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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

227 The First Battle in Yedu

 "Thunder Blade Furious Monk..." Jin Jinxian mumbled to himself. He was still using the nickname most people were familiar with, ignoring the last statement Meng Qi had taken pains to add.

Kong Yu, Wang Ce, Shan Xiumei and the others around him had all opened at least Six Apertures. Their vision was much stronger than the average person and had thus already seen the contents of the letter. They knew that the Thunder Blade Furious Monk, a master on the Ranking List of Young Masters, had come to Yedu to challenge the "Sun-scorching Sword" Jin Jinxian. Their thoughts differed.

"Fascinating, fascinating. It's rare to encounter a master from the Ranking List of Young Masters challenging the legend here in Huan Province!" Wang Ce told Shan Xiumei through his Secret Voice-sending. He was clearly elated and his face was full of yearning. He desperately wished that he were the one taking part. To the younger masters and Jianghu idlers, this was an event much bigger than the Martial Club competitions. It was a huge topic of conversation, and attracted even more attention!

Moreover, Wang Ce had always wanted to test his strength against a legend after opening Seven Aperturesto build himself a reputation. Now that he had finally met one, he was naturally excited and emotional.

Shan Xiumei smiled as she responded, "To be able to watch a battle between a master from the Ranking List of Young Masters and our senior, the legend, I have no regrets for the rest of the year."

"Although..." She slightly knitted her brows together and continued, "if the Thunder Blade Furious Monk, uh, 'Wild Blade' Su Meng wanted to make himself even more well-known and rise up the Ranking List of Young Masters, why didn't he challenge the 32 people in front of him? Why did he pick Club Principal Jin instead?"

When the "Gentleman Sword" Meng Qi had entered the Ranking List of Young Masters, the Flowers-spreading Fairy had been struck off from it. With one new entry and one removal, the ranking of the "Thunder Blade Furious Monk" had not fallen.

"That, I know why." Wang Ce showed off his knowledge to the beautiful lady. "There are only three people from Huan Province who made the Ranking List of Young Masters. One of them is the 'Gentleman Sword' Meng Qi, who returned to Xiliang to exact revenge; his whereabouts are unknown. The other is Huanhua Swords Sect's 'Master Lotus' Liu Su who drinks a lot when he fights, and is currently traveling. Last week he appeared in River East, and thus, isn't in Yedu. Hence the Thunder Blade Furious Monk can only go after my cousin Wang Zai. His rank is much higher than the Thunder Blade Furious Monk's, and his 'Noble Spirit' is renowned. The Thunder Blade Furious Monk must prepare well if he wants to challenge him."

"Prepare?" Shan Xiumei blinked, confused.

Wang Ce explained, "Momentum. He has to cultivate it through winning countless challenges against senior legends and young masters who possess extraordinary strength in succession. That would push his momentum and confidence to their peak, building up his hopes of defeating my cousin."

"I see. Brother Wang, you certainly know a lot." Shan Xiumei gazed at Wang Ce with admiration.

"Nothing." Wang Ce was very proud of himself, yet acted humble before her. He responded, "Crossing swords and mental battles are an essential part of training in my family. Thus, I have some level of understanding."

The Green-ribbon Arrester Kong Yu was expressionless, but he had been shaken up on the inside. "The Thunder Blade Furious Monk was seriously going to pit his strength against Yedu's heroes? What did that have to do with the demoness he had mentioned? Was it voluntarily or was it against his will?"

"We have to let the constables take note of Su Meng's surroundings, as well as the women near Ten-thousand Flower Tower..."

Qi Zhengyan was also one of the guests. The moment he saw the letter, he immediately understood that it was related to the Demoness of Grand Luo Gu Xiaosang, as well as the Successor of Mystic Fairy Shan Xiumei, who was next to Wang Ce.

"How did Junior Brother Meng ascertain the fact that Shan Xiumei is the Successor of Mystic Fairy?" Qi Zhengyan wondered. He believed that Meng Qi would not act recklessly, and must have found some kind of evidence to dare to challenge the Sun-scorching Martial Club in his name to draw attention.

He was well aware of Junior Brother Meng Qi's personality. He seemed impulsive on the outside and had a tendency to showcase his power, often causing him to be between laughter and tears, and, in his own words, was 'occasionally stupid'. However, he was always cautious when performing his tasks, and never showed fear when he had to fight with all he had. He would never let himself be truly manipulated by a demoness. His actions were definitely his own intentions or he had a way out.

Qi Zhengyan controlled his thoughts and did not observe Shan Xiumei's reaction. Looking at her at such a moment would easily alert her.

The rest of the people were either excited or expectant, or suspicious or nervous. They all stared at Jin Jinxian, unsure if he would accept the challenge.

Jin Jinxian clearly felt the doubt in everyone's eyes, but all he could do was give a bitter laugh.

