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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

276 The Encounter

 The casino was ablaze, bathed in red light from numerous lamps. Avaricious gamblers were respectively rolling dice, playing Pai Gow and mahjong. Some of them were excited, some depressed, and some were miserable as before.

Witnessing this scene, Meng Qi felt he had had a dream in which there was an assassination. However, upon awakening there was no sign of it. He was still in the casino.

This assassin hid his breath and concealed his intent to kill better than anyone Meng Qi had met. Before he took action, he acted as a completely ordinary person.

"Qiu Fei must have discovered me. That's why he lured me into that overcrowded casino, to find an opportunity to kill me."

"But his strength is at the level of Half-step Exterior Scenery. It would be easier for him to kill me in a deserted place outside of town."

"Or someone that he is meeting especially dispatched him to terminate followers."

An idea popped in Meng Qi's head. He held a sword in his right hand and walked through the crowd right up to the extrance of the VIP room.

Supernatural Power of Shaking Heaven and Hitting Earth Here, there were a series of courtyards with their own features. It was also less boisterous, so many gentlemen preferred to come here for fun. Meng Qi lost track of Qiu Fei. He could not spy on every VIP room as that would irritate some influential figures. He could only hide himself at the entrance. When a dealer or a hostess passed by, he would ask them by using the Transformation Strategy mixed with a little "Supernatural Power of Shaking Heaven and Hitting Earth".

"I've never met him..."

"He's not in my VIP room..."

"There are no new customers here..."

Meng Qi was confused by their answers. He had clearly seen Qiu Fei walk into a VIP room. "Where the hell is he?"

After poking around for a while, Meng Qi was sure he had lost him. Now he realized that the assassin was surely out to prevent or eliminate those tracking Qiu Fei.

"Why did he entrust such a strong assassin with such a simple task?" Meng Qi wondered. Then, he left Skyfirst No.1 Casino and returned to his place of dwelling.

Bearing the assassination in mind, he opened the door cautiously to prevent his own murder.

As soon as the door was opened, his pupils contracted violently.

In the middle of the yard stood something that was not there before.

It was a coffin!

It was a jet black coffin to be exact!

The coffin, covered by the pale moonlight, was extremely gloomy, just horrid..

"Who sent me the coffin?" Meng Qi was both startled and infuriated. He pulled out Heaven Inflicted Pain and moved slowly towards the coffin.

He forced himself to calm down. The coffin and its surroundings were lifeless. There was no sense of flbeingat all. "Plerhaps there' is no ambush afterall."

Meng Qi slashed the Heaven Inflicted Pain. The lid fell to the ground. There was nothing in it except for a small wood carving.

It was the size of a palm carved into the figure of a man with a tormented expression. Its upper lip was attached with a slip of paper covering its body.

There were four words on it.

"Killing Blade Su Meng."

"What a despicable man!" Meng Qi was not frightened. He contemplated with a snort. "Is this a challenge of war? Or it is supposed to shake me up?"

He didn't believe Qing Yu would do it, no matter how mean he was. The Xuan Tian Sect would be shamed if people knew that Qing Yu had played such a detestable trick. The Denomination of Heaven Sovereign was by no means shameless.

"So, am I being targeted or what?"

"Who is it? And whose forces are they?"

"What do they want?"

Meng Qi was not that easy to bully, nor was he an amiable yes-man. After he had searched the yard carefully and found nothing valuable, he put away the carving and the note. Then he knocked on his neighbor's door.

After a while, his neighbor walked to the door in a coat. The man was sleepy, yawning with his eyes half closed. He stuck his head out of the cracked door and looked outside defensively in case it was a robber.

"Sorry to bother you. I have to ask you something." Meng Qi said directly. He had already removed the changes caused by Eight Nine Mysteries and washed his face.

The old man was startled at first, then he opened the door. Anxious he curiously asked, "Master Su, are you asking about the coffin in your yard?"

"Yes." Meng Qi nodded calmly.

The old man's lips twitched. "Master Su, after you left, some people sent the coffin. You weren't home, so they especially turned to Senior Ye for help. They said you had bought the coffin for yourself. Senior Ye thought you were challenging a master, so he believed them and let them in."

Senior Ye was Meng Qi's landlord.

"Do you know who they are?" Meng Qi asked with a frown.

The neighbor shook his head. "They are strangers. They were dressed like workers in a coffin shop. I'm sure it's not one nearby. "

"Coffin shop... They must have been instructed by someone else." Meng Qi was confident of himself. As long as he found the shop, he would be able to figure out the appearance of the buyer by asking the shopkeeper and staff.

"Do you remember anything distinct about their appearance?" Meng Qi continued to ask.

The old man concentrated for a moment. Then, he suddenly opened his mouth. "Ah! One worker has a black mole at the corner of his mouth. It was quite discernible."

After several other questions, Meng Qi sincerely expressed his gratitude. As he left, he was trying to come up with a plan.

"There's no curfew in Maoling. Many alcoholics, gamblers and bellmen come and go afterhours. There should have been a lot of people that saw them carrying the coffin ." Meng Qi was determined to investigate as soon as possible.

