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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

207 An Unpredictable Power

 "That, that isn't necessary, is it?" Master Tang the Seventh stammered, doubting Meng Qi's point.

From the moment Meng Qi had made his entrance with that strong and fierce blade, Master Tang the Seventh had felt like his imposing momentum was being suppressed. After experiencing the ensuing events of the mask reveal, gathering of the family members and their emotional outburst, he even subconsciously dipped his head when he stood before Meng Qi. It was as if Meng Qi were the real Master of the family, a dignified and powerful man who could take control of any situation.

Meng Qi did not give Second Master Tang a chance to speak. He coldly continued, "If there's no punishment or no consequences for his relatives, wouldn't it be tantamount to encouraging everyone to disregard the orders of the Master of the family and to betray our family? If you all respond with a 'yes', I'll go out right now to Yedu to kill a few of the Wang family's disciples!"

The family members from the eldest branch all shouted,

"Yes, Second Young Master is right!"

"Second Young Master's words make sense. Since they have received our family's protection and enjoyed our resources, how can they take matters into their own hands and act carelessly, putting our entire family into danger?"

"If we don't punish Tang Shu and his relatives, we might as well break up this family!"

There was a limited number of positions of power in the family. After Second Master Tang had taken over as the family's biggest figure of authority, even though he had still involved the power of the eldest branch, he also had to place his own trusted aides in key positions. Hence, it's natural that a majority of the members of the eldest branch felt that their interests had been compromised or that they would be left out in the cold eventually. Just as these family members were feeling nervous and were unable to unify against Second Master Tang due to the lack of a central pillar of power, the legitimate eldest son, Second Young Master, had returned. His return emboldened the members of the eldest branch, who became very aggressive and pushy, because they wanted to take back what had been theirs.

As long as Meng Qi's words held no negative implications for them, they were in absolute support of him.

Under such circumstances, once more than ten people were cheering in agreement, the entire crowd would be roused. Moreover, the total number of people in the eldest branch and other family members willing to support the legitimate eldest son of the family far exceeded a mere ten!

The cries from the crowd rung out and made Tang Shu's relatives turn pale. They stared at Second Master Tang and Master Tang the Seventh with pleading eyes.

Second Master Tang understood that he had to reason with an emotional crowd. If he tried to oppress them, using his authority or brute force, Tang Jing would be able to become the sole powerful "Substitute Master" with a simple raise of his arm. Second Master Tang had very few powerful trusted aides, the Elders, Foreign Officials and eldest branch members he had been trying to draw over to his side, would definitely act according to their circumstance!

After all, they were from the same family. They would gladly pray for one another's deaths while competing for power, but when it came down to murdering them in cold blood, who would not hesitate a little?

More importantly, Tang Jing's bladesmanship was amazing and unpredictable. His move before still seemed to be pressing onto his heart, making him apprehensive and uncertain!

"How do you think they should be punished?" Second Master Tang decided to hear Meng Qi's ideas first. If the punishment suggested was not too severe, he would let him go ahead with it.

Meng Qi looked around at the crowd and signaled to them to be silent. He said in a low voice, "Those not directly related to Tang Shu will have half of their monthly allowance, medicinal herbs and elixirs deducted. Those directly related to him will have to undergo de-martialization and be sent to the village to perform errands."

Everyone present was sucking in their breaths. Such a punishment was too harsh!

"It's too harsh, isn't it?" Second Master Tang tried to reason, sounding like he was in pain.

Meng Qi's expression was grim. "It has to be harsh. Uncle Wu and Tang Shu's thoughtless actions have caused the lives of our family members to be in danger. If it isn't harsh, it won't be able to warn others in future!"

"Second Young Master is right!"

"The punishment should be harsh!"

Tang Shu was not a very friendly Elder and thus many had accumulated a lot of resentment towards him. At this point, all that resentment was unleashed. Besides, the shouts of agreement from the eldest branch only made the sound from the crowd even more alarming.

"The power of a crowd..." Meng Qi snickered to himself. He looked at them for a moment, then stared at Second Master Tang, Tang Side.

Second Master Tang said in response, " Uncle Shu hasn't returned home. Maybe he has his own difficulties we do not know of, or maybe his true purpose is beneficial to the Tang family. If we punish them without listening to his defence, won't it be inappropriate?"