If it had been a relatively unknown young master who had come to challenge him, even if he had Seven or Eight Apertures opened, he could lightly laugh, toss the challenge letter aside and completely ignore it. Either that or he would send a Disciple under him to do it in his place. However, the Thunder Blade Furious Monk was a master from the Ranking List of Young Masters. He had both the reputation and the strength. With such a formal challenge made, how could he possibly reject Thunder Blade Furious Monk?

Just like how a big tree serves as good shelter, a master from the Ranking List of Young Masters was just that extraordinary!

Jin Jinxian deeply inhaled before instructing the martial arts teacher under him, "Get someone to send my message to Ten-thousand Flower Tower: I shall meet him tomorrow night."

Whether the Thunder Blade Furious Monk was real or not would be exposed then. If someone was pretending to be him, then it was not he who would be shamed anyway.

Wang Ce looked at Shan Xiumei in excitement. There was going to be some fun.

...

As it was near the fifteenth night of the first lunar month, the moon at night was gradually becoming rounder. Ten-thousand Flower Tower was a mass of bobbing heads, but they were even livelier than on the actual fifteenth night itself.

Most of them were from Jianghu, who had heard that rank 33 on the Ranking List of Young Masters, the "Thunder Blade Furious Monk", would be challenging the Yedu legend "Sun-scorching Sword" Jin Jinxian that night. Thus they had all poured in in hopes of witnessing such a rare duel.

Many bankers had also taken this opportunity to secretly take bets. Majority of the crowd had a good impression of Thunder Blade Furious Monk Su Meng. The man had won against three Nine Apertures Masters before, of whom An Guoxie and You Huanduo were even stronger than Jin Jinxian.

Behind Ten-thousand Flower Tower was the Artificial Mountain at Lotus Pond and winding corridors, both of which were empty and left to Meng Qi and Jin Jinxian.

The VIP rooms in the tower were full of people with different levels of strength. There was the Wang family from Zhou County, the Huang family from Yecheng, Huanhua Swords Sect, Afterglow Supersword School and the like. There were all sorts of people. The rest squeezed themselves into one side of the corridor or demonstrated their Lightness Skill and found their spots on rooftops and tree branches. The entire place was buzzing with excitement.

"I wonder if the Wild Blade can beat Club Principal Jin?" The Wang family from Zhou County was seated inside one of the VIP rooms, while Shan Xiumei stood by the window, gazing at the quiet Lotus Pond.

The room was filled with many disciples from the Wang family, including Wang Zai and a few other very gifted family members who were on par with his strength. Wang Ce looked at his cousins and smiled. "The Wild Blade will definitely beat Club Principal Jin. The only question lies in the number of strokes required."

Wang Zai muttered, "Nobody witnessed the battle between the Thunder Blade Furious Monk Su Meng and An Guoxie, but it seemed that he had used poisoned concealed weapons. The Gray Jade Hand Yuan Mengzhi died from his Sky Thunder, but he had only executed the move halfway. Whereas the 'Uprising Yama' You Huanduo was startled by his sudden recovery of Kungfu and got killed by the Fairy of the Extinctive Sword. It is therefore very difficult to estimate his true strength. If he does not use Sky Thunder, even if he has the Ananda Oath-breaking Bladesmanship, it'll probably take him more than ten strokes in any case."

Using the Ananda Oath-breaking Bladesmanship to gain an advantage and close in on the opponent was a method to swiftly defeat those on the level of Nine Apertures .

"That makes sense." The other Wang family disciples were all in agreement on this judgement.

Inside the VIP room the Huang family from Yecheng had booked, an old man more or less repeated the same thing Wang Zai had said. After finishing, he told the person next to him, "The Thunder Blade Furious Monk borrows a lot of strength from outside. In truth, he doesn't seem to be any stronger than his peers. Zishi, he is the best stepping stone for you to enter the Ranking List of Young Masters."

The man next to him was the Huang family's most outstanding figure of his generation, Huang Zishi. He was called the "Flower-dropping Master", and had already opened Eight Apertures.

Huang Zishi did not reply. He fanned himself as he looked out at the Lotus Pond, his gaze possessing a certain intensity to it.

In the VIP room where the Sun-scorching Martial Club and the others were, a gruff-looking middle-aged man held the Ranking List of Young Masters as he looked at the crowd. He sneered, "Apart from getting an item to call thunder and hail lightning by some stroke of luck, the Thunder Blade Furious Monk has not shown any convincing form of strength. I'd say he doesn't live up to his name, and Club Principal Jin will obviously beat him! Heh, if it were me fighting him, I'd be able to win too."

He was Luo Youfeng, the Club Principal of the Martial Club "Army-defeating". He had the strength of Eight Apertures and was in the prime of his life. When he sparred with Nine Apertures Jin Jinxian, he always made use of that advantage to force his older and weaker opponent into a tight spot.

"If he dared to challenge Club Principal Jin so openly, how could he not have some tricks up his sleeve?" The other Club Principals disagreed.

Right at this moment, Jin Jinxian, who had been resting, opened his eyes and stood up. He carried his Sun-scorching Sword and stepped out of the room, and made his way to the courtyard one step at a time to gather momentum.

