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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

216 The Matter is Settled

 Meng Qi quietly tucked away the "Evil God Eye". No matter its usefulness, handing it over to the Dominator of Samsara in Six Realms would definitely earn him some Karma points in exchange, possibly even something better.

The Purple Decease Sword was marked with several imprints and shone with an endlessly circulating, eye-catching brilliance. Its sharpness seemed to solidify and shoot into the sky.

Meng Qi felt a rush of excitement as he watched it, but the Governor Arrester of Yi City, Huang Zhiqing, a prodigy of the Wang family from Zhou County, Wang Zai, and the Wan and Ling family Elders were all crowding over, fixated on the vibrant purple.

Wang Zai had expended a lot of energy in using the "Unstoppable Strike", and was thus not much of a threat unless he had some way of quickly healing himself. However, Huang Zhiqing had only suffered mild injuries and his "Windthunder Fist" was of a decent skill level; he could very well have made the end of the Ranking List of Young Masters if it were not for his old age. Whereas the two Elders from the Wan and Ling family had barely done anything just now because they had been entirely focussed on avoiding the Evil Avatar, so their Nine Acupores strength was still full.

Even then, Meng Qi felt that he may still have the advantage. Based on his true strength and the Immortal Pressing Art's ability to take on several opponents at once, as well as the Hallucination Body Movements and Moves of Wind-god's Legs' usefulness in escaping, and even Qi Zhengyan stealthy assistance, he was relatively confident of grabbing the Purple Decease Sword and then making a break for it. His only concern was Huang Zhiqing, for the man was a constable and knew of tricks to track him down. It could end in a bloody fight.

But was it really a good idea to snatch a treasure like this?

Although the Ye family had suffered blood sacrifices, it had only been the few present in the Manor. They had other dandy disciples enjoying the pleasures of life outside, and outstanding descendants who traveled extensively. Was it really a good idea to snatch the Purple Decease Sword from them after they had just faced such a terrible disaster?

His enmity for their previous attack on him had vanished with the deaths of Master Ye, the swordsman, and the others. If he took the Purple Decease Sword now, it obviously had nothing to do with revenge but was an act of greed instead, as well as an act of fear of the death mission.

Meng Qi's gaze drifted over to the haggard, weary-looking Tang Ren at the side. He thought of the expectations he, Old Master Tang and Tang Mingyue held for him, and of how the old man had accompanied him and did his utmost to protect him. He thought of the high praise Tang Ren had for "Tang Jing", and of Old Master Tang's teary eyes. He thought of the words "stealing your identity and bearing your karma". At that moment, he could not bear to let the person Tang Er truly "disappear".

He sucked in his breath and began, "Everyone, how shall we deal with the Purple Decease Sword?"

After careful contemplation, he had decided to give up the idea of snatching the weapon from right under their noses. There were many reasons for this, but at the heart of it, it was ultimately because of his psychological barrier. He felt such a deed was incongruous with his own nature, like how he had emphatically demanded that Tang Shu's family be severely punished but was in fact only paying lip service in order to force Tang Shu out of hiding. Had Tang Shu not appeared, Meng Qi would not have had the heart to punish them in any case. He would have sent them to the villa to perform errands at most. It was similar to how he had joked about Gu Changqing's homosexuality just to scare the others; it had been nothing more than a casual comment.

One of the Ling family Elders who was on friendly terms with the Ye family heavily sighed. He said, "The Ye family has suffered so much this time; their foundation is almost completely destroyed. Naturally, the Purple Decease Sword should be handed over to their descendants so that they have hope for rebuilding their family."

Several Elders from the aristocratic families, including Tang Ren, were eyeing the Purple Decease Sword as well, but they sympathized with the Ye family. They considered how their own families could have encountered a similar calamity and ended up like them, and could not help but feel sorry for the Ye family. Hence, they all nodded in agreement. In any case, there was only one sword. It could not be divided equally amongst them. They might as well just add it to the Ye family's collection of Refined Weapons and treasures as repayment for their help.

Huang Zhiqing shook his head. "I don't think that's right. First of all, the Ye family doesn't have a single master above the Six Acupores level traveling outside. Even if they have Precious Weapons, it would be no different from a three-year-old holding gold in a busy shopping district. They wouldn't have the ability to protect themselves and would draw the attention of the greedy along the way. Then should a decently strong bandit come along, he could just kill him and run off with the sword. It's not like we can take turns to watch and guard the Ye family day and night, can we? Secondly, the Ye family's bloody incidence is dreadful to hear, and would require evidence to be submitted to the court. The Purple Decease Sword is, of course, one of the pieces of evidence."

"Therefore the Purple Decease Sword should be handed over to us first, so we can guard it until the case had been resolved and the Ye family has groomed some of their masters to be on the level of Eight or Nine Acupores."

Shameless! Meng Qi angrily chided in his head. He knew that Tang Ren and the others felt the same way when he looked at their expressions.

If the Purple Decease Sword were passed to Six Fan School, would it still be possible to take it back afterward?