After the crowd had been excited continuously, and after he had faced that powerful blade, Second Master Tang had begun unwittingly discussing the issue with Meng Qi instead, even somewhat allowing him to take charge.

"So if he doesn't come back forever, then we don't have to punish anyone? Next time, when Huanhua Swords Sect and the Wang family from Zhou County are fighting with our family as their battleground, shall we get them to wait for Tang Shu to return?" Meng Qi sounded hostile. He no longer addressed Tang Shu as "Grandfather Shu".

Meng Qi did not wait for the rest to speak. He slightly raised his head, acting like the Master of the family, and made a decision. "Second Uncle, I'm not an unreasonable person. I can make a compromise and release the news of the punishment today, and have the punishment be carried out tomorrow. If Tang Shu really has difficulties he cannot speak of, he shall return before dawn and explain himself in front of all our ancestors and family members right here in the ancestral hall!"

After he had grown taller, he appeared tough and imposing. Coupled with his stern-looking face and forceful momentum, Tang Mingyue was left completely mesmerized, her eyes shining. She could hardly believe her brother, who used to be useless, had turned into a man whose every action elicited admiration. He was even better than the Master of the family!

Meng Qi's final decision was logical and impartial. Nobody could find fault with it. Second Master Tang's low voice sounded out again, "If the matter concerns secrets, it would be easy to let them slip in front of a whole crowd. How about just explaining to the two of us?"

"In other words, no matter what Tang Shu says, you think it's beneficial to the Tang family? It's not like we would know anyway!" Meng Qi pressed.

Tang Mingyue cast a meaningful glance at some of the members of the eldest branch whom she was closer to, asking them to speak up.

"That's right! How would we know whether you two are in it together? We only trust Second Young Master Tang! He is the legitimate son of the eldest branch and our future Master of the family. We will believe in his words!" Anyone with a brain would have understood Tang Mingyue's intentions.

"If he wants to explain, he'll have to explain it to Second Young Master! If he says Tang Shu can be forgiven, then we'll accept it!"

"That's enough!" Second Master Tang shouted. "If Tang Shu returns, he will explain himself in front of me, Seventh Brother and Nephew Jing."

Meng Qi smiled inwardly when he saw his goal accomplished. In a dignified manner, he declared,

"I will wait for Tang Shu in the Wave-viewing Hall."

The Wave-viewing Hall was the place, where the Tang family ancestors who had mastered the Exterior went to enlighten themselves about their blades. In the Tang family, it was second in importance only to the ancestral hall. It was also the place, where the Master of the family handled daily affairs and trained his bladesmanship.

With respect to the more significant buildings in the Tang family, Meng Qi possessed sufficient understanding about them, after reading the information obtained from Huanhua Swords Sect.

Only after everything had been settled, did Second Master Tang and Master Tang the Seventh feel something was wrong. Why had it seemed like the young one was the Master of the family? Whereas the two of them had almost been totally subservient, as though they were pleading with him!

"This is the wonder of an imposing momentum and crowds..." Meng Qi thought, mildly contented with himself, as he looked down on them with contempt.

"One more thing." Just as Second Master Tang and Master Tang the Seventh were reflecting on their attitudes just now, Meng Qi opened his mouth again.

"Second Uncle, you took over as a substitute for the Master of the family for less than half a month. Why have all the key positions in the family been handed to your own people? What have the Elders and managers done wrong to be oppressed like this?" Meng Qi's words were just like his blade skills, swift and strong.

With a rumble, the Tang family ancestral hall exploded. Those from the eldest branch were overjoyed and emotional to think the Second Young Master was protecting them so soon!

As expected of the legitimate son of the eldest branch!

Second Master Tang's reliable subordinates and men protested against Meng Qi's accusations. Master Tang the Seventh's trusted aides and the family members from other branches watched them, as if they were enjoying a show.

Second Master Tang was both shocked and furious. "Errand boy, what are you trying to say?"

Meng Qi walked over to him step by step and made his figure appear taller and larger. It felt like he was bearing down on him with the weight of Mount Tai, threatening and imposing!

"If I'm wrong, then come out and convince us in front of all our ancestors and family members!"