Taking time into consideration, Meng Qi decided to find the bellman who might have seen the workers first.

He easily found him by asking other bellmen.

"I remember the coffin clearly. Who wouldn't be afraid seeing a coffin at midnight?" The bellman trembled a bit when recalling the scene. Although he was far away from it, he was impressed. He had thought it was cadaverization.

Meng Qi was glad that there was a clue.

"Do you know where they are from? Or do you know which shop they work for?" Meng Qi asked with restrained joy.

Another bellman thought for a while and said uncertainly, "They were from the North Street. There is a coffin shop there."

Meng Qi got excited. After figuring out the specific location, he rushed there.

There were few pedestrians on the way. The coffin shop closed in the dark of night.

Meng Qi did not waste any time. He climbed over the wall and jumped into the yard. He had planned to interrogate them one by one by toture.

Suddenly, the smell of blood entered his nose. Though nervous, he followed the smell to the back door of the shop.

The door was half closed. Meng Qi pushed it slightly, and it fell against the wall.

He stepped into the yard discreetly, only to see many rows of black coffins. It was weird and gruesome.

Meng Qi took a deep breath. He tried to distinguish where the smell was coming from.

He approached a coffin. With Heaven Inflicted Pain poised as well as the Meridian, he uncovered the coffin.

The lid fell to the ground. The scene inside the coffin was a sight to see.

In the coffin was a dead man whose eyes were wide with panic.

A black mole was at the corner of his mouth.

Cause of death? Penetrated by a sword mid-brow.

"He was killed..." Meng Qi frowned. The whole thing was bewildering.

Following the smell of blood, Meng Qi found another two coffins where there were two dead men. One looked like a worker, while the other looked like the shopkeeper. Both of them were penetrated in the middle of her eyebrows by a sword.

"The wound is narrow but deep. According to the swift and fierce swordmanship, he must be a highly skilled swordsman..." Meng Qi judged the characteristics of the murderer's Kung Fu based on the wounds. However, there weren't any besides the between the eyebrows.

He turned the counter, only to find the account book had been burned to ashes. No purchase record was left.

"Did I just lose the clue?" Meng Qi gritted his teeth and crouched down to check the bodies. He was making a final effort.

"Huh?" Meng Qi found something abnormal. The two workers' mouths were both half open, while the shopkeeper's mouth was firmly shut, his face filled with panic.

Meng Qi pried the shopkeeper's mouth slightly open and found a paper ball in it.

The paper ball was soaked in saliva. Meng Qi barely unfolded the paper. It turned out to be a page of the burnt account book. It seemed that the shopkeeper had made a mistake while recording the taels. He was too indolent to correct it, so he just tore it off and kneaded it into a ball. Somehow, he swallowed it later.

Meng Qi roughly imagined what took place. One worker was killed, the other was trying to escape and ask for help. The murderer was so strong that the shopkeeper realized he could not get away. He was frightened and his legs went limp, causing him to fall to the ground next to a dustpan. He was ready to perish together. Seeing the paper ball, he stuffed it into his mouth and closed it tightly.

The notes in the paper had grown faint. Meng Qi could hardly recognize a few words.

"...Flower-viewing Garden...Jiang Tabo...ordered a nanmu coffin...sent to..."

"Flower-viewing Garden...Jiang Tabo..." Meng Qi repeated. He took back the paper ball and cleaned up the tracks he had left. Then he left the shop and headed for Flower-viewing Garden. It was a relatively well-known inn in Maoling.

Not long after, Meng Qi managed to sneak into Flower-viewing Garden. He tortured a worker and was informed that Jiang Tabo lived alone in the Gentle Breeze Villa, and that many people from the Martial Artists Community visited him every now and then.

Meng Qi was bold because of his superb skills. He eased into Gentle Breeze Villa.

He sensed an absence of breath in the wing room.

"Did Jiang Tabo already escape?"

Meng Qi opened the window softly and jumped into the room. Before he reached the ground, he had seen the scene inside.

A young man lay against the side of the bed on the floor. His eyes wide with fear and a long wound going down his chest and abdomen.

He had the signature hypertropia and broom-like eyebrows. He looked exactly like Jiang Tabo.

"Even he was killed?" Meng Qi felt something abnormal.

The wound was scorched, as if it had been struck by lightning. Hence the smell of blood being wiped away. That was why Meng Qi did not smell it.

"From the looks of it, the wound seems to have been left by me."

Meng Qi tensed up. He rushed out of the window, planning to leave first.

At that moment, a stone flew in from the outside and hit the stage. Bang! Although it was not lound, it echoed far into the serenity of night.

Meng Qi reached the maximum of his Energy, Qi and Spirit. He attempted to brandish his sword towards the caster.

A figure came in. As soon as he saw Meng Qi, he blocked his way.

He was a young man with dark skin and thick eyebrows in ordinary clothes. He looked like a farmer. His actions suited the surroundings well.

The young man's eyesight was sharp. As soon as he saw the dead body beside the bed through the window, his scowl deepened and uncontrollable anger and hatred flared up within him.