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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

222 Sounding Ou

 In the courtyard, the plum blossoms were sprinkled with snow as, under the bright moonlight, the fragrance of wine dispersed all around. Meng Qi solemnly looked at Qi Zhengyan, waiting for his reply.

Qi Zhengyan happened to find Meng Qi for a discussion, so Meng Qi told him that he had seen the Outsky Strange Stone in Three Mountains and Four Waters. He also added that he had obtained part of the impartation with the help of the thunderbolt mark. However, Meng Qi stressed the Sect of Plain Lady's pursuit of the Thunder God successor. He believed that Gu Xiaosang did not lie about it because it was true that the Seven Heavenly Fairies suddenly appeared in Three Mountains and Four Waters. So, the Iron Hand Devilman and the Joy Devilman there had to be fake.

Meng Qi had mentioned the thunderbolt mark last time, so Qi Zhengyan was not surprised by that. He just sighed and said, "Junior Brother Meng, you've had a string of fruitful encounters since you obtained the Gist of Trueness impartation of Ananda Oath-breaking Bladesmanship. It's really been enviable."

But he did not dwell on that. After pausing, he solemnly said, "If that's true, we'd better solve it as soon as possible. All the people in Yi City know that 'Gentleman Sword' Meng Qi is my cousin."

If Method of Mistress Su confirmed "Gentleman Sword" was the successor of Thunder God, they would make Qi Zhengyan as their target if they could not find Meng Qi. So Qi Zhengyan said this.

Moreover, the relationship of Meng Qi and Qi Zhengyan could easily be exposed under scrutiny. Although the Huanhua Swords Sect and the Wang family from Zhou County would just scan through the Ranking List of Young Masters without a thorough examination, the Sect of Plain Lady would check every detail for the impartation of the Thunder God.

"I'm the one who brought trouble for you, Senior Brother. I was too careless." Meng Qi sincerely apologized. "I'd like to ask for your help with another matter. Please secretly spread the fact that Shan Xiumei is the successor of the Mystic Fairy of the Sect of Plain Lady. I only want to make people suspicious and wary. As long as the elders of the Wang family have some doubts, they'll try to check the identities of the women around the legitimate son."

"But because Shan Xiumei hides within the Wang family, it's hard to defeat her. If she acts alone, we can collaborate to take back the Outsky Strange Stone and eliminate all potential risks."

Meng Qi judged the strength of Shan Xiumei, the Successor of the Mystic Fairy, by the fact that Gu Xiaosang had alone killed the Seven Heavenly Fairies and chased down Shan Xiumei all along the way. Therefore, Shan Xiumei was clearly weaker than Gu Xiaosang. Even though Shan Xiumei was strong, she ranked, at most, 10th place on the Ranking List of Young Masters. Thus, if Meng Qi and Qi Zhengyan fought together, they were likely to take back the Outsky Strange Stone.

However, Meng Qi was kind of doubtful. "If disseminating the news could force Shan Xiumei out of the Wang family, why had Gu Xiaosangnot done so already? Even without the influence of Luo Denomination, she could easily settle this matter since she was so clever."

What's her real aim?

Meng Qi's uncertainty about Gu Xiaosang's real aim was the main reason why Meng Qi did not want to collaborate with her!

Qi Zhengyan gently nodded. "It doesn't matter. A man in Jianghu cannot do things at his will. Maybe I'll ask for your help in the future. We're friends, so it's natural that we help each other. I've been in Yedu for half a year, so the dissemination of the news would not expose my identity."

For the past six months, Meng Qi had been focused on practicing Kung Fu, so he was isolated from Jianghu. Even if he wanted to disseminate the news, he could not find a safe and secretive source. Therefore, he could only turn to Qi Zhengyan for help. Qi Zhengyan was Manager of the Huanhua Swords Sect. Although he had hidden himself in the past half a year, he had created his own "Jianghu network" through selling jewels.

After watching Qi Zhengyan depart, Meng Qi sighed while looking at the red plum blossoms.

"I just want to be nobody, but I can't..."

The sound of firecrackers and the changing of couplets meant the coming of the new year. After the spring festival, all of the Martial Clubs in Yedu were preparing for the big contest that was held every three years. It was also the preview of the Military Selectee, which took place in late spring and early summer.

Under Club Principal He Ye's guidance, all Disciples of the Green Peak Martial Club arrived at the "Sun-scorching Martial Club" two blocks away. This was where the contest between Martial Clubs was held.

At the sight of its grand door and horizontal board, He Mu was so nervous that he even shivered.

Recently, he had been practicing the "stories" that Teacher Su had told him. He tried to completely commit them to memory, and gradually, he built up his confidence. However, upon arriving at the Sun-scorching Martial Club, he found himself nervous and unable to be cool about the results of the contest. His confidence had totally vanished.

