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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

287 Zhenwus Decoy Grave

 As the Samsara talisman shattered, there was an inconspicuous glimmer of blue light. It enveloped Meng Qi's entire body and he promptly vanished on the spot.

Meng Qi was slightly grateful to Demoness Gu, Gu Xiaosang, for this change. Had she not opened the gate to Ninth Heaven's ruins, he never would have known that the Samsara talisman could be used in the main world. Even if he had known, he would have thought there would be no activity when doing so, just like every time he initiated a Samsara task. If he were even just slightly careless, he would be noticed by others and bring endless trouble for himself.

Although Meng Qi, unlike Gu Xiaosang, was not borrowing the Successor of Mystic Fairy's Auras of the Immortal and Boundary Marker of the Celestial Court to force open the "gate" to Ninth Heaven, the activity it caused still shook Yedu. However, with the blue light glowing, had he been within Maoling's city, he might not have been able to hide from those on the Exterior level nearby.

The surroundings around him turned dark and gloomy. Meng Qi seemed to be suspended in chaos until the indifferent voice of the Dominator of Samsara in Six Realms rang in his ears.

"Select the world that you need to return to."

The World of Shaolin where Duo Ercha had died, the World of Destiny City where Yuan Meng had left his final letter, the World of Windcloud Heights where the Devil Tomb was located, and the World of the Sword Emperor and the Devil Empress all flashed before Meng Qi's eyes one by one.

Meng Qi did not select any of them, but fished out the Black Fur from his robes. It was the key to initializing the Mystery of the Deceased Zhen Wu Great Emperor, and part of the map of Zhenwu's Decoy Grave.

"Do you wish to enter the World of 'Zhenwu's Decoy Grave' and begin your task?" The Dominator of Samsara in Six Realms spoke again as a dim light surrounded the Black Fur. Another scene appeared before Meng Qi's eyes-- a grave situated within the cracks of the earth.

"Yes." Meng Qi chose it.

The Dominator of Samsara in Six Realms' voice was calm. "This task has already been shared with three other people. They are also using the Samsara talisman. Do you wish to proceed?"

.

Three pillars of blue light appeared in the darkness. Jiang Zhiwei in her pink-yellow skirt, Qi Zhengyan in his dark blue robes and Ruan Yushu in her pristine white clothes appeared together.

They all looked well. It seemed that they, too, had managed to overcome their trauma from the Death Task.

"It's not the Samsara Square?" Jiang Zhiwei took a look at her surroundings.

That meant that they could not exchange Karma points for useful items.

Meng Qi had foreseen such a situation and smiled. "Don't worry, Zhiwei. Since it's the fake grave, most of the enemies will be ghosts and other supernatural creatures. My Buddha's Lamp and Heaven Inflicted Pain are already starving."

Jiang Zhiwei was already used to Meng Qi's ridiculous choice of words. She giggled and replied, "I'm not worried about that. I am just afraid that you guys might not have prepared enough elixirs for healing purposes."

She was slightly older than the rest at an age of over 19. With her bright and mature disposition, she was an unparalleled beauty when she smiled.

"I'm already a Green-ribbon Arrester. I've been exchanging three months worth of salaries for recovery and antidote elixirs." Meng Qi chuckled