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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

255 Rebirth

 Meng Qi lightly drew in a breath. He clenched his right hand, which was gripping the "Whisper Sword", and his five fingers were exerting tremendous force and his palms were somewhat clammy. It was as if he had returned to the first time that he had used a blade. In life-and-death situations, even those with the most trained minds would inevitably become anxious. The moment that he made a move, there would be no room for error. Monsters like Murky tended to follow their violent instincts rather than logic.

However, if he did not go all out, he would be pinning whatever tiny shred of hope he had on fate. He would be desperately praying that there were no monsters hidden in the temple, and that he would not encounter any monsters before he returned. His survival would be completely out of his hands. On the other hand, if he pressed forward now, although the chance was small, he could use his own ability to grab on to however tiny a chance of survival there was. It was within reach, and even if he did perish, it would be without any regrets!

Jiang Zhiwei slowly made her way over to Great Buddha's Hall with her sword in her left hand. She was calm and collected, waiting for Meng Qi to make the first move.

She was certain that Meng Qi would definitely launch an attack before she stepped into Great Buddha's Hall. That was because if there were monsters inside, they would have just wasted a Recover Pill.

Ruan Yushu wore a cool and aloof expression, but the five fingers of her left hand that were hidden behind her zither were already secretly shifting toward its edge with urgency.

Murky clamped the "Big Leiyin Temple" horizontal board under his arm and wielded his steel fork. All of his attention was focussed on the door of Great Buddha's Hall, as though he were afraid of whatever terrifying monsters could emerge from there.

Jiang Zhiwei inched over to Meng Qi, who shut his eyes tight then opened them again, as his hand gripped the blade exceptionally firm.

However, right at that moment, a scary feeling suddenly emerged from Great Buddha's Hall. It was fierce and unyielding, and seemed to be the very harbinger of doomsday. The vast space nearby was crushed to the extent that it began shaking suddenly. Meng Qi felt the heavy pressure make his heart quiver. It was as if his heart were carrying 500 kilograms, making it impossible to escape.

"This is..." Even Meng Qi's thinking had slowed down. He saw a monk in a tattered cassock walk out. The monk's skin had a dark golden glow and his face resembled withered trees, while his chest was completely revealed. He seemed to have no life nor any worries.

With every step he took, the void appeared to tremble even more, as if it were on the brink of collapsing. Golden Lotuses bloomed after him, but they were dyed in a black gas and were not accompanied by any Zen chanting.

Jiang Zhiwei was also crushed by the monk's aura to the point where she could not move, as if there were binds all around that restrained her movements. Since Ruan Yushu was weaker and her broken right arm had yet to heal, she was even quivering under the pressure.

Murky's eyes popped out of their sockets. With a look of shock on his face, he exclaimed, "Luo... Luohan!"

Luohan? Golden Body Luohan?!

Meng Qi turned pale with fright. Was this the kind of feeling the Dharmakaya gave people?

The Luohan's Golden Body was covered in a heavy, ashy, dead atmosphere that made the dark golden glow appear to have faded and hide countless cracks. With his blank stare and expressionless face, the monk was not much different from the previous two demon zombies.

"How did this happen? Even a monk who had freed himself from all his worries and cleansed his soul had turned into a zombie? What exactly happened on the Holy Mountain?" Meng Qi was utterly shellshocked as his head was filled with questions.

He wanted to retreat and step out of the range of the Luohan's power. However, the overwhelming deterrence made his legs feel like lead and he was unable to move them at all.

He was not the only one affected. Murky, a demon with the strength of the Half-step Exterior Scenery, was also trembling and his waves had solidified as well. He inched backward at a snail's pace, much slower than the rate at which the Luohan was advancing toward them.

The fearsomeness of the Dharmakaya was that terrifying. He did not even have to lift a finger for Murky to be defenseless!

The Luohan looked haggard and had an icy gaze that seemed to suggest everything around him was dead. As he closed the distance between himself and Meng Qi, that feeling grew increasingly apparent. It made Meng Qi's heart pound so fast and so hard that it could almost leap right out of his throat.

A zombified Luohan was most definitely not any saint!

Murky was so scared that he made a strange cry. All of a sudden, he remembered something, and frantically hurled the "Big Leiyin Temple" horizontal board that he had been holding at the Luohan, hoping that the object related to the Primogenitor of Buddhism would be of some use!