In yet another room, Gu Xiaosang was sizing up the Wang family. She giggled to herself, "Wang Ce's mother came from the Cui Clan from Pinjin, which has a very strong family background. Unfortunately, she pampered her son too much and made her old servant follow him around as a bodyguard. This old servant has the strength of Half-step Exterior Scenery. Although he suffered a grievous injury before and affected his foundation, it is still just as strong. I'd spare no effort in killing him, but the one he protects is Wang Ce, not Shan Xiumei. As long as he goes out often, there'll definitely be a way to separate him from Shan Xiumei."

"Of course, if it doesn't work out this time, even if you get another chance, it'll be too coincidental. People will begin to suspect you."

Meng Qi had his eyes closed as he coldly huffed. "You talk too much. A maid should act like one. Come, massage my back for me."

Heh, if I don't take this opportunity to order you around, my surname won't be Meng!

Gu Xiaosang lowered her head and upsetly answered, "You are right, Master."

She walked over to behind Meng Qi and began massaging his shoulders. She tried to curry his favor and said, "Master, does this feel good? Do you like it?"

She was fulfilling her duties too well... Meng Qi's interest vanished in an instant. He sucked in a breath, pushed open the window, and leaped straight down.

His body resembled that of a roc and he bore a fierce and imposing manner, earning him a round of applause and cheers form the crowd.

Meng Qi stood atop the peak of the artificial mountain. He watched Jin Jinxian come closer, then raised his right hand and pulled out the Whisper Sword. "Senior Jin, please," he said as he respectfully bowed.

Jin Jinxian touched his scabbard and smiled. "The younger generation will really surpass us in time."

With a clank, he unsheathed the red Long Sword. He spared Meng Qi the pleasantries and swung his sword at him from opposite the Lotus Pond. His sword power was forceful and its Upstanding Qi flooded the area, causing a hot wind to gush at Meng Qi's face.

As his Long Sword pushed forth, he stepped into the Lotus Pond as well, the withered leaves crunching beneath his feet.

Although Meng Qi was holding on to his blade, it did not mean he was incapable of using the Nine Strategies Beyond the Swords. The Sword-breaking Move, Blade-breaking Move, Qi-breaking Move and his other skills focused on finding the opponent's flaws. They were not concerned with the weapons in Meng Qi's hands. He could use them whether he was wielding a sword, spear or knife. However, when he was using these skills, he had to follow the nature of his weapon. Many of such skills could not be employed, and thus Meng Qi had not tried to use them before.

However, after all these years of quiet cultivation and training, his bladesmanship had had a marked improvement. He had also experienced great progress in the Nine Strategies Beyond the Swords, and had managed to blend the two together.

His Long Knife was swung with a slant. Murmurs could be heard from the crowd as tensions rose. With a clang, it collided with Jin Jinxian's Long Sword. The overwhelming sword power and intense Upstanding Qi turned sluggish in a moment, as though Meng Qi had hit a vital point.

Jin Jinxian felt a chill. The man really did live up to his name. That one stroke seemed to be just right-- it was not too fast, too slow, too heavy or too light.

He changed the direction of his Long Sword and turned it into the glow of the setting sun. Meng Qi swung his blade in a simple manner once more. With yet another clank, the two weapons met again.

The sound of metal colliding rang out throughout the compound. Jin Jinxian performed 27 strokes in succession, fully demonstrating his Sun-scorching Swordsmanship. The Upstanding Qi that shot out from it made the pond water splash everywhere. A thick white mist rose from it and the artificial mountain was in shambles.

On the other hand, Meng Qi had always been on the defense. His Long Knife was either in Yin or Yang, or was fierce or crafty, but they were all regular strokes. Yet at the same time, they were just enough to block Jin Jinxian's sword.

Jin Jinxian even had a feeling that this was his best performance with using the Sun-scorching Swordsmanship thus far. It was as though the opponent could read his mind, and was guiding him towards the peak of his sword art!

However, that was not what the onlookers were thinking. Wang Ce furrowed his brows and said, "The Thunder Blade Furious Monk kind of doesn't live up to his name..."

To think he had taken 27 consecutive strokes from the old and frail Nine Apertures and still had yet to attack.

As he spoke, he looked over at the old servant and cousins, and realized that they all had doubtful and contemplative looks on their faces. They were not looking down on the Thunder Blade Furious Monk at all.

Inside the other VIP room, Luo Youfeng, Club Principal of the "Army-defeating Martial Club", was roaring with laughter. "See, I told you the Thunder Blade Furious Monk's reputation far exceeds his ablities! Apart from calling his Sky Thunder, he only has the Exterior bladesmanship. If he doesn't use his Ananda Oath-breaking Bladesmanship soon, he'll lose for sure. Hehe, even if he uses it, he might still lose."

One could not defeat a Nine Apertures Master by solely relying on the Exterior bladesmanship that possessed the Gist of Trueness. They had the Protective Upstanding Qi to protect them from attacks.

The other Jianghu heroes bore expressions of contempt. He was possibly one of the worst masters on the Ranking List of Young Masters they had seen.