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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

205 A Blade Shaking up the Four Families

 "Huh?" Hearing a voice that was familiar and strange, Tang Mingyue whipped her head around in surprise, just in time to see Meng Qi unleash a terrifyingly violent strike with that sword.

He looked the same as he used to be, but his temperament seemed to have changed. He no longer had that vibe of decadence and lust. Now he had persistence and a cold arrogance that morphed into formidable confidence.

"Second brother... " Her hands flew to her mouth subconsciously as her vision clouded, with her heart trembling.

Second Master Tang, Master Tang the Seventh, and several younger disciples all looked horrified. The return of Second Young Master Tang at such a critical moment was completely unexpected!

Second Young Master Tang was in his early 20s when he left home, so his features and stature had not changed. He had only gained much experience after going through countless challenges. So, how could they not recognize him?

Even the guests like Master Ling and the third son of the Wan family wore similar expressions of shock on their faces.

The gazes of the masters of the four families as well as a few Masters were frozen with their pupils constricted. Their attention was snatched away in an instant. Even though they were only watching from the side, they could feel his powerful and unrivaled strength.

Being able to demonstrate such an imposing manner through his bladesmanship, this man had evidently already captured the essence of it!

If it had been them, would they have been able to block such a strike? And at what cost?

The Nine Apertures Elders accompanying the Ye family stepped forth and ordered, "Stop!"

Evil Ordeal swung down on Third Master Ye's head. The surrounding airflow and vitality were completely absorbed by it. In Third Master Ye's eyes, heaven and earth had just been enveloped by that strike, isolating him from the world.

The skies turned ash grey while the boundaries of the land became indistinct. Apart from that sole blade, nothing else existed!

He felt like a man who had been abandoned by nature, his family, and his underlings, left to face heaven's wrath all by himself. His body and soul were crushed, as fear grew within him.

This blade was just like a bolt of thunderclap sent from the heaven as a punishment-strong and fierce!

In the face of this blade, Third Master Ye was like an evil spirit before thunderclap. He was shivering inside it and could not even summon the will to fight back. In an instant, his entire body slackened as he slipped from his seat and ended up kneeling on the ground.

The Knife Energy began to diminish. Meng Qi's Evil Ordeal was hanging above his head, while the Ye family's Nine Apertures Masters were still a step away.

Meng Qi sheathed his Long Knife with a clang and looked straight ahead. He said in a hoarse and apathetic voice,

"You're too weak. I'm very disappointed."

As he spoke, he stepped over the kneeling Third Master Ye, never looking back once.

A Six Apertures Master, who had abused drugs to get where he was, without sharpening his skills in real combat or possessing any Peerless Godly Kongfu, was so weak... Meng Qi speculated that he could fight off two men by himself, without the help of Ananda Oath-breaking Bladesmanship at the time of his Eye Apertures first being opened.

He was not worried about people recognizing the origin of his move just now. He had gained insights from training his Purple Thunder Bladesmanship and used his understanding of the Essence of the Heavenly Knife as a framework to transform it into his own stroke. Even if experts of the Exterior from the Sect of Plain Lady who practiced the "Purple Thunder Bladesmanship" were present, they would at most feel that such a move had the gist of Thunderclap and was similar to the Essence of a strong and fierce bladesmanship.

As for the "Peace Quietude Split" and "Mortal Dust Fall" of the Ananda Oath-breaking Bladesmanship, they had both been respectively altered into Meng Qi's own Essence of Knife Dao.

Originating from the Heaven Blade but with an essence not completely like that of Song Que's, this was Meng Qi's own "Heaven Blade"!

"You're too weak. I'm very disappointed." Meng Qi's hoarse voice traveled into Third Master Ye's ears. His face flushed, with an uneasy expression on it, and his gaze crumbled. Third Master Ye attempted to stand up but his legs were still weak. That move seemed to have been sown like a seed of fear in his heart!

The Nine Apertures Master arrived at the scene, in time to blankly stare at Meng Qi walking by. He then helped Third Master Ye return to his seat.

Master Ling and the third son of the Wan family were in a trance. They could not believe that Master Ye, who was stronger and more domineering than them, had knelt helplessly on the ground in just one strike!

Master Tang The Seventh, the master of the Wan family, and the others were even more shell-shocked. They were incredulous-since when had Second Young Master Tang's bladesmanshipbecome so powerful and terrifying?

"Tang Jing, what's your intention?" the Ye family's Master, Ye Wantian spat coldly.

Meng Qi glanced at him, then replied in a rough voice, "I was showing Master Ye what it meant to be useless."

He had heard Second Young Master Tang's voice on the boat and was able to control his throat muscles and vocal chords with the Eight Nine Mysteries to mimic his voice to a large extent. In addition, his own injured throat made his voice raspy, so it was impossible for someone to notice that something was off.