Was it not often said that Buddhism was the best at defeating Nether Spirits and other ghosts?

The horizontal board flew toward the Luohan, who showed no signs of abnormality. As Murky had thrown it hastily, it did not hit the Luohan, but instead fell at its feet with a thud.

The Luohan took half a step forward and then suddenly stopped. It glanced at the horizontal board, curiosity appearing in its dull eyes and its bloody intentions toning down a little.

Yet this change was short-lived. It was about to step over the horizontal board and head for Meng Qi, who was right in front of it. Their vitality was disgusting and had to be exterminated!

Meng Qi took a deep breath. When he saw the Luohan's reaction to the horizontal board, he decided to give it one last shot and flog the dead horse. After all, he could not escape, and he could not beat the Luohan either.

Meng Qi emitted a faint bronze glow that surrounded his body. Although it was weak, it was undoubtedly Buddhist in nature. Despite the fact that the Golden Bell Shield had been broken, it had only lost its defensive properties. The inner meridians had not yet been damaged, but it was still difficult to operate it.

Upon feeling such a breath, the Golden Body Luohan halted its footsteps once more. It stopped at the edge of the "Big Leiyin Temple" horizontal board, and its frosty gaze significantly softened.

Meng Qi considered his lack of strength to display the Ananda Oath-breaking Bladesmanship and the "Ananda" roar that traveled far and wide. Hence, he settled on not using his blade to demonstrate his Buddhist identity. Instead, he would chant incantations.

Rebirth Mantra! "Rebirth in a pure land holy mantra"! "Extrication from all sins that will lead to retribution and rebirth in the pure land Dharani"!

This was one of the incantations that Meng Qi had learned during his morning lessons. He had it memorized down to every last word and had never forgotten it.

"Namo Amitabhaya..." He continued emitting the dark golden glow as his face expressed benevolence. He truly wanted the Luohan to be able to escape from his restraints and quickly reach the pure land. Only then would he be safe.

Something strange then occurred. The Luohan actually followed Meng Qi by closing his eyes and began to recite incantations as well. In fact, it was also chanting the Rebirth Mantra!

The "Rebirth Mantra" rang out throughout the compound while the light of Zen rippled throughout the Luohan's Golden Body. The gloomy and dilapidated temple gradually became more and more pure and pristine.

"...sahaloka."

Under such guidance, the words "Big Leiyin Temple" shone with the light of Buddha. They turned bright and clean, giving off a radiance that was upright, fearless, and free from worldly worries.

The Luohan's dazed expression softened and it took a step forward to directly sit cross-legged on the "Big Leiyin Temple" horizontal board. The ashy scent of death and pitch-black vibe that it had been shrouded in revealed its pure body with a dark golden glow beneath it!

A colorful flame leaped out of its body and ignited the Golden Body, burning the deathly atmosphere and pitch-black scent that surrounded it.

Slowly, the flames had swallowed all of the Luohan and the "Big Leiyin Temple" horizontal board. Sounds of Zen chanting came from it, as though that were a form of extrication from worldly matters or Nirvana itself.

"Namo Amitabhaya..." Meng Qi was still chanting, his voice blending with the sound of the Zen chanting. A brief smile appeared on the Luohan's face. It spoke of benevolence, freedom from worries, and a lack of hesitation.

Once the flames were about to entirely consume him, Meng Qi saw two streams of blood flow from his eyes!

A Luohan had tears? What was going on?

The flames grew even stronger and taller. They shot up into the sky, causing the temple to shine with a pristine uprighteousness.

By the time the fire began to die down, there was almost nothing left of the Big Leiyin Temple horizontal board and the Golden Body Luohan. In their place was a colorful Buddha's relic that gave one a sense of calm.

The shaking of the space and the heavy binds restraining their movements had all vanished. Meng Qi and the others could move freely again. It almost felt like whatever had just transpired had been but a dream. If not for the rolling of the Buddha's relic on the ground, they might have actually doubted whether what had happened was real.

"Move it!" Upon catching sight of the Buddha's relic on the ground, Murky's eyes lit up at once. In just a few steps, he had overtaken Meng Qi and Jiang Zhiwei. He unleashed his waves in an attempt to sweep it up and snatch it away.

