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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

266 Unrest in the Dead of the Nigh

 "Let's say someone from the Myths or the Immortals came here more than 20 years ago and quickly mastered the Devil Path's Divine Skill. Assuming they were still in the right mind and hadn't suffered Qi-deviancy Derangement or die from the violence, what level would their cultivation be? To staying alive through the Samsara, exchange for Karma points, absorb others' genuine Qi, Spiritual Core and flesh and blood, receive the help of organizations time and time again... Even if they aren't a Dharmakaya, they should probably have reached the pinnacle of the Exterior, no?"

Meng Qi felt his hair stand on their ends. A chill ran through his heart. Could Old Zhong be the true Devil, the real Skyscraping Devil?

The Four Corrosions of the Skyscraping Devil would corrode one's flesh, bones, mental strength, and soul. Using it, the user could suck their opponent's flesh and blood, bones, meridians, Spiritual Core, genuine Qi, and soul to increase his own strength. It could help them regain youth and extend their lifespans. It was similar to the Internal Force Absorption Skill and the North Underworld Super Force, but crueler, fiercer, scarier, and even more effective. It was based on a comic that Meng Qi had read in his previous life, the "Kung Fu of Heaven and Demon" created by the Skyscraping Devil. It clearly wasn't a skill that originated from the main world. If one practiced the "Kung Fu of Heaven and Demon" extensively, he could gain the Golden Body of the Skyscraping Devil, return to the absolute beginning, and develop the Extreme Bliss of Heaven and Demon.

"Even if they aren't from the Myths or the Immortals, spending 20 odd years in the Samsara isn't something to joke about! Even if the period of time spent between each Samsara rounds grows longer as their strength increases, that's still at least 15 or 16 rounds. If they can successfully make exchanges each time, and even practiced the Kung Fu of Heaven and Demon, how fearsome would they be?"

At this point in time, Meng Qi had only made it through about six or seven Samsara rounds. Yet he was already in the top 20 on the Ranking List of Young Masters and his strength probably exceeded that. What more of an experienced Samsara traveler who had gone through 15 or 16 rounds? Moreover, the Kung Fu of Heaven and Demon could be easily mastered. It was unlike the Eight Nine Mysteries and Golden Bell Shield, where one had to carefully grasp its intricacies and can only accelerate understanding through experience!

If Old Zhong wasn't at the peak of the Exterior, then he was at least Great Masters... Meng Qi shuddered. He forcibly suppressed the fears in his heart and calmly guarded himself against his surroundings. He was afraid that Old Zhong would suddenly leap out and give everyone a taste of his Extreme Bliss of Heaven and Demon.

"No wonder that notorious thief would have such a severe mental breakdown..."

"Thank goodness we didn't just recklessly charge in, instead of calling for a large group of helpers. Otherwise, we'd just die in the line of duty..."

"That doesn't sound right. If Old Zhong's strength was that terrifying, he would've long crashed into the Qiu Family's boat back then and sucked all of them dry. He wouldn't leave even pulp behind. Unless... there was a Great Master on the boat?"

The best warrior the Qiu Family ever had was a first-class, powerful one of the Third Heaven of the Exterior. There was never anyone who had entered a higher realm. Even now, the only surviving elder was on the level of First Heaven of the Exterior. How could there be a Great Master?

Could their secret involve some major force or powerful Rogue Cultivators?

Everyone else was carefully inspecting the bizarre corpse and investigating Old Zhong's background. Only Meng Qi's train of thought had drifted off.

"That doesn't seem right either. When you practice the Kung Fu of Heaven and Demon, your appearance and character will increasingly resemble that of the Skyscraping Devil. You'll become ugly and bloodthirsty. Considering Old Zhong's strength and the spiritual influence of the kungfu, he wouldn't have been to leave Yangxia imperceptibly if he wanted to after his cover was blown... Even with all of us here, we don't stand a chance against even his single finger. Why didn't he just wait in the courtyard, absorb everything using his kungfu, and then leave calmly?"

The more he thought about it, the stranger it seemed. Meng Qi walked further into the house and inspected the corpses hung inside.

The stench of rotting corpses almost caused him to vomit. It must be hard for Old Zhong to train himself in such an environment, even more or less willingly enjoy it.

"The bodies outside are new. They probably died a month or two ago. The ones inside are older. The oldest one was around a year..." Gentleman Cui had his back against Meng Qi as he stood amid the forest of corpses, muttering to himself.

Even older corpses had probably turned into bones and were buried.

Gentleman Cui ignored Meng Qi, examining the corpses on his own. The latter didn't disturb him either and looked for clues himself.

"Oh? The rotten part of this body isn't distinct. Some bones are clean off, while others have flesh and blood attached to it. It hasn't been cleanly melted off, whereas part of the skeleton is missing..." Meng Qi murmured, staring at one of the corpses while covering his nose.