"He Mu, don't lose face for us or let our Club Principal Master down." Seeing that He Mu was so nervous, his Fifth Senior Brother gave him a warning that clearly spoke of the resentment he would have if He Mu were to fail.

He was puzzled and angry about the Club Principal Master's choice to have He Mu participate. He Mu often lost and had only defeated him twice. In their Martial Club, at least 10 people were stronger than He Mu!

Many other disciples of the Green Peak Martial Club felt the same. The First Senior Sister, the Second Senior Brother, and the Third Senior Brother were all outstanding. The 19th Superior Brother and Cheng the Seventh had the gift of Kung Fu. The Master had always favored them, which was what those disciples were all used to. But they just did not understand why their Master had selected the ordinary He Mu!

Feeling the unfriendly gazes of his Senior Brothers and Junior Brothers made He Mu even more nervous. He had to calm himself down by thinking of the peace and relaxation that he felt when Mr. Su recited poems and articles under the plum tree.

"Senior Brother He, there must be some reason that Master picked you. Don't be nervous, just be yourself." Qu Tianhe saw that He Mu was worried, so she tried to encourage him.

He Mu gratefully nodded and took a deep breath. The thought of Mr. Su's composure and the stories that he "made up" enabled him to gradually calm himself down.

The Sun-scorching Martial Club was very large and had several practice halls. Each practice hall had seven or eight fighting rings and a second floor that overlooked them. The audience, consisting of aristocratic families, sects, and factions, casually looked down, searching for the strongest young contestants who had already gained fame before the contest.

He Mu stepped up to the ring in a daze. In front of him was a handsome boy who was only one or two years older than him.

This match did not receive much attention. Only a few disciples of the Green Peak Martial Club and the young boy's friends, relatives, Senior Brothers, and Junior Brothers were watching their fight.

"Bai Liang, from the Huanzhong Martial Club." The young man bowed as he declared his name.

He Mu shivered again and stammered, "He Mu, from the Green Peak, the Green Peak Martial Club."

The Huanzhong Martial Club and the Green Peak Martial Club were not located far from each other. He Mu had heard about Bai Liang, who had lost a fight against the Third Senior Brother because of a single misstep. Bai Liang was much stronger than He Mu.

The Referee in the ring laughed while shaking his head. "Who's this guy that Old He has appointed? Is the boy one of his relatives?"

After a cough, he announced, "The contest begins."

Bai Liang did not save his strength. He violently attacked, trying to quickly end the battle to ensure that the following battles would not be affected. The contest would last for five days. Most of the matches were set for the first day to weed out the weaker participants to ensure that the battles in the following four days would be exciting.

"He's attacking so violently, so I'd better save my strength to lure him into my trap..." This was the plot of one of Meng Qi's stories. Over the past few days, he had thought about it over and over again. Thus, he quickly thought up a plan to deal with this attack.

However, it was, after all, the first time that he had taken part in such an important battle and he was thinking about that story. Therefore, he acted slower than he had expected. He stepped backward and failed to lift up his Long Sword and was nearly hit by Bai Liang's sword.

Bai Liang gained momentum and did not retreat at all. He Mu staggered and struggled to fight back, but he tried his best to tell the story with his sword art.

"How shameful!" The Fifth Senior Brother snorted. He Mu was such an embarrassment!

He Mu did not hear his Senior Brother's words because, as the battle progressed, he found that Bai Liang was gradually entering his story. Every one of Bai Liang's moves was triggering the plots that He Mu had prepared!

His tension gradually changed into excitement. With bright eyes, He Mu did not hesitate when he attacked. He Mu was like a calm hunter luring his target while patiently waiting for the target to be trapped. He Mu wanted to loop Bai Liang in to perform the twisting story!

"Now!" He Mu concentrated as he stepped back insteadof attacking forward, wielding his Long Sword with agility.

"Clank! Clank!" Bai Liang's Long Sword fell down to the ground. Bai Liang's gave a blank stare, as if he had not expected that he could lose this battle so quickly!

The Referee shook his head. Bai Liang was too hasty, so his flaw was easy to attack, which was good luck for He Mu!

He Mu was exhilarated and no sign of nervousness could be found on him now. He was confident about his own sword art and Mr. Su's story.

So, I can also be that strong!

It turns out that sword art really can tell a story!

At this point in time, he realized that Mr. Su was a master-a real master!

The Fifth Senior Brother's mouth was wide open. He could not believe that He Mu had won the battle. Even he was not normally able to defeat Bai Liang, so how could He Mu, who was even weaker than he was!

He Mu jumped down from the ring, hopeful about his following matches.