It was just like Liu Bei borrowing Jingzhou-- he never returned it! If by then the Ye family was backed by the Wang family from Zhou County he would not mind, but what value could the Wang family possibly see in the weak Ye family? Meng Qi could foresee what would happen when they asked for the sword to be returned. Documents would be sent over and controversies would arise, causing the matter to drag on for several decades until the Ye family had been totally defeated and dispersed.

Meng Qi had yet to open his mouth when Wang Zai spoke up. His expression was stern. "Magistrate Huang, that doesn't sound right. The Ye family is an ally of our Wang family. Since they have met with such a disaster, logically we should be the ones taking over the Purple Decease Sword to groom the Ye family's descendants."

Meng Qi and the others were unsure if they should believe his words. If the other aristocratic families had said something similar, it would have been like robbing the Ye family of the sword in broad daylight, but the Wang family from Zhou County had a good reputation at least when it came to things like these. They acted justly and righteously, and were generally likely to return the sword upon request.

Moreover, the Ye family was down to a few remaining members, and had always been relying on the Wang family. Would they dare to ask for it back?

Heck, might as well let me hold on to it. At least I'm a man of my word. I'll return it whenever you ask for it and I'll definitely return it as long as I'm breathing! Meng Qi criticized the others inwardly. He briefly looked at Tang Ren and realized he was eager to have a go as well, when an idea suddenly crossed his mind.

He was about to speak when Qi Zhengyan said in a low voice, "Everyone, one of my cousins has been severely injured by the Purple Decease Sword, and could have lost his life. How should this debt be settled?"

After Meng Qi began passing off as Second Young Master Tang, Qi Zhengyan had told outsiders that his cousin Meng Qi had been injured and was secretly treating his wounds. Otherwise, such a big issue like this would certainly see the appearance of the Gentleman Sword from the Ranking List of Young Masters.

The atmosphere turned chilly in a moment. The Elders from the Tang, Ling, and Wan families looked upset and tried to conceal their uneasiness. Even though their families had been deceived by the Heterodox Doctrines, it was an undeniable fact that they had tried to kill Manager Qi and his cousin. If they did not make up for it in some way, it would be disrespectful to Huanhua Swords Sect and the Wang family from Zhou County would not be able to intervene. Then the three families would all suffer a severe setback, and the Ye family would most definitely come to an end.

Wang Zai looked displeased, but refrained from saying anything. Huanhua Swords Sect had lost face in this matter, so there would be a strong backlash if they did not make up for it somehow. Had Huanhua Swords Sect been oppressing their families, direct conflict with them would be beneficial to their reputation and they could manage a battle on a smaller scale. However, they themselves had been utterly fooled by the Heterodox Doctrines this time. If they dared to wage war against Huanhua Swords Sect, they would be unable to deal with the responsibility!

Although they had few Precious Weapons, they were still the most powerful family. They were not lacking in anything and had no need to take such a risk.

Huang Zhiqing's expression was dark as he maintained silence. The major sects and aristocratic families usually did things their way without concern for the imperial court or Six Fan School. It was truly detestable, but there was nothing he could do about it!

Meng Qi only had one thing on his mind. Senior Brother Qi, no, Cousin, do you have to coordinate so well with me? I'd only just thought of that when you began speaking!

He maintained his cold and cruel swordsman act as Tang Er and mildly added, "Manager Qi wants the Purple Decease Sword? This 'fair deal' seems to be a bit too precious."

One of them played the angel, and the other, the devil.

The Tang, Wan and Ling family Elders were deep in thought. Precious Weapons were important, but the sword did not belong to them. Being generous to others could get them Manager Qi's understanding in return, calming the anger of Huanhua Swords Sect. That was, after all, a better deal.

On top of that, Manager Qi was only at a level of Four Acupores. Even if he were hiding his Kungfu, it could not possibly be of too high a level. It was debatable if he could protect the Precious Weapons.

Qi Zhengyan said with a poker face, "The Ye family was almost annihilated. Both my sect and I sympathize with them and thus I was unable to bring myself to snatch the Precious Weapon for myself. But my cousin has just managed to evade disaster. If he has the Precious Weapon to help him, he could destroy the enemy in one fell swoop to get rid of any future trouble. Then he would no longer take the four families' attack or his injury from the Purple Decease Sword to heart. If he drops the subject, I shall not pursue it either."

"He says it so righteously..." Meng Qi thought.

"If the person directly involved is not pursuing anything, Huanhua Swords Sect would have nothing to say..." That was what the others were thinking.

Qi Zhengyan continued, "You are all aware of my cousin's skills; he would be able to protect the Purple Decease Sword. Thus I made the suggestion as the Yi City Manager of Huanhua Swords Sect to get rid of any antecedents. The Ye family shall lend the Purple Decease Sword to my Cousin for a year, and he shall return it once the time is up. Heaven and Earth will be our witnesses."

