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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

281 Butterflies Born Through Breaking Their Cocoons

 Upon seeing Wang Siyuan's unnaturally red face from being too emotional, Meng Qi could not help but blurt, "Run out of your control? Then can you speculate of which power the large boat I boarded just now is?"

Wang Siyuan coughed a couple more times and suppressed his sickly feeling. He seemed to smile as he answered, "Are you trying to get information on them from me?"

"Hehe." Meng Qi responded with a dry laugh, which could be taken as a tacit confession.

As if it were some grave matter, Wang Siyuan took out a bunch of counting-rods and tossed them out. They landed on the chessboard and mixed with the black and white chess pieces. Then, he picked them up one by one. His lips kept moving like he was silently counting something.

"Quiet..." His voice suddenly grew a bit louder. He looked at Meng Qi and continued, "What is lacking in the body has been made up for..."

After a brief moment, he smiled and placed the counting-rods down. "Tea of Times, am I right?"

"You can even calculate that..." A shiver ran down Meng Qi's spine.

Wang Siyuan smiled and said, "They're from Virtuality-stopping Mountain."

"Virtuality-stopping Mountain... One of the impartations of the Six Heretic Masters?" Meng Qi had vaguely heard of it in Shaolin Temple.

Wang Siyuan nodded. "According to rumors, before the Primogenitor of Buddhism showed us the rules of Dao through his own experience, there were once six people who analyzed the principles of heaven and earth with him. They eventually split because of differences in values, and Buddhism calls them the Six Heretic Masters."

"Although they insisted on their own values, they've all become famous big powers of the ancient. They each left behind their own doctrines. There's the Virtuality-stopping Mountain where people think all things are real in the world, as well as Evilness Sect where those people believe all is predestined and they can only follow their destiny. Well, they call themselves the Identity-asking Sect. In any case, the points of view of each sect are very interesting. It's good to understand them since they could be useful in future."

Meng Qi nodded like he was carefully contemplating it. So he had encountered an impartation of the Six Heretic Masters. No wonder they could have some relation with the Primogenitor of Buddhism and recognize the Buddha's Lamp.

However, his bluish white lamp had been obtained from the world of Journey to the West. They should only be able to recognize the Primogenitor of Buddhism from the main world!

Wang Siyuan's gaze returned to the chessboard. "The impartations of the Six Heretic Masters like to seek out their own paths. They dislike being involved in Jianghu, so you don't have to force it either."

Then he paused before continuing, "You can leave now, and you don't have to intentionally conceal yourself. Tomorrow, the Astounding will realize his recklessness and discover there is something amiss. He will seek your understanding and cooperation."

Meng Qi also felt that Jiang Hengchuan would not be blinded by rage forever and would find a solution once he had calmed down. However, hearing the words come out of Wang Siyuan's mouth with such confidence, he could not resist asking, "How do you know?"

Wang Siyuan set another chess piece on the chess board and looked up at him. A hint of pride graced his elegant and feminine features.

"Because I am the Ledgerkeeper of Lives."

...

"Hmph, let's see if you can still say that when I beat you to a pulp someday..." Meng Qi criticized inwardly.

The brief period of rest allowed him to regain much of his strength. Meng Qi followed a small path along the river and quickly blended into the darkness opposite. There were still people along the streets-- they were either drunkards or hardened gamblers.

Meng Qi did not swagger up to wait for Jiang Hengchuan's apology like what Wang Siyuan had said. He still kept to his own pace and aimlessly wandered about, closely watching his surroundings. When he suddenly felt like it, he flipped himself into a seemingly empty compound and searched for a clean place to continue harmonizing his Qi-circulation.

It was hard to perceive if Wang Siyuan was a friend or foe. Meng Qi could not simply believe everything the man said, lest he played his life right into the hands of Wang Siyuan. Then he would have no one to blame but himself.

The night was long and endless. Meng Qi focussed on conditioning himself. With the recovery prowess of Eight Nine Mysteries and the aid of the "Tea of Times", he had completely regained his strength even before half the night had passed. He began thinking about what Wang Siyuan had said that night.

After carefully arranging his words, apart from the angles at which he had approached the problem, Meng Qi felt that there were three main points he had mentioned.

"Young masters who have come here for various reasons..."

"You are not a chess piece which originally belonged to our chessboard, but a variable..."

"No matter your doubts or response, the final outcome will not change..."

Meng Qi stroked his chin, deep in thought. "Wang Siyuan was provoked into accepting the challenge to compete in terms of setups. That's why he came to Maoling. Then what about Jiang Hengchuan? And Qing Yu? What is the true goal of the one creating these setups? It's impossible that he's purely here to fight against Wang Siyuan. Wang Siyuan himself is also a young master who came to Maoling for a certain reason, so he isn't actually different from the rest..."

"In other words, everyone else had accepted an invitation, whereas I came because of an investigation. So I'm like a water buffalo that got mixed into a bunch of cattle. Those who don't understand won't find it strange, but I must stick out like a sore thumb in the eyes of the mastermind. That's why I was targeted from the moment I arrived. It has nothing to do with Qiu Fei..."

"Since everything I do will result in the same outcome, in other words, the crux of the scheme isn't me. Is there a follow-up, or..."

After thinking it over for some time, Meng Qi had too many speculations and conjectures that had to be eliminated one by one. He decided to get some sleep while it was still dark so that he could quickly recover his mental energy.

At daybreak, a bright red burned across the horizon. Meng Qi was jolted awake by the feeling of the first ray of sunlight. The tiredness from the night before had completely vanished.

He searched the compound and found some clothes to change. Leaving behind a few taels of silver, he then leaped over the compound wall and swaggered towards the entrance of the alley.