This was obviously the work of a beginner at the Kung Fu of Heaven and Demon!

"Old Zhong's disciple? Doesn't seem like it... The old corpses are still being hung up and compared to the new ones. This should be his way of improving and fine-tuning his skills..."

"But Old Zhong shouldn't be this weak at the kungfu."

Meng Qi frowned, absolutely confused. This starkly contradicted his own judgment.

Old Zhong's strength was impressive even some 20 odd years ago. It didn't make sense that he would improve so little over the years...

This was something Meng Qi had sensed after he used the Supernatural Power of Shaking Heaven and Hitting Earth to evoke Blade Scar's painful memories. He knew it was Old Zhong who taught Blade Scar one of his kungfu techniques, something that he built his foundation on. But Meng Qi had no idea about the specifics.

Could it be that Old Zhong's strength had nothing to do with the Kung Fu of Heaven and Demon? Perhaps he only started learning it in the past year or two. This thought suddenly came to Meng Qi's mind.

It was extremely easy to suffer Qi-deviancy Derangement while learning the Kung Fu of Heaven and Demon. With one misstep, one's spiritual strength would turn deviant and one would become violent and cruel. Unless there wasn't any other choice, it was unlikely for a sane person to directly practice it. Well, the whole-body imbuing of Dominator of Samsara in Six Realms was an exception... In other words, Old Zhong turned his enlightenment and insights into a separate kungfu technique and passed it onto Blade Scar. Did he then wait for Blade Scar to accumulate experience and figure out all the challenging aspects, before practicing it himself?

That would explain why Blade Scar found it so torturous to learn the kungfu technique. Not only was he learning the Skyscraping Devil's kungfu, he was even learning the version that Old Zhong had modified. He was damned either way!

No wonder he gained so much weight. The delicate kid in the past unexpectedly became an obese monster! Besides being self-indulging, it turned out his appearance and figure were changing into that of the Skyscraping Devil due to the kungfu he was practicing...

All these speculations matched up with reason and indicative evidence, making Meng Qi feel like he had grasped the truth. But here was where the problem came. No Samsara traveler would spend so much time teaching a disciple just so he can find the right method to learn a technique. Anyone who did that would long perish because his strength wouldn't catch up to the speed of the Samsara tasks' increase in difficulty.

With that much time, most travelers might as well just collect more scripts and minerals to exchange for Karma points. That way, they could ask Dominator of Samsara in Six Realms for the whole-body imbuing. They could just practice the techniques again to make up for their lack of a proper foundation. Besides, the Kung Fu of Heaven and Demon was a skill that could be quickly mastered. There would definitely be enough time for it.

Could Old Zhong be similar to the Evil Prince? The latter picked up "the Immortal Pressing Art", while the former came across the "Kung Fu of Heaven and Demon"? Such a thought naturally occurred to him after recalling his experience.

But Meng Qi had no guesses as to where Old Zhong 'picked up' the kungfu from or why he chose to hide quietly in Yangxia for the past 20 years or so.

The origin of these corpses was rather obvious. Some were fresh, unburied corpses reserved in the Yi cemetery, while others were vagabonds and beggars. No one would care if they went missing. The group checked the corpses and found nothing that stood out.

The other rooms in the compound were neat and tidy, without a single piece of paper in sight. It seemed that Old Zhong left in peace. He was evidently in no panic or hurry as he left nothing valuable behind.

"Little Su, guard this courtyard tonight with Old Li in case any stray dogs or beggars barge in and destroy the corpses, ruining our evidence," Governor Arrester Zheng Jushan instructed. "I'll send a request to the Yamen of Jun City and have them dispatch their most outstanding arresters to inspect the corpses and search for clues."

He was relieved to know the strange Old Zhong had already made his escape and there wasn't any need to take risks. He could just leave the remaining task to the Yamen of Jun City.

His orders suited Meng Qi fine and he agreed at once. He wanted to inspect the corpses and courtyard again when he was alone, to see if there were any signs left behind by a Samsara traveller. For example, he might find kungfu that belonged to another world.

Li Chong, on the other hand, was horrified. There were so many corpses littered around, with creepy traces of rotten flesh in the dark and gloomy courtyard. He was terrified as it was in broad daylight, much less at night.

"G-Governor Zheng, I'm too old to withstand the night winds..." He hadn't even finished his sentence when he saw Governor Zheng, Gentleman Cui, and the rest making their way out. They had turned a deaf ear to his words, leaving only Arrester Little Su and him to guard the scene.

Li Chong's wrinkles deepened so much that his smiling face was uglier than his tearful expression. "Arrester Little Su, p-please take care of me."

"Old Li, what are you actually afraid of?" Meng Qi burst out in laughter.

Li Chong lowered his voice, whispering, "I'm worried that Old Zhong will return at night. What should we do then?"

