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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

194 The First Summer Snow

 He had just finished sorting out his teammates relationship problems, and now the task of psychological aid was being put on his shoulders too? It was not that Meng Qi did not want to do it, but he was about to go to Qi Zhengyan. He was planning to start a quiet life, strengthen his foundations and increase his strength, but it was his duty to help a teammate in need. Plus, strengthening the bond between teammates would enhance their focus when they faced a death mission and they would work more coherently. It was beneficial to their survival. He was silently making fun of himself. If things go on like this, I will turn into one of those old ladies of the neighborhood committee.

"Fine." Meng Qi nodded heavily to Jiang Zhiwe. He had nothing better to do anyway, he was just like a Jianghu idler.

As he stepped into the light pillar, everything went dark before him and he started feeling dizzy. The sounds of the night bell reverberated in his ears. Before him was a nunnery and behind was a temple.

"Everyone has gained a lot from the last task and it is so rare for the Dominator of Samsara in the Six Realms to be generous for once...But the next task, the death mission, is going to be a handful!" Meng Qi recalled everything in his mind and sighed silently.

He had originally intended to come out so that he could avoid the love tragedy plot and reach the sixth level of the Golden Bell Shield. Now, the troubles between the love birds, Zhang Yuanshan and Fu Zhenzhen, were solved and his sixth level was close to consummation. He got up slowly, stretched lazily and walked slowly towards the nunnery.

As he entered the gate, Meng Qi saw Zhang Yuanshan walk out with Fu Zhenzhen. They kept their distance. This place wasn't far from the Zhen Wu Sect after all. If they were seen by others, it would make waves, which was not beneficial for their plan.

"Junior Brother Meng, thank you very much." Zhang Yuanshan solemnly saluted.

Meng Qi laughed out loud. All his thoughts of being a member of the neighborhood committee disappeared. He replied, "All I did was drink with you. In the end, you were the one that made the decision."

After Zhang Yuanshan made sure that no one was listening, he added, "I've never been resolute, so every time I face a difficult decision, I need someone to give me a nudge. If it weren't for you, young brother Meng, I'm afraid to think of what would have happened."

Fu Zhenzhen was too embarrassed to lift her head. She remembered the scene of her hair being cut and thought she couldn't face Meng Qi again.

Meng Qi grinned and said, "Senior Brother Zhang, if you really want to thank me, then treat me to Xuanwu City's delicacies."

"No problem! When we get to Xuanwu City, we'll definitely try the freshwater fish and turtles. Otherwise, it would be as if we were never there," Zhang Yuanshan said with a laugh. He then reminded Meng Qi, "Junior brother Meng, your wig."

In this world, a person with short hair was either a monk that had just resumed the secular life or a demon.

Meng Qi froze. "Right, I almost forgot!"

Luckily, wigs were a part of the appearance-changing gear he had exchanged with the Dominator of Samsara in the Six Realms. Otherwise, he would have had to wrap his head with fabric and find a Jianghu veteran to ask where to buy a wig. Not to mention, he would be risking his identity being exposed.

The three of them chatted for a while. Meng Qi reminded them, "Young Yao might be trustworthy, but we can't be sure of the Yao family. It's possible that his recommendation was planned by schemers. So if you take his advice, be discreet and make sure that no one finds out."

Zhang Yuanshan nodded in agreement. "I know. This is a matter of great importance. I won't take it lightly. Junior Brother Yao's recommendation is only that, a recommendation. It's up to me to decide how to approach it. If I can't finish it successfully, then it's on me. I can't blame others."

After a short pause, he added, "Junior Brother Meng, I reckon there's something strange with the Eight Nine Mysteries."

"What do you mean?" Meng Qi did not know which version of the Eight Nine Mysteries he was referring to, so he didn't doubt it. But there was only one version of the Eight Nine Mysteries in Zhang Yuanshan's mind, the fundamental principles of the saint during the Mythical Times.