Hepaused for a bit, then continued to say, "A few years ago, thanks to Master Ye, I came to a sudden and total realization that made me leave to peregrinate. After experiencing countless hardships, I've mastered the bladesmanship. Cough! Thus, I meant to show my gratitude for his 'favor' with that move just now, in hope of him turning over a new leaf."

Meng Qi intentionally dropped a couple of coughs to show that his throat had yet to fully recover and he could not speak much, lest he spilled the beans when questioned about details.

With that, he turned around to look at Tang Mingyue. He softened his still-husky voice and said, "Ninth Sister, you have suffered."

He had flipped through the information that the Huanhua Swords Sect had gathered. Although he was not entirely sure of the details, he had still gotten down the basic forms of addresses and more significant events.

Tang Mingyue gazed up at "Second Young Master Tang" who appeared rather unfamiliar to her. Tears began streaming down from the corners of her eyes. She seemed to be elated, yet awkward, as well as deeply concerned. She said, "Second brother, I'm so glad that you're back. You don't need to worry about me. What, what happened to your voice?"

"I was attacked by an assassin from the Unrelenting Tower and ended up implicating Brother Wan," Meng Qi explained, giving his regards to the Wan family's Master.

"The Unrelenting Tower?" The Wan family's Master was taken aback. Second Master Tang, Wang Zai, and the rest looked over in surprise as well.

Meng Qi gestured to Tang Mingyue to relax and slowly stepped forward. He added, "If it weren't a Golden-level killer of the Unrelenting Tower, how could I suffer such severe injuries and be forced to flee and recuperate?"

Based on the move he had executed just now, if he did not emphasize the strength of the assassin, people would easily question his true identity.

The Unrelenting Tower was one of the Nine Evil Paths which primarily served assassins. Pertaining to its Exterior Realm, assassins were divided into the colors of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple, with the most powerful Purple-level Assassin having killed the man ranked nineteenth on the Terrestrial Rankings. This assassin was allegedly the current Tower Lord of the Unrelenting Tower, who was ranked among the top fifteen members of the Terrestrial Rankings by the Six Fan School.

As for the enlightenment periods, the Unrelenting Tower differentiated them into gold, silver, copper, and metal. The strongest of them was the Golden-level killer. However, because the identities of assassins were hidden, it was unclear whether several assassinations were committed by the same person, and thus, none of them were ranked on the Ranking List of Young Masters. But, if someone underestimated them simply because they were unranked, he would pay the price of life.

"I can't believe it was a Golden-level killer... " Wang Zai muttered under his breath.

Meng Qi looked around at everyone and held his gaze on Second Master Tang and Master Tang the Seventh for a brief instant, then spun around to look at Third Young Master Ye, who had just snapped out of his daze and was now full of bitter hatred. He said, "Second Uncle, Seventh Uncle, and Third Young Master Ye, I wonder why I was hunted by a Golden-level killer from the Unrelenting Tower, and even ended up implicating Brother Wan in the matter, on my way home to visit my gravely ill grandfather."

He held perfect control over the topic of conversation, in case of giving himself away when it got dragged to some other issue that he was unfamiliar with.

The Tang family and Wan family burst into an uproar. Was the mastermind one of Second Master Tang, Master Tang the Seventh and Third Young Master Ye? Or that the three of them were in cahoots?

"Who knows what kind of trouble you've stirred up outside?" Third Young Master Ye ground his teeth.

The Wan family's Master and the rest felt their gazes flicker. They did not have much response to Third Young Master Ye's words, for the timing of the assassination had simply been too coincidental. It had happened right when he was on his way home, and right when Old Master Tang was gravely ill.

"How could there be such a coincidence?" Meng Qi's words were delivered in a straightforward manner. His expression then darkened as he added, "If I find out who's the one behind this, I'll definitely hack him in half!"

He did not wait for the onlookers to speak, but stared directly at Wang Zai. "Childe Wang, according to the rules, if the eldest son is present, how should the position of Master be handled?"

His voice was not loud yet, but it resembled a clap of thunder that leveled the ground. It caused Second Master Tang, Master Tang the Seventh, the Ye family's Master, and Third Young Master Ye to quickly turn pale, and helped Tang Mingyue to feel her hatred being dissolved.

Meng Qi stared at Wang Zai, awaiting his response.

The Wang family from Zhou County prided the Noble Spirit, a Divine Skill of the Confucious Sect, as the foundation of their family. They were most benevolent and upright, and most concerned with propriety. According to propriety, the inheritance by the legitimate eldest son was a key concept, as it concerned the stable impartation of aristocratic families. If Wang Zai wanted to help someone else gain the position, he would have to negate this point, destroying his Noble Spirit! Since then, his heart and soul would be flawed!

At first, Meng Qi had thought if he did not use the thunderbolt mark or the Sacrifice Formula and just used other tricks instead, he would have a high chance of, at best, beating Wang Zai. But he dared not confirm his victory now. After all, those who could rank on the Ranking List of Young Masters had not merely accomplished the primary levels of the Exterior or Kung Fu. They had at least mastered one of the ultimate moves of the Exterior, so they could not be underestimated. Moreover, Wang Zai had his "Noble Spirit" and various supreme arts of Enlightened Apertures from the Wang family from Zhou County.