"If you can't do it, then you have abused your authority. You fail to be impartial and act rashly as well. This can't be tolerated!"

"You are just a substitute for the Master of the family and not the actual Master, yet you dare to do such deeds. If you become the real Master, would we even have a place to stay?"

Following Meng Qi's stern question, the eldest branch's emotions were running high. Everyone in the ancestral hall condemned Second Master Tang's words harshly, and it seemed like Meng Qi had spoken on behalf of the entire family.

The series of questions had shaken Second Master Tang up so much that his face turned white. He was livid, his right hand trembling as he pointed at Meng Qi and hollered. "Errand boy Tang, you, you just want to snatch the power from me! Don't forget, you haven't had your blood lineage examined yet!"

"Second Uncle, I'm a man of my word, and also a patient one." Meng Qi clasped his hands behind his back and gazed up at the roof beams. "It's just that I don't think you have the capability to act as the substitute Master of the family, and I hope that Seventh Uncle will take over instead."

"What?"

Cries of surprise rang out in the ancestral hall. Second Master Tang was not the only one confused. Even Master Tang the Seventh was puzzled. "Since when had the matter concerned him?"

What's exactly Errand boy Tang trying to do?

His actions were just like his blade skills, difficult to infer from!

Meng Qi turned around to look at Master Tang the Seventh, a faint smile appearing on his face. He said, "Seventh Uncle, I think you'll be more impartial than Second Uncle."

The members of the eldest branch suddenly understood Meng Qi's intentions and began to agree with him. With Second Master Tang's case to learn from, Master Tang the Seventh had to take care of them when assigning positions of power. If he refused, he would end up like Second Master Tang. In any case, there were Master Tang the Eighth, Master Tang the Thirteenth and many others. He was not the only choice. Master Tang the Seventh's trusted aides and the family members from the other branches also sensed their chance and quickly expressed their agreement as well. Only Second Master Tang and his reliable subordinates had ashen faces.

The other Elders saw that the authority was in Master Tang the Seventh's hands and had not been snatched away by Meng Qi, and felt it was acceptable. They nodded in agreement too.

Second Master Tang decided to accept the current circumstance and looked at Master Tang the Seventh, his face pallid. He said, "Seventh Brother, it shall be handed over to you."

Master Tang the Seventh had to forcibly suppress his happiness. "I'll accept it only because it would be rude of me to reject your offer."

Looking at Second Master Tang's eyes full of hatred and Master Tang the Seventh's glee, Meng Qi could confirm that one of his guesses was right. "It wasn't that the two had not been fighting before, but that someone had made up for Master Tang the Seventh's loss, using some other benefits. Now that the position of Master had been presented to him on a silver platter, how could he reject it?"

Regardless of his own willingness to accept it, if he rejected it, his subordinates beneath him would definitely be bitterly disappointed!

In addition, Meng Qi was even more sure that they were confident of preventing him, the "legitimate eldest son", from inheriting the position of Master of the family.

Afterward, Master Tang the Seventh completed the necessary adjustments in the ancestral hall and everyone was satisfied, with the exception of Second Master Tang and his men.

However, Meng Qi had used the strong momentum of the two events, forcibly changed the substitute Master of the family simply with his words, and received tremendous support from the eldest branch and others. In the hearts of the Tang family members, he may not have the title of Master, but he certainly had the qualities of one!

Meng Qi carried the Evil Ordeal and strode out of the ancestral hall towards the Wave-viewing Hall, with Tang Mingyue by his side.

"Ninth Sister, help me prepare a set of white robes, and ask Grandfather Ren to come too," Meng Qi suddenly requested.

"Huh? Why white robes?" Tang Mingyue was confused.

"Because it makes me look cool, confident and at ease..." Meng Qi had a serious expression as he replied, "To create an imposing momentum, and to show purity and righteousness."

"But why do you need to create an imposing momentum?" Tang Mingyue asked in doubt.

Meng Qi looked up at the red sky that signified dusk was approaching. "Tonight Tang Shu will definitely come to the Wave-viewing Hall. I have to make preparations in advance, so I can crush him with my imposing momentum."

"Oh." It finally dawned on Tang Mingyue.

Meng Qi stroked his blade handle with his right hand. Then he added, his voice smooth and calm,

"And then kill him."