Zhang Yuanshan thought for a while and said, "The saint was a major power during the early Mythical Times. After the Pure Land Times, he disappeared. Rumor has it that he had achieved Nirvana, but since it was such a long time ago, there are very few legends about him. As for the Eight Nine Mysteries, the only written record from our sect was that one could claim the Golden Body of Bodhi through cultivating this art."

"'Bodhi' means a complete and endless wealth of knowledge. Along with the nature of 'Buddha', they both represent the highest achievement of Buddhism. That is why the Golden Body of Buddha is equal to the Golden Body of Bodhi."

Meng Qi nodded, indicating that he understood.

He was a Buddhist disciple, which meant that he strived for enlightenment and the nature of Buddha. He had long heard about the definition of the Golden Body of Buddha and Golden Body of Bodhi. Though these terms had been created separately by Siddhartha Gautama and the Saint, they were unlike terms such as the Dharmakaya of the Merciful Guan Yin Bodhisattva, and the Golden Body of Ksitigarbha. These terms belonged to whomever claimed them first.

Of course, one who could claim the Golden Body would have to add the term Buddha to it. But to the common folk, Buddha was the same as the Siddhartha Gautama.

"If he truly did represent enlightenment and a complete and endless wealth of knowledge, then why did he favor his physical body?" Zhang Yuanshan voiced his doubts. "Plus, the term 'eight nine' is from the Tao sect. I have always wondered why this saint would name his art, Eight Nine Mysteries. However, upon seeing that this art could claim the 'Undying Tao', he understood. Perhaps there are some stories and explanations behind the name."

Hearing this, Meng Qi's became doubtful as well. "That's right! What's the relation between becoming a saint physically and enlightenment with a complete and endless wealth of knowledge? Are there perhaps big changes behind all of this?

It was a pity that he was still thousands of kilometers away from exchanging for Dharmakaya. He had no way of knowing.

In the days that followed, Zhang Yuanshan used hosting his old friend, Meng Qi, as an excuse to travel throughout Xuanwu City with Fu Zhenzhen and taste the local delicacies. Of course, Meng Qi was with them too.

Meng Qi enjoyed the food immensely. He occasionally wondered how Ruan Yushu, who also had a passion for good food, would feel if she knew that he was committing the sin of gluttony. Would she still laugh at him out of jealousy?

He didn't stay long. After bidding farewell to Zhang Yuanshan and Fu Zhenzhen, he boarded a boat and travelled against the current to Huan Province. The unity of the Zhang and Song families had brought much attention to Zhang Yuanshan. If Meng Qi stayed too long, he'd risk exposing his identity. And if the Shaolin disciplinary monks found him, it would be troublesome. Furthermore, there was more investigation work to do at Qi Zhengyan's place, so he had to leave. He wasn't too worried about Zhang Yuanshan and Fu Zhenzhen, because he knew that, at least for a year, they wouldn't fake their deaths to escape. They had to focus on training, peregrinate challenges and get ready for the upcoming Death Task.

This time, Meng Qi was disguised as a scholar with his wig, official's cap and sword. He entered his room as soon as he boarded the boat to focus on "reading". Food was even brought to him by the Junk Ship's attendants.

He chose to travel via water instead of on foot because he didn't want to lose focus. He wanted to steady his current realm, be it the opening of his Nasal Apertures or the near consummation of the sixth level of the Golden Bell Shield. Both had to be achieved with the forced impact of the Spiritual Core, which meant that there were still blemishes and he had to refine them.

Additionally, he had to cultivate the "Immortal Pressing Art", which was a form of hallucination to confuse the opponent; a form of mental distraction, Dharma Access of the genuine Qi's zenith. He also had to figure out how to use the thunderbolt mark to quickly cultivate the Purple Thunder force. Hopefully, the Purple Thunder Force was genuine Qi cultivated from the Eight Nine Mysteries and Golden Bell Shield. And once the Dharma Access was accessed, parts of it would turn into the Purple Thunder Force and attach to the Evil Ordeal sword with the assistance of the thunderbolt mark.