However, if he went against propriety, he would destroy his Noble Spirit and leave behind a gaping hole in his soul. Then, Meng Qi could count on using Evil Ordeal and bladesmanship to defeat him without drawing his sword or employing any ultimate moves!

At Meng Qi and Wang Zai's level, the flawlessness of the soul was particularly important. It concerned epiphanies about heaven and earth in the future and the convergence of the inner and outer, as well as the development of their current Kung Fu realms.

The head of the horse bandits on the Evil Ridge had also mastered a move from the bladesmanshipof the Exterior. In any case, he had perished too!

Therefore, despite the dangers that came with pretending to be Second Young Master Tang, Meng Qi had still done it!

Second Master Tang and everyone else's gazes were all focused on Wang Zai. If he admitted the legal right of the legitimate eldest son, it would be akin to endorsing Tang Jing's inheritance of the position of Master in the name of the Wang family from Zhou County.

Wang Zai had his hand on his sword hilt. He calmly said, "I'm a guest here, and the guest follows the rules of the host."

"And even if you're the legitimate eldest son, there're still the seven major rules that can prevent you from gaining the position of Master."

The seven major rules he spoke of included impiety, treason, and the like.

Without giving Meng Qi the chance to question him further, he smilingly continued to say, "Brother Tang, I wonder why you're wearing a skin mask?"

The moment the words left his lips, the crowd was astounded, as they all stared at Meng Qi's face. They had considered the possibility that Tang Jing was an imposter, but they had not thought that he would be exposed so soon.

Tang Mingyue bit down hard on her lip, peeking at Meng Qi with fear and vulnerability, whereas Second Master Tang, Seventh Master Tang, and the rest looked somewhat delighted after expressing their shock.

Meng Qi placed his hand near his ear and gently tugged at it, revealing his "true appearance".

"Ah! Second Brother, you... " Tang Mingyue was so shocked that she took a step back. His face was horrifically criss-cross with scars, yet below those scars was indeed her Second Brother's face!

"You?" The expressions on Second Master Tang and the others' faces were unsettled. They were at a loss as to what was going on.

Meng Qi seized the chance to put on his skin mask properly and rasped, "Wandering outside, encountering dangers and being captured and tortured by enemies made me look like this. Thus, I had to get someone to create this mask for me in order not to frighten others."

His scars and facial features had been created by the Eight Nine Mysteries. At first glance, it was impossible to tell whether they were real or not. After all, Second Young Master Tang had already left home for years, and no one could exactly remember what he looked like.

Allowing Wang Zai to expose him just now was Meng Qi's deliberate attempt at creating an opportunity to reveal his "true appearance". It would make his identity much more believable after that, as everyone would subconsciously think that the face beneath the mask was his real one and not another layer of "disguise". If it were not his muscle transformation but two layers of skin masks or makeup, the thickness would be a dead giveaway. Hence, only those adept at changing their appearance and masters of it could manage to pull it off.

"Second Brother... " Tang Mingyue shed tears of sorrow.

Wang Zai exclaimed, "After experiencing so many hardships and the vicissitudes of life, it's no wonder Brother Tang has become so skilled at bladesmanship."

After what had just transpired, Second Master Tang and Seventh Master Tang had grave expressions on their faces. Neither of them came forward to question Meng Qi's identity, as though they were mulling something over.

Wang Zai laughed, saying, "Since Brother Tang has just returned after being attacked, you must have plenty of other things to talk about. I shall not disturb you any further. See you again someday."

He kept his lips tightly sealed about anything related to the position of Master. Anyway, Old Master Tang was still alive, albeit in a serious coma.

Wang Zai, Third Master Ye, and the others left, while Second Master Tang and Seventh Master Tang sat in silence. Seeing this situation, Meng Qi felt something was somewhat off. If he were Second Master Tang or Seventh Master Tang, after working hard to get to this stage, he would definitely have made a huge fuss about it. He would forcibly accuse the real one of being an imposter!

Similar looks? A person with similar facial features must have been sourced, for it was too easy to find a double who resembled him out of all the people in the world!

The exact same birthmarks and habits? They must have been copied after capturing the real Second Young Master Tang!

He was able to answer all kinds of questions posed? He must have been tortured to get such information!

In any case, they would rather die than believe it, then, while they got an official to distinguish his blood lineage, they would collaborate with those inside and outside their families to turn the real Second Young Master Tang into a phony one.

Meng Qi sighed, saying, "Second Uncle, since I've already returned, please return the authority of the family to the eldest branch. By the way, where's Grandfather Shu?"

He had just discovered that Tang Shu and the four other Nine Apertures Masters who had participated in the assault were not there. Clearly, they had hidden themselves to protect themselves from the Huanhua Swords Sect, the Six Fan School, and himself, just in case.