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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

279 Real and Non-illusionary

 "If the name of the sect doesn't matter, then what does..." Meng Qi couldn't help mocking in his head. But since he was currently on someone else's ship, he'd better not ask what ought not to be asked.

Quietly, he followed the little girl into the largest cabin. The cabin was furnished elegantly with paintings, calligraphy pieces, and literary tools. Sandalwood was burning inside, giving the place a peaceful and secluded atmosphere.

The little girl made a respectful curtsey at the tall lady sitting behind the desk and said, "First senior sister, the childe is here."

The lady was in her twenties. Dressed in a light red dress, she had delicate features and her hair put up in a bun. She looked noble, if a little cold, and unnatural as if she was an emotionless goddess statue inside a temple rather than a living being.

She was writing when Meng Qi entered the cabin. Every character she wrote was just like her-mechanical, apathetic, and absolutely rational.

"Whether one can go down in history remains uncertain; the withered grass fills the blue sky with each passing year. Tens of thousands of floating clouds arrived in the present day after surviving the ancient times; the passage of time had always abandoned the statesmanship."

She had just finished writing just as the little girl curtsied as if every character was under the strict and precise control of hers.

"Is that your composition?" Meng Qi asked relaxedly.

The lady nodded. "You can consider it my pseudonym."

How nice it would be to have a pseudonym... It was too bad that he wasn't that talented. He maintained his composure and said, "I'm Su Meng. Why did you request my presence here? How may I address you?"

The corners of the lady's smile turned up, but he felt that it looked like a smile carved into her statue-like face. There was not a shred of emotion in it as if she was merely doing it out of politeness.

"Yue Ziqing," she said softly, waving her right hand. "Please take a seat."

They sat face-to-face at the desk. The little girl left after serving two cups of tea.

"Please have some tea." Yue Ziqing was behaving as if she was following a strict procedure of receiving a guest.

Meng Qi picked up the lid of the cup and gently stirred the tea, sensing the fragrance coming to waft up against his nose. He felt his blood lineage diastolic and meridians activate as if he was experiencing the great relief after a long and serious illness.

"Nice tea!" He said, unable to stop himself from making a compliment. He also confirmed that there weren't any obvious hints of poison in his tea. He didn't care about other aspects as he would definitely have the chance and strength to crush the Samsara symbol anyway.

She nodded and said, "This is the Tea of Times."

He took a sip of the tea. As it entered his throat, he felt his physical exhaustion, loss of Blood Essence, and discomfort from the "serious illness" rapidly vanish like snow melting under the sun.

Though this tea wasn't as good as a Recover Pill, it was much better than a Hundred-herb Bolus. Meng Qi was astonished by the lady's luxurious way of receiving guests...

Yue Ziqing remained seated, watching Meng Qi without moving as if she was a statue of a fairy. She finally took a sip of her tea after Meng Qi finished his, asking straightforwardly, "Master Su, are you perhaps carrying a Buddhist holy object with you?"

Meng Qi took a breath, wondering how she managed to sense that. Did she invite him to the ship and serve him such good tea because of the Buddha's Lamp?

When he didn't answer, she added, "It should be the Buddha's Lamp."

He frowned and quickly took down the Buddha's Lamp hanging in front of his chest. "You're familiar with this thing?"

"So it's really the Buddha's Lamp." She smiled joyfully, an expression that she shouldn't be wearing at this moment. "Our grandmaster made that for Primogenitor of Buddhism."

He couldn't help being astonished at such an unexpected fate between them. If nothing else, this lady's grandmaster ought to be at least a Dharmakaya...

Yue Ziqing took out a bluish-white lamp from her bosom, the light illuminating the corner and giving off a warm and peaceful atmosphere. "Our grandmaster made one for himself with the surplus materials after finishing the Buddha's Lamp. It was made randomly and obviously no match for yours. But it has the unique ability to respond to the approach of another lamp."

No wonder... Meng Qi felt relieved. It was given that his Buddha's Lamp didn't respond. It was, after all, damaged.

Yue Ziqing continued, "Our grandmaster heard from Primogenitor of Buddhism that if the Buddhism declines and rogues of all kinds run wild in the future, this lamp will illuminate the final declining period and guide the true Buddhist doctrine. That's why I invited you to the ship and served you a cup of tea to help you recover from your injuries."

"Unsurprisingly, this lamp hid such a big secret. No wonder Luohan kept guarding it even after turning into a corpse..." Meng Qi said, "Lady Yue, are you also a Buddhist?"

She shook her head. "Our grandmaster left Buddhism long ago."

She paused momentarily before asking, "Master Su, do you know which character the Essence of the Buddhism lies in?"

He was still a monk, even if only a half-baked one. He answered without hesitation, "Void."

"Exactly. All the four elements are void, so are all things. Worldly things are unreal. You can only let go and detach yourself from the sea of bitterness after seeing through them," she said, her eyes shining. "Therefore, many monks study the Teachings of Buddhism, practice palm moves, and concentrate the Dharmakaya to see through illusions. But that's just the preliminary stage. Since all things are void, both Teachings of Buddhism and the Buddha's Palm are as well. If you can't see through them and let them go, you're at a disadvantage and will finally end up like Luohan. In Buddhism, this is called the Breaking the Ego of Dharma.

