruan Yushu nodded heavily, then stared at Meng Qi openly. Finally, she commented, "I knew it wasn't supposed to grow that fast. This is more like the Reckless Monk..."

"I have already returned to my normal life." Meng Qi no longer had the strength to refute her arguments.

"Oh, so you can eat meat now." Ruan Yushu wore a very serious expression.

"That's not the point..." Meng Qi made use of the medicinal effect to moisturize his entire body from within and heal his injuries.

Ruan Yushu looked to the front and suddenly said, "Your voice, I could hear it from outside."

Meng Qi decided to focus on recovering.

The duo did not return to the Fourth Prince's residence directly, but headed for a nearby alley instead, where they had promised to wait for Luo Shengyi.

It was scenarios like these that tragedies often surfaced, where those who had served their purpose would be killed off. This was particularly so for those who appeared heavily injured and weakened like them, thus Meng Qi planned to return only after his condition had stabilized with the help of the elixir.

After a while, Meng Qi's wounds had more or less healed to a certain extent, and apart from his torn and tattered clothes, nothing seemed to be wrong with him. At this moment, heavy footsteps approached them, only to reveal Luo Shengyi staggering into the alley.

The right side of his chest had a clean sword wound. Even if he had already pressed his vital points to stop the bleeding, there was still some blood seeping from it, dying the cloth over it a dark red.

"Old Luo, are you all right?" Meng Qi asked.

Old Luo... The corner of Luo Shengyi's lips twitched a little, then he smiled and responded, "I got hit by the Moon-bathing Taoist's sword, but at least I got rid of the Third Prince."

Then his face darkened slightly. "But Cao Zhan was hacked to death by the Third Prince's men. I didn't make it in time to save him."

In other's eyes, the two of them were working together. Luo Shengyi killed the Third Prince, so naturally, Cao Zhan would be attacked.

"If one of the newbies died, why wasn't I notified? Oh right, I'm only in charge of the rookie Ruan Yushu, the other two are under Old Luo..." Meng Qi reasoned it out in his head. Meng Qi was not very familiar with Cao Zhan, and thus only gave a somewhat sad sigh in response to the news about his death. He had seemed to be doing so well at first that they all thought he would return with many gains, but in the end...

"How about Ge Huai'en?" Meng Qi inquired about the other newbie while he bandaged Luo Shengyi's wound.

Luo Shengyi swallowed the healing elixir and laughed bitterly. He said, "He was lucky. I sent him to run some other errands, so he's safe and should be able to return successfully."

He had not known that the old emperor had already perished, and thus had to prevent him from regaining consciousness without an Imperial Prince to succeed him. As such he had sent Ge Huai'en to find a way to "apply" to be a guard of the royal palace. If the Devil Empress had not been able to find a way to infiltrate the palace, he would have drawn on this method.

At first, he had planned that if the emperor regained consciousness, everything would be settled. All the Imperial Princes who had broken taboo would be subjected to severe punishment, and the one who would succeed the throne would be apparent. He would no longer need the Right Chief Minister to protect him at night, nor would he have to stay cooped up in his Taiji Hall all the time-opportunities to assassinate him would increase significantly. They were not like the rest anyway. They had no need to consider the consequences of their actions, for once the emperor was dead, the Dominator of Samsara in Six Realms would pull them back.

"Thank goodness you didn't encounter the Devil Empress." Meng Qi saw that the storm over the royal palace was subsiding, and understood that the Devil Empress and the Right Chief Minister had given up due to the changes outside the palace.

Once Luo Shengyi's condition had stabilized, the trio slowly made their way to the Fourth Prince's residence.

The Fourth Prince had already returned and was pacing up and down with his hands clasped behind his back. A complacent expression adorned his features, which indicated that all had gone well according to their plan.

Looking at the trio, he smiled and nodded. "I have already heard the news that Big Brother and Third Brother have been executed. You have done well. I must reward you for completing such an important mission. What kind of title, official posting, or land would you like?"

He had the self-awareness of an emperor.

"I am akin to a wild crane in the skies. I dislike assets and cannot care for everyday matters. If Your Highness were to reward me, it would be to fulfill the promise you made before, to bestow upon me all the swords in your study room." Meng Qi's gaze was clear and untainted with the temptations of wealth and luxury as he looked at the Fourth Prince.

Why doesn't he mention the bestowing of the scripts? This fellow does not seem to be interested in collecting scripts. By the time he sends someone to collect them, it would have been a long time!

The Fourth Prince was startled for a moment. He had not thought that they would be able to resist the temptations of glory and wealth. To think there were actually people like him who valued righteousness over material gain!

He sucked in a breath. "You may pick whatever you like yourselves. Apart from the Tengxiang Sword and the Iron Wooden Sword, which were gifted to me by my master, the rest are yours."

"Your Highness, how about General Lu?" Meng Qi asked. After all, Meng Qi had spent quite some time with Lu Guan.

The Fourth Prince revealed a smile. He replied, "General Lu now leads the Beijing camp in implementing curfews."

The three followed a chamberlain into the study room. After the butler had removed the sword that the Sword Emperor had once wielded and closed the door, Meng Qi broke into laughter. He said, "This is the result of our combined efforts. I also relied on you two a lot previously, so you may pick first."

Almost 30 precious swords hung from the wall, and another nine were Refined Weapons. There was the Crimson Moon Sword, the Shaohua Sword, the Sword of Benevolent Justice, the Old Age Bosom Sword, and the like.

"What a truckload of Karma points! Little Meng, you sure are good at talking," Luo Shengyi praised. He changed the way he addressed Meng Qi because he found out that he was very much against being called by his monk Dharma name.

He did not decline and took the Shaohua Sword as well as another long-bladed Refined Weapon.

Ruan Yushu nodded coolly, then picked the Crimson Moon Sword and another Refined Weapon.

They all knew how to compromise and had a good sense of propriety, leaving five Refined Weapons, including the Sword of Benevolent Justice and Old Age Bosom Sword, for Meng Qi.

From the remaining 18 Hundred-time Tempered swords, they each took six.

Afterwards, they spent some time tending to their wounds and eating snacks until night fell and daylight had come, before the voice of the Dominator of Samsara in Six Realms rang in their ears:

"The second main task has been completed. Each person shall be rewarded with 400 Karma points.

"As for the first side task, each of you has one newcomer surviving. Zhen Ding and Luo Shengyi are each awarded 200 Karma points.

"Return."

The Fourth Prince who had ascended the throne only truly believed that the trio was not in fact after riches and glory when his chamberlain came running to report that they had vanished with the sunrise. Afterwards, as he was staring at the empty wall in his study room, he realized that nothing else in the room had been taken. He could not help but let out a sigh, exclaiming,

"They are true heroes!"

Several pillars of light beamed down, healing the group. Meng Qi's Golden Bell Shield was restored to full power again in no time.

He counted the number of pillars of light. To his immense relief, everyone was fine.

Just then, the cold but grand voice of the Dominator of Samsara in Six Realms reverberated in his mind yet again:

"You are not inexperienced anymore, and the Samsara deepens. The next task is a death mission that will take place in a year. Please prepare for it."