An opportunity!

Meng Qi and Jiang Zhiwei's eyes met and they both discovered the joy in the other's eyes. The two of them had planned to launch an attack together to fight for the chance head on, but now that Murky's greed had been revealed, they were presented with an opportunity to ambush him!

The opportunity had to be seized, for it was now or never!

If Murky was still standing after this strike, they would most certainly die. There was no other possibility!

Whereas if they did not make a move now, they still might have the chance to make it to their return!

This was an absolute battle on the frontlines. Should they use their actions and efforts to vie for hope, or struggle at death's door and pray for luck?

Meng Qi had long had an answer in his heart-he would rather die than beg the gods for mercy!

He who helps himself will be helped by heaven!

The heart sutras of the Ananda Oathbreaking Blade began to revolve. Meng Qi's heart was like the calm surface of a lake, without any ripples or movement. He forgot about the deaths, about the danger, and about the wins and losses. The only thing that he had was the burning desire for the battle to survive!

That's right, I'm unwilling. I'm unwilling to die here. I still have too many unfulfilled wishes!

But, precisely because I am unwilling, I have to make a move here and now!

I can't sit around and wait to be saved, or simply long for luck!

This strike is a blade of unwillingness and also a blade of survival. Even if I should die, it will be with no regrets!

His Long Knife swung out and whispers scattered everywhere, just like Meng Qi's inner cries.

The knife was like a long dragon. It descended from above and absorbed all the vitality and airflow nearby, transforming into a fierce and unyielding strike. Purple lightning soared across the sky and enveloped everything in frontof it.

Meng Qi pulled his Long Knife back and swung it out again just like before. It was exactly the same strike as before, almost like a duplicate. Even Jiang Zhiwei could not resist giving a small smile at the sight of it.

One strike, two strikes, three strikes-Meng Qi made a total of nine strikes. There was a sudden deafening clap of thunder, causing Murky to tremble.

Streaks of Purple Thunder shot out like snakes, all of them crashing into one another. They came together to resemble a car tire rolling forward. It crushed Murky with a power and force used to deter the universe and punish evildoers in the name of heaven.

Murky had just been celebrating his successful obtainment of the Luohan Sarira when a sudden feeling shook him from the core. It was similar to the feeling he had experienced when he had witnessed the Master of the Nine-headed Insect being robbed while crossing a path. It was like a deterrence from above, while they were nothing but mere ants crawling on the ground.

Heavenly punishment?

No, it was an ambush!

He stabbed his steel fork backward and blocked the Long Knife. Then he turned his body and shifted the tide of his waves to protect himself.

"Boom!"

A streak of thunder struck from above, shaking up the Nine Heavens. Murky was too slow and ended up getting maliciously hit by the Purple Thunder on the waves protecting him.

Water sprayed everywhere and the snakelike thunderbolts flew all about. The streaks of Thunder Light traveled throughout the waves and directly forced apart Murky's protective waves. He was electrocuted so severely that his black scales turned yellow.

Had Murky still been at the Exterior Level, Meng Qi's "Violent Thunder Shocking the Sky" strike might not have been able to break his defenses. However, at that point in time, Murky only had the strength of the Half-step Exterior Scenery. Hence, with Meng Qi's attack, he had suffered electrocution, had hiss waves utterly penetrated, and had his scales hit.

"Clang!"

The "Whisper Sword" collided with Murky's black scales. Several black scales fell off as a clean, shallow knife wound was created and blood began to flow out of it.

"He dared to attack me? Is he not afraid of death?" Murky flew into a rage. Since he had already collected the Luohan Sarira, he decided to go all out and kill Meng Qi.

Just as that thought had flashed through his mind, his vision was suddenly blinded by sword light. It was as if there was only that single sword between all of heaven and earth.

Since when had she regained her strength?

Murky was simultaneously shocked and enraged, as well as being full of fear. He used all his might to wield his steel fork in an attempt to stop the Long Sword as droplets of sweat gathered on his mid-brows.

His protective waves had just been penetrated when Jiang Zhiwei struck, taking the opportunity to make her move. She did not give him any time to catch his breath or put his defenses up again. Her timing was exceedingly impeccable!