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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

253 A Ray of Hope

 The sky was gloomy, without a ray of light. In the darkness, what seemed like the open mouths of terrible creatures were at every turn awaiting their prey. This made it impossible to proceed confidently on a direct route. Occasionally, there would be a dim flash of lightning in the distance, shedding a pitiful amount of light in this dark place.

Meng Qi and his company were here, walking down the winding path that seemed to have no end. The blowing wind was the only sound to be heard, contributing to the unsettling feel of the place.

At unpredictable intervals a fierce wind would blow, cutting to the bone. The farther inward they ventured, the more severe the wind. Meng Qi suspected that in the innermost place, the wind would reach the level of Samsara Kamikaze. Without Protective Upstanding Qi and Golden Bell Shield, the wind would penetrate one's bones.

"Whoosh!"

A fierce gust of wind strong enough to send a person flying blew through. Murky was alright. Luo Shengyi, Qi Zhengyan, Meng Qi, and the other well-built men could also stand firm. However, Jiang Zhiwei and Ruan Yushu, who were missing their right arms and still not fully recovered, were blown about in the wind, like pedals dropping from a flower.

Ruan Yushu, who was holding her zither with her left hand, suddenly stumbled and was blown to the ground by the wind.

Seeing this, Meng Qi turned around to help her up.

Ruan Yushu left the zither where it was and stretched out her left hand, grabbing Meng Qi's free hand and pulled herself up.

Meng Qi was momentarily taken aback, feeling a round object in his left hand, but he showed no expression and held on tight. Then he helped pick up Ruan Yushu's zither and returned it to her.

"Ah, he's still gentle towards women." Murky had spent some time around humans watching over a pagoda, so he still had some sense when he spoke, unlike other demons.

Meng Qi blushed slightly. Ruan Yushu showed no change in expression, as if this action was nothing out of the ordinary.

Murky did not rebuke them for this action. The fact that this rascal showed such concern for the lady would only make them more effective hostages.

"Hurry up! Let's go!" He could not wait to find the treasure.

Meng Qi turned around. Holding the Whisper Sword in his right hand, he led the way, flanked by Qi Zhengyan and Luo Shengyi on both sides.

Seizing an opportunity, he opened his hand and examined it. Inside was a Recover Pill!

"Senior Brother Zhang's pill... " Meng Qi immediately understood and was both joyful and excited. With this pill, any member of his group could recover within two hours!

Of course, there was no way to regrow limbs.

"Murky has recovered quite a bit, however, his Monster Core is destroyed, so his realm has dropped to Half-step Exterior Scenery. At the rate of his training, it would take hundreds of years to get back to his former skill level... " Meng Qi suppressed waves of emotion and calmly used logic to assess the situation.

"One Recover Pill is only enough for one person to recover its strength. Under these circumstances, it would be easy to escape, but it would still be very difficult to kill Murky... " Meng Qi estimated that even if he recovered, without the Purple Decease Sword, it would be nearly impossible to defeat an opponent whose skill level was Half-step Exterior Scenery, and the help the others could offer was limited. "Could it be we must get back the Purple Decease Sword and then attack?"

"No, that plan is too complicated. Just the act of taking back the Purple Decease Sword would cause Murky to become suspicious... "

If Meng Qi had another half year, his Seven Apertures stabilized and bladesmanship regained, he would have more opportunities to kill the weakened Murky. But he did not have the luxury of time.

Of course, under the present circumstances, if Meng Qi took the Recover Pill, he could easily escape. But he could not abandon his comrades.

"Yu Shu was skilled at her instrument, but without her right hand, she was greatly handicapped. If she were at full strength and used Twelve Heavenly Sounds of Lang Huan with my attack, perhaps we would have a chance... " Everyone was in this together to the death. Meng Qi had already started to call her Yu Shu.

His training in learning Eight Nine Mysteries and Golden Bell Shield gave him excellent recovery ability. Murky had consistently been taking the elixir to help him recover to almost half of his strength, while for the after effects of Sacrifice Formula, nothing but the Recover Pill could heal it.

However, Sacrifice Formula lowered the body's countercharge significantly. Otherwise, Meng Qi would have suffered a heavy illness, with feverish symptoms and extreme weakness. His strength would have dropped to the primary level of enlightening the Apertures. Now, however, he only suffered from low energy levels and slight weakness. Other than a broken Golden Bell Shield, his strength was still at fifty percent. Even without the Recover Pill, he could still fight.

Though the countercharge weakened him, making it difficult to use One Heart Affecting Another to attack with Ananda Oath-breaking Bladesmanship, he still had Purple Thunder Bladesmanship!

Today was the seventh day. Previously when they were in hiding, Meng Qi had been storing up Purple Thunder Force. At present, he only needed to store two more times and spend a bit more time recovering and he could use Violent Thunder Shocking the Sky. Thus, he believed that if he was paired with Twelve Heavenly Sounds of Lang Huan, there was a good chance of success.

"Senior Brother Qi was not strong enough. Even if he recovered, his 'Azure Blizzard' could not compare with 'Twelve Heavenly Sounds of Lang Huan'. The two of us would not have a chance too... "

"If Old Luo were recovered and paired two Exterior attacks with my Violent Thunder Shocking the Sky, then we may have a chance... "

- Luo Shengyi's fist attack could not compare with Purple Thunder Bladesmanship. It would not have any effect on Murky. Even if two attacks were linked, the effect would only be like a continuous Half-step Exterior Scenery attack, especially on a genuinely skilled "Half-step Exterior Scenery" warrior like Murky.