Only borrowing? And there was a time limit? Wang Zai and the others furrowed their brows. Qi Zhengyan's request was too little. Although the Gentleman Sword Meng Qi could run off with the Precious Weapon, he could not run forever. Qi Zhengyan was also still around, and he was the manager of Huanhua Swords Sect.

To a certain extent, the status of disciples hailing from major sects was more valuable than Precious Weapons themselves.That much was evident from the strength Qi Zhengyan had displayed, and the fact that he could discuss matters with Huang Zhiqing and the Master and Elders of the various families as equals.

Moreover, this could make the Gentleman Sword Meng Qi swear the Soul-pledging Oath!

"That sounds good too. After a year, the Ye family may have someone who has opened their Mouth Acupore and begun to develop their Inner World. With a beginner's capability to wield the Precious Weapon, they could probably hold their own," Huang Zhiqing reasoned. "However, the Gentleman Sword has to make the Soul-pledging Oath."

Wang Zai nodded in agreement.

Meng Qi rejoiced inwardly but spoke with indifference. "As long as it can appease Huanhua Swords Sect, I'm fine."

The crowd quickly came to an agreement. Six Fan School and the three aristocratic families would first send their respective masters to watch over the Purple Decease Sword in the yamen, then hand it over to Meng Qi the following day.

Afterward, they searched the bodies of the Ye family members and discovered that their Refined Weapons, elixirs and the like had been contaminated, and were now useless.

...

Not a word was uttered along the way to the Tang family residence. Upon reaching home, Tang Ren, who had expended a huge amount of energy, immediately returned to his room and took medicine to harmonize his Qi-circulation. The Foreign Official Elders who had completed their mission bade their farewells one after the other.

"Second Brother, the issue has been settled?" The matter concerning ownership of the Precious Weapon had stirred quite the commotion such that the news had reached Tang Mingyue's ears. On top of that, she had also been paying close attention to it. Upon seeing the Elders' expressions, she had a decent idea of what was going on.

Meng Qi nodded, then proceeded to briefly describe what had happened. Tang Mingyue was both shocked and full of hatred. She exclaimed, "Destruction Sect is horrible! The Evil Spirit Cultivation deserved death!"

Although Master Ye was a bit of a playboy, the Ye family still had decent disciples, some of whom were Tang Mingyue's bosom buddies.

Meng Qi looked at her amused yet adorable expression. He sighed and said, "Ninth Sister, from today onwards, I shall leave our family's matters to you."

"Huh? Why?" Tang Mingyue was confused.

Meng Qi looked stern as he replied, "I have discussed this with Manager Qi already. Huanhua Swords Sect will support you as Master of the family. The Wang family and several Elders are guilty and will therefore not dare to object, and Grandfather Ren will definitely give you his support as well when he sees that this outcome is inevitable."

"Second Brother, what, what about you?" Tang Mingyue asked in shock.

Meng Qi gave a heavy sigh. "I lied about what happened before. The assassins from Unrelenting Tower were my own fault. I brought it upon myself and even implicated Brother Wan. If I continue to stay on, it'll only hurt our family, as well as you guys."

Tang Mingyue thought of the scars on her Second Brother's face and felt that such an explanation made obvious sense. She expressed her concern, saying, "Second Brother, Yi City is near Yedu, and our family has Precious Weapons. The assassins from Unrelenting Tower wouldn't dare..."

She herself could not even finish the statement.

If Unrelenting Tower was afraid of that, they would not be one of the Nine Evil Paths. In addition, they were particularly good at assassinations, so much that they were even more infamous than Destruction Sect. Of course, there were assassins from Unrelenting Tower who perished at the hands of the major sects, larger aristocratic families and Six Fan School every year. Both sides maintained a boundary founded on a tacit agreement.

"Ninth Sister, do not worry. This world is large. Once I change my skin mask, the assassins from Unrelenting Tower will have a hard time looking for me, as though they are searching for a needle in a haystack. Also, at the rate at which my strength is developing, I may very well be able to unlock the Hidden Latch of Life and Death within a few years. Then I would be able to fight off those assassins." Meng Qi consoled Tang Mingyue.

Unrelenting Tower was not wild and lunatic like Destruction Sect. Assassinations were a form of training as well as business. If they had to dispatch assassins of the Exterior level, the price would have to be examined again.

"Second Brother, do you want to take Canglan with you?" Tang Mingyue asked, her eyes brimming with tears.

Meng Qi gave a gentle smile. "That is used to hold down our family. I have my own ways."

He comforted her once more. "Don't worry. The stronger my reputation, the safer your position as Master of the family."

Tang Mingyue looked very worried, making her appear all the more pitiful. She grit her teeth and asked, "Second Brother, when do you leave?"

"Tonight. Tell Grandfather I'm sorry," Meng Qi replied in a low voice.

Tang Mingyue nodded heavily. "You must take care of yourself!"

Two hours went by. In the dark of the night, moonlight was splashed across the roofs, creating a river of silver. Tang Mingyue stared out at the bright light, in a daze.

I wonder when I'll ever see Second Brother again...