He wanted to study the fifth blade of the Purple Thunder "Violent Thunder Shocking the Sky" bladesmanship too. And he wanted to continue to grasp the "Essence of Heavenly Knife" and "Nine Strategies Beyond the Swords" and practice the "Hallucination Body Movements".

With so many things to do, of course Meng Qi chose to travel by boat. He wanted to devote himself fully to learning.

Since the boat was travelling against the current, it was extremely slow. Huan Province was surrounded by barren hills and turbulent waters. Some rivers could only be crossed at specific times, and even so, many boat trackers had to help. It took the better part of a month to get close to the Huan Province.

Inside the room, Meng Qi wielded both his sword and blade. The moves seemed ordinary yet dynamic. Every transformation created a hallucination where it was difficult to tell which was real.

Suddenly the blade and sword both disappeared. It was impossible to tell when they had been returned to their scabbards. Meng Qi nodded with satisfaction and thought, "At long last, I've grasped the two Dharma Accesses of the 'Immortal Pressing Art'."

The true Immortal Pressing Art integrated the inner body imprint with the outer hand imprint. Through the integration, the internal organs connected heaven and earth, and the outer body connected the universe. It was an unorthodox Dharma Access of the inner and outer confluence. When the primary level of the Dharma Access was accomplished, one would be able to integrate the spirit and genuine Qi, and thereafter, create hallucinations to interrupt the opponents' senses.

Since Meng Qi had to use the blade and sword, he had to activate his genuine Qi. It meant that his body had become the inner imprint and the outer hand imprint was replaced by the Will-projecting from his Primal Aperture at Mid-brows. In the end, he was able to accomplish the primary level with this method.

Meng Qi knew the core principles well, so it was not difficult for him to use his genuine Qi to cultivate this top level Dharma Access. After all, the extreme end of life was death and vice versa. The genuine Qi cultivated from the Eight Nine Mysteries and Golden Bell Shield were both the fast recovery kind, and he was able to rapidly reach the entry level with his courageous experiment.

Reaching the entry level with this method, where one unloads strength with another source of strength, was not as powerful as simply focusing on the "Immortal Pressing Art". But with the protection of the Golden Bell Shield, it would be more than enough for Meng Qi when facing most hostile situations.

A chilly breeze gave him a shiver, surprising him.

"How could it be so cold? It is early summer!" He stopped studying the Purple Thunder Force and bladesmanship, and walked out of his room.

To his shock, he saw snow. Ice was floating in the river, as if it was the middle of winter.

Meng Qi packed the Evil Ordeal blade away. Carrying only his sword, he left his room to ask someone about the weird phenomenon.

When he got to the Junk Ship's dining hall, he saw a few sailors gathered around. They were boiling some food in a hot pot. An abundance of delicious fragrances entered his nose.

They should be more careful, for a fire could break out.... Meng Qi walked past, then asked politely, "Brothers, I'm wondering why there is snow in June?"

The sailors were gathered around the pot to get warm. When they heard Meng Qi's question, the leader answered, "Half a month ago, Master Cui Qingyu of the Cui Clan from Pinjin was in an intense battle with some mysterious master not far from here. The weather has been like this ever since. It might take up to a year to return back to normal."

"Ah, I see. Such a disaster..." Meng Qi sighed. Seeing them eat the food from the hot pot, Meng Qi pointed to it and asked, "Brothers, what are you eating? Do you mind if I join you? Of course, I'll pay."

"It's nothing, just some pig and cow offal," The leader answered politely and signaled Meng Qi to join them.

"My favorite!" thought Meng Qi as he sat down. He gave them some silver, grabbed a bowl and mixed himself a dipping sauce with some Cornus Juice and other ingredients. He picked some liver, tripe and started devouring the offal.

When the sailors saw that the patron didn't mind the conditions, they let loose and started eating boorishly. As they ate, sweat beads began to flow. This type of food was perfect for this kind of weather.

"Boss, there's something wrong inside the dining hall," whispered one of the sailors as he looked inside.

Meng Qi looked inside.