The next day, he had four more fights. He became adept at telling the story that Meng Qi had made up, applying different plots to different enemies. He succeeded in dangerous battles and became more and more composed.

When he had his last battle, many of the Martial Club masters paid attention to him. He Ye was even more surprised. He had clearly taught him that sword art, yet it gave off a completely different feeling when He Mu performed it.

"Not bad." He Ye praised He Mu and was satisfied with his own choice. He Mu was adept at using the sword. "Tomorrow, your rival is Cao Chengye of the Sun-scorching Martial Club. He has just opened his Eye Apertures and was studying in the Wang family. Just try your best and don't worry about the result."

"Yes, Club Principal Master." He Mu did not think that he would win either. Even though Cao Chengye had just opened his Apertures, he was still totally weaker than Cao Chengye, who had reached the primary level of Qi-cultivation. However, He Mu was happy because he had seemed to enter a new world where he could use sword art to tell a story!

After He Mu returned to the Martial Club, he gave it some thought and decided to stay and practice. After everyone had left, he quietly went to Meng Qi's courtyard and knocked on the door.

"Come in, the door is unlocked." He heard Mr. Su's gentle voice.

After pushing the door open, he saw Teacher Su sitting on a chair in the cloister. In front of him was an unfinished chess game. Beside him, smoke rose from a brass stove. The fragrant sandalwood gave one a calm feeling.

"Did you win?" Meng Qi casually asked while he looked at the chess board, thinking about the Bright Sword.

He Mu immediately answered, "I won five fights, thanks to your teaching."

"Well done. You learn quickly." Meng Qi raised his head and looked at him. He praised He Mu, saying with a smile, "Continue your success tomorrow."

"I'm afraid that I can't win tomorrow." He Mu said in a low voice, "My rival is a master who has just opened his Apertures."

Meng Qi was interested. "Just opened his Apertures? Isn't such a rival rare in this contest?"

"Yes, he was chosen to cultivate in the Wang family," He Mu honestly answered.

"The Wang family..." After thinking, Meng Qi said with a smile, "Do you want to win?"

"But, but how can I win?" He Mu opened his eyes wide. "It's impossible!"

"Under normal conditions, you would never win, but this is a competition," Meng Qi said with a laugh. "Today, you used the sword art to tell those stories. If your enemy is discreet, he'll definitely inquire about you. Therefore, he'll picture you as a swordsman who's discreet and good at setting traps."

"That is to say, you told him the convincing beginning of a story today! Heh, you could use that to tell a story in another battle..."

He Mu was astounded. He seemed to understand, but was not sure. "My performance today could be the beginning of another story in another battle?"

It's beyond my imagination!

If this is a chess game, it must be a profound setup!

Putting down a black piece, Meng Qi solemnly said, "You can't defeat him if you two fight for a long time. So, you should start with the same credible beginning story and then tell a completely different story that is rash and quick..."

He told the new "story" to He Mu. He Mu was stunned and surprised. "Does, does it work?"

"Since you're gonna lose anyway, why not give a try," Meng said with a smile.

He Mu nodded hard. "Thanks."

He had blind confidence in Teacher Su.

Meng Qi stood up and looked around the courtyard with his hands clasped behind his back. He calmly said,

"After today, don't come to find me whether you win or lose."

"W-why?" He Mu eagerly asked.

Without turning his head, Meng Qi sighed.

"Our fate has ended today. I have to continue on my way also. You'd better think about these stories by yourself. If we're lucky to meet again later, I hope that you'll be a master of sword art at that time."

He Mu bit his lips and said, "Yes, Mr. Su."

After he sadly left the courtyard, Qi Zhengyan walked out from the wing room. He exhaled and asked, "Junior Brother Meng, are you sad? Are you worried about the matter of the Sect of Plain Lady or the Death Task?"

Meng Qi looked up at the plum blossoms and slowly said, "Senior Brother Qi, don't you think that my mood, posture, and sadness is the image of a master who has rid himself of the mortal world?"

Qi Zhengyan clenched his fist and released it again. "Today, Mrs. Wang secretly checked the origin of Shan Xiumei's Kung Fu. She isn't from the Sect of Plain Lady."

"What?" Meng Qi turned around and looked at Qi Zhengyan.

The next day, in the Sun-scorching Martial Club-

Wang Ce led Shan Xiumei to the second floor and apologized, saying, "Xiumei, it's my mother's fault. She made a fuss. Please forgive us."

"I know that the matter of the Iron Hand Devilman made them suspect me, but I'm innocent, so I'm not worried," Shan Xiumei unyieldingly answered.

Wang Ce tried to flatter her, so he said with a smiled, "I,myself, have absolute faith in you."

He looked down and deliberately changed the topic. "Xiumei, this contest is a big event in Yedu. You must comment on it later."