His fear only intensified after seeing the forest of corpses in the room. He felt that Old Zhong was truly an evil demon.

"The room has been thoroughly cleaned and all traces were eliminated besides the corpses. This showed that Old Zhong wasn't in a hurry when he left and had completed what he needed to do. It's impossible for him to return," Meng Qi explained calmly.

Otherwise, he would have instantly 'activate' Arrester Little Su's sense of responsibility and 'chase' Old Zhong all the way to River East. There was no way he would stay in a dangerous place.

"But this is so creepy! What if all these corpses turn into zombies at midnight..." The more Li Chong spoke, the more terrified he became.

"What's so scary about zombies? If they show up, we can just tell them that we won't be entertaining them and they can just play aside," Meng Qi replied, laughing.

After all, he had even encountered a zombified Luohan before. Coupled with Heaven Inflicted Pain sword that he carried, how could he possibly be afraid of an ordinary zombie?

"Won't entertain them... What does it mean..." Li Chong was speechless. He wondered if Arrester Little Su's fearless of the supernatural was because he came from the Confucius Sect.

When the night came, clouds obscured the moon and left the sky pitch black. Since Li Chong refused to step into any room with a corpse in it, Meng Qi could only light a fire at the door. Roasting his dried food and drinking water, he decided to perform a closer search later on.

Li Chong picked up the wine gourd that he usually carried around and took a violent swig from it. When he finally calmed down a little, he sighed. "I'm old, really old. I can't compare with the vigor of young men like you who aren't afraid of ghosts and zombies. When I first became an arrester, I could guard the Yi cemetery overnight. But now I can't even enter a room or spend a night with some corpses."

"There's actually no difference sitting at the door. Think about it. There are so many corpses staring at you from behind as they slowly inch toward you..." Meng Qi teased, feeling the twisted thrill of telling a horror story.

Li Chong stood up at once. He turned around and cast a glance at the room before taking several steps backward until he was on the opposite side of the fire.

Just then, a crisp snapping sound came from the rooftop.

"Who's there?" Old Li was even more terrified, whereas Meng Qi just smiled.

The cawing of crows reverberated in the air.

Li Chong heaved a sigh of relief. He was about to sit down when he heard Meng Qi speak in a carefree voice. "If you're going to be so bad at faking the cawing, you're better off not trying."

"What!" Old Li held onto his wine gourd tightly.

"Humph! That's still better than some idiot who can't even fake it." A figure dressed like a Taoist leaped down from the rooftop. He was short and had a babyface. Two precious swords, one long and one short, were strapped to his back. It was none other than Yao Xingliu, Youth Yao.

Yang Xingliu had heard Xiao Yue, the Pink and Mellow Hand, mention Old Zhong's bizarre kungfu and obsession with martial arts had been unleashed. He had made his way out of the city overnight and came to check the corpses.

"Phew! So it's the little Daoist disciple from Zhenwu." Li Chong finally heaved a huge sigh of relief. To him, Taoists always seemed to have some way of capturing the supernatural.

Yao Xingliu nodded and sat down by the fire, hugging himself without saying a word.

After seeing the Daoist, Li Chong relaxed a great deal. He felt the call of nature and excused himself to the toilet on the other side of the yard.

"Old Li, be careful not to step on the corpses," Meng Qi gently said.

Old Li stumbled and nearly fell. He felt that Meng Qi also had a devilish side to him!

Yao Xingliu snorted, "What good are you to frighten the elderly?"

"Who's the one who was terrified by the idea of corpses staring at him?" Meng Qi chuckled mischievously.

Yao Xingliu retorted in anger, "I-I was just careless for a moment! Zhenwu has our own sword art to eliminate the supernatural!"

He paused momentarily before whispering, "Since you're already dead, don't come back."

He clearly recognized Meng Qi. His words indicated something.

Hearing this, Meng Qi felt his mood darken. Negative feelings began to overwhelm from within. He squinted at Yao Xingliu and said, "Youth Yao, come. Let's have a fight!"

"Huh?" Yao Xingliu was stunned. His babyface wore a dumbfounded expression.

Meng Qi sighed at his innocent expression. He suppressed his feelings and said, "Forget it. I don't bully kids."

Yao Xingliu flew into a rage and was about to pull out his Yin-Yang Swords.

Just then, sounds of repeated knocking came from the door. The sound traveled far and wide in the dead of the night.

Yao Xingliu leaped behind a pillar at once. Having just reappeared from the toilet, Old Li was so scared that he instantly fell.

Meng Qi curled his upper lip. He walked to the door and opened it. What greeted him was a pale-faced zombie with its tongue hanging all the way till its throat!

"Nope." Meng Qi's expression didn't change. With a thud, he shut the door.

Everyone was at loss, whether it was the zombie outside the door or Yao Xingliu and Li Chong inside the yard.

What kind of response was that?