There was a Chinese Pagoda Tree at the entrance of the alley. It had strong and extensive branches full of leaves. The thick foliage blocked out the sunlight and provided a cool, shady spot.

As Meng Qi passed by the Chinese Pagoda Tree, he suddenly stopped. It was not a big deal, but there was an old man at the entrance of the compound near the tree. The grey-haired old man was very intently carving some wood sculptures.

His left hand held a tree branch while his right gripped a carving knife. He was extremely focused and paid no attention to any distractions. It was as if every stroke of his knife was his everything.

His level of focus drew Meng Qi in, causing him to stop mid-step. The sentence "A man is most charismatic when he focuses on his work" suddenly surfaced in his mind.

Scraps of tree bark drifted to the ground with every move of his carving blade. Only the sound of his carving knife and the shuffle of tree bark scraping against the ground could be heard in the distance. It was very tranquil and peaceful.

His natural interest and devotion moved Meng Qi. Meng Qi seemed to almost understand something about it, but alas, was still missing the mark by a bit.

He stopped altogether at a side and sat down cross-legged. He watched every stroke of the old man's blade and every mark it created like they were the most beautiful poems on earth.

The old man was fixated on his sculpting, and Meng Qi was fixated on the old man's sculpting. Neither of them uttered a word. An indescribable serenity began to spread between them. Meng Qi felt like his heart was slowly reaching peace. Ever since Zhang Yuanshan, Fu Zhenzhen and the others had perished, he had forcibly locked away all the grief, sadness and reproach in the depths of his heart. These emotions were mixed with the irritation, recklessness and overwhelming desire to produce results born from them that had been eating away at him. Now, his scars were gradually healing.

There lie true interests in the mortal world... Meng Qi was suddenly enlightened. It seemed as though his state of mind had improved quite well.

For the past two months, when it came to many different issues, even if he had the capability to handle them and had considered their consequences and solutions, he still could not escape from a certain mindset. He had simply been too eager for instant success and obvious benefits.

He wanted to mature quickly. He did not want to watch any more comrades die. He wanted to produce results in the main world as well to increase his capability of completing Samsara tasks. He wanted to break free from the Samsara as soon as possible and resurrect Senior Brother Zhang and the others. All these reasons had driven him to seek instant success. Hence, ever since his departure from the world of Journey to the West, everything he did had been awkward and uncomfortable for him.

His thinking was not wrong, but that should be his motivation, and not his means. Yi City's "Master Ye" was a lesson he could learn from!

This was a threshold he had to cross in life. After all, butterflies are born through breaking their cocoons!

A tiny droplet collected at the corner of each of Meng Qi's eyes. The two drops of tears he had held back from their time in the world of Journey to the West now glided down his cheeks.

The dust rose a little as his tears disappeared in the blink of an eye.

"Senior Brother Zhang, ZhenZhen... I'll live on well... Zhiwei, I almost let you down..." He exhaled. His mentality was now a lot stronger, but without the hastiness from before.

One could never truly mature without experiencing the vicissitudes of life.

Right then, the grey-haired old man had also just completed his wood sculpture. It was a carving of a delicate and elegant lady. Her imperial robes were drifting in the breeze and her features stood out. Even the scent of scrolls seemed to emanate from it. It was a fine work of art indeed.

"Young man, what's up?" The old man lifted his head and looked at Meng Qi with surprise.

The old man's five features were plain and he had a few wrinkles here and there. However, because of that extraordinary focus, they all seemed harmonious with him.

Meng Qi smiled. "It's nothing, sorry for bothering you."

He did not say much, nor was there any need to. Slowly, Meng Qi rose from his seat, and left the alley entrance relaxed.

Watching him from behind, the old man paused for a moment, then shook his head. He picked up a new piece of wood and began carving with immense focus again.

At this moment, sunlight filtered through the leaves of the Chinese Pagoda Tree, scattering golden spots all over the ground.

...

Meng Qi did not directly appear as Su Meng again. He chose to change his appearance and figure and hid amongst the crowd. After turning several corners, he finally arrived at a store selling brushes, ink and paper.

"I'd like seven Lively Dragon Pens." Meng Qi walked all the way to the back of the store to ask the shopkeeper for them.

The shopkeeper looked unfazed. "These pens are custom-made. May I ask if you have pre-ordered them?"

"Yes." Meng Qi nodded.

The shopkeeper revealed a smile. "Please show me your seal."

Meng Qi reached his left hand out in front of the shopkeeper. He shifted his fingers to create a small opening that revealed the faint glow of the Green Ribbon official seal within. Then he immediately closed the gap again.

"Alright, please follow me to the back to retrieve your items." The shopkeeper seemed delighted to have Meng Qi as his customer.

Meng Qi followed the man to the backyard. He said nothing and waited patiently until the shopkeeper emerged from a discreet location after a brief moment. The shopkeeper handed a sheet of paper to Meng Qi, saying, "Green-ribbon Su, this is the information you requested."

Meng Qi received the paper and flipped it open. It was indeed the information he had asked for.

Before leaving Yangxia, he had requested for various information on the Dongyang God from their headquarters in Luoyang. In particular, he was looking for information related to Dongyang Villa.

Due to its ancient nature, it was no easy task to dig up information on it. It had taken so long that Meng Qi had already arrived in Maoling by the time the information had been sent to him.

Written on the paper was information on the Dongyang God's life, impartation and the like.

"...Dongyang Villa is located in either Longtai, Maoling or Daxing today..."

A hint of a smile appeared on Meng Qi's lips. He tossed the sheet of paper into the nearby fire pan and adjusted his robes. Then, holding the few brushes as a disguise, he left the store with his head held high.

The blazing flames hungrily licked the sheet of paper as it unfolded and turned black in an instant.

He had finally found a puzzle piece to the mystery surrounding Maoling.