Unless Meng Qi used Ananda Oath-breaking Bladesmanship to first break Murky's waves of defense.

"Among us, only Zhiwei would be able to defeat Murky one on one. If she were at full strength, she would surely be able to defeat Murky in a place, where he could not fly high. But now she's missing her right arm, and normally her left hand was not well-trained. How much of her sword art was left?"

"Phew, Anatta Sword and Hitting the Sea are both movements that exceed Enlightenment of the Apertures. They are Inner World swordwill that requires balancing of the heart sutras, and synchronized with Heaven and Earth. They have mighty power that would make it difficult for an enemy to avoid attack. However, they are not fatal movements... If Zhiwei could use her left hand to activate the sword movement with speed, power, and strength, then she could use the heart sutras of Anatta Sword to bring forth Yama's Invitation. Perhaps the attack would still retain half of its original strength... "

Meng Qi could perform Exterior movements himself and understood the power of Yama's Invitation. It relied on speed and momentum. As long as she could wield the Long Sword with her left hand, Jiang Zhiwei would not need to struggle as he used to practice hard.

"The two of us together, one crippled, one injured, would hopefully add up to at least thirty percent strength... " Meng Qi clenched his jaw and made a decision. Thirty percent was enough. There was no time to hesitate, but it's time for action!"

Meng Qi had made his decision. He concentrated on his will, kept a state of loosing on the outside and tightened on the inside. He nonchalantly drew a circle with left hand at his side, mimicking Zhang Yuanshan's Tai Qi defense. He could not use Secret Voice-sending, because Murky had already warned them. If Murky felt anyone's airflow was abnormal, he would immediately eat someone.

Ruan Yushu saw Meng Qi's signal. She understood it immediately, but focused her eyes ahead, giving nothing away.

When Jiang Zhiwei saw the signal, she immediately thought of Zhang Yuanshan.

"Why is this little monk imitating Senior Brother Zhang?"

She thought through all that had happened. Immediately, she remembered the Recover Pill, Ruan Yushu's fall, and how Meng Qi had helped her up.

"He wants to give me the Recover Pill?" Jiang Zhiwei quickly understood Meng Qi's signal. This was not because they were on the same wavelength, but rather because she had been thinking about solving the same problem.

She was not the one to give up. Even though Murky had taken one of her arms, she was still thinking of how her team could turn the tables. No doubt, the first thing she had thought of was Ruan Yushu's Recover Pill, and she had been looking for an opportunity to remind Ruan Yushu.

Another a strong gust of wind blew. Jiang Zhiwei stumbled and fell forward hard with a great thud. In order to avoid making Murky suspicious, she allowed her wound to reopen. Fresh blood once again began to flow out.

Meng Qi had been waiting for this opportunity. With the Recover Pill in his left hand, he ran to Jiang Zhiwei's side, putting on an expression of great concern. He took hold of her left hand with his left hand, supported her side with his right hand, and helped her up.

Murky shouted, "So much concern for the ladies? If you get distracted from leading the way again, I'll eat one of them!"

Meng Qi quickly turned around and kept leading the way. Jiang Zhiwei used acupinning to seal the wound. The she let out a bout of coughing that covered her yellow dress in blood.

They crossed through a windy section. Meng Qi and his company walked deeper and deeper, and the wind became stronger and stronger. It was as if they were lost in a maze, but they didn't see any signs of previous travelers.

Meng Qi did not turn around, but he sensed Jiang Zhiwei's actions. Jiang Zhiwei was warming up her left arm, using stablizing her body as a disguise and holding a long sword in her left hand.

"We still have more than an hour... " Meng Qi counted down to himself.

Suddenly a demon's odor came drifting over from ahead. Undoubtedly, the creature was far stronger than Murky. If its level were to be compared to a human's strength, it would perhaps be the equivalent of a Peerless Master Pro.

Meng Qi and his company stopped in their tracks. At the fork in the path ahead of them they saw a large, dark faced creature. Its demon odor was thick and its appearance was like a black fog. Who knew which Great King it had followed to come to this place.

Murky was shocked. He was about to go forward to meet it, when he realized that the dark faced creature's body was already rotting. Its eyes were missing from their sockets and there were only patches of black fur covering its body. Its odor of death was thick as well. The creature was an undead zombie!

Murky took a deep breath and examined the creature. Seeing that it had no weapon and its clothing had rotted away, Murky put aside his intention to fight and commanded Qi Zhengyan, "You! Go and get it out of our way!"

In Murky's present state, defeating this monster without wisdom would not be an easy task.

The atmosphere turned tense. This zombie was strong, though it had no wisdom. Anyone short of Half-step Exterior Scenery would not be able to defeat it. If Qi Zhengyan were to fight it, one wrong move and he would lose his life.

"Should I attack earlier than planned?" Meng Qi started to consider initiating his attack.

Qi Zhengyan took a deep breath, stepped in front of Meng Qi and replied, "Okay."

At this time, he had no hesitation. He used Secret Voice-sending and said to Meng Qi, "Be patient and wait for a good opportunity."

He had deducted the exchange of the Recover Pill from seeing Jiang Zhiwei's previous action. Jiang Zhiwei would never stumble so easily. Anyone who knew her could see that. Only Murky was blind to it, because he did not know her well enough.

"Senior Brother Qi... " There was both emotion and worry in Meng Qi's voice.

Qi Zhengyan used Secret Voice-sending again and comforted Meng Qi. "It's dangerous, but also a good opportunity. After I face this monster, as long as it doesn't catch me, I can escape."

Murky did not expect him to return. It's likely that the monster would kill him, and a dead man could not return. This was the danger in exploring.