Meng Qi was surprised that this lady knew more about the Teachings of Buddhism compared to him who was a monk...

She then changed the subject, saying, "But our grandmaster didn't think so. There's a reason behind every illusion and existence. If you consider them illusions and voids because you fail in finding them out, then you've just fallen on a wrong path."

"Master Su, you must have experienced illusions, but where do they come from? The spirit disturbs the sensory organs and influences the soul. The spirit seems unreal but truly exists. It's rooted in the Vital Spirit. The Vital Spirit is ethereal, but it's a form of all things after all. Cause and effect, karma and Samsara; they're just words that people give definitions because they lack a clear understanding of certain rules."

"The Vital Spirit is an object, so is the spirit. They're the same as stones, mountains, and the sea water without any essential difference. All things are objects. This is our grandmaster's understanding of the universe and the world," she continued.

She lifted her hand and pointed at something. Following her line of sight, Meng Qi saw several characters:

"Real and non-illusionary."

"Considering their conflicting ideas, it was no wonder this lady's grandmaster left Buddhism..." Meng Qi finally figured out what had happened. Honestly, the grandmaster's idea was closer to his own.

Yue Ziqing asked him to leave before he could say anything, saying, "That will do. Please leave, Master Su."

Meng Qi was so confused and incredulous. Was he invited here only to drink a cup of tea, and to listen to her preaching, and sent away without doing anything?

While he was leaving, he couldn't help asking the little girl dressed in a light green dress. "Does Lady Yue does everything this way?" So abruptly with neither a beginning nor an ending?

The little girl said with a bitter expression, "First senior sister is kind of, well, likes teaching others."

Okay then... What else could he say? He had, after all, recovered a lot after drinking the cup of Tea of Times. Though he couldn't return to his prime instantly, he was doing a lot better compared to his weak condition after the serious illness.

Stepping out of the ship, he went ashore. Just as he was about to conceal his identity and enter the Secret-searching Nark secret stronghold of the Six Fan School to hide from problems for the moment, he suddenly heard the sonorous and melodious sound of zither.

He turned around and saw only a pavilion on the hill by the river. Decked in white clothes, a childe wearing a scarf over his head sat in the pavilion. He was playing the zither, where a brazier of sandalwood stood beside it. Behind him, a maidservant was holding a chessboard.

The childe was as beautiful as a woman. His skin was pale as if he suffered from a serious illness. He didn't carry a threatening air at all.

Yet Meng Qi was so nervous that he felt like his heart had almost jumped out of his throat. "Why is 'Ledgerkeeper of Lives' here? Is this a trap that he sets?"

"Our childe invites Master Su to come up here for a chat," the maidservant shouted loudly.

Meng Qi momentarily hesitated before going up the hill with the Samsara symbol. He sat in front of Wang Siyuan without any sense of unfamiliarity. "It wasn't set by you."

Wang Siyuan stopped playing the zither and said with a cough, "If it was me, you would've already died."

He received a handkerchief from his maidservant and wiped his mouth with it. "What do you think about your falling into a trap?"

Meng Qi said hesitantly, "The trap seems to be designed based on my personality. I like being quick and straightforward. I also do well with surprise attacks. In the end, all this leads to my entrapment."

He utilized all these qualities when handling things in the Tang family of Yi City and it worked very well. However, once any mode of action became habitual, it would end up becoming a weakness that needed to be reviewed and improved upon.

"You didn't notice anything strange during the process?" Wang Siyuan didn't express any of his opinion about Meng Qi's answer.

Meng Qi gritted his teeth. "I was a little suspicious when discovering the lump of paper inside the tavern keeper's mouth..."

It was because the situation was all too familiar.

"However, I thought that I'd be able to come here quickly and go to the Flower-viewing Garden at an extremely fast speed. It'd be best if nothing happens, but if something does, I could disrupt their plan and find the real clues by going there in advance. What's more, it required many conditions and an appropriate timing for them to ambush and frame me. If they relied on the closely linked plan too much, the plan would be ruined if there was an omission. It's easy to disrupt this kind of plan, and that's why I was surprised when I found myself trapped. It seems that there're some strong masters after me..."

Meng Qi continued to analyze his situation, saying, "What's more, there're just three links in this Setup. I had just a few suspicions but they weren't deep. It's reasonable to have people killed in the coffin store. No one would be suspicious. I found some abnormal clues from the bodies, but it was still normal. If I found just one more link and clue, I'd definitely get suspicious."

Wang Siyuan quietly listened without any comment. After Meng Qi finished his speech, he finally smiled. "If I tell you that the final result wouldn't change regardless of your suspicion and actions, would you believe me?"

Instead of answering, Meng Qi asked, "Why?"

Wang Siyuan said after several coughs, "Any ingenious setup that completely relies on interlocking is easily disrupted. After all, there're too many variables. I'm known as Ledgerkeeper of Lives but I've never dared to describe myself as someone who can see through a person's will. There's no major problem with the way you dealt with such a setup. But your fault lay in your ignorance of their true intentions and the perpetrator. That's why you're unable to discover the true setup. At such moments, you need to remove yourself from the situation."

"Therefore, you find it incredulous that such an ingenious yet predictable trap would succeed. When you find it unfathomable, you should think about the true setup behind it. Why would your opponent dare to set out a trap so easily seen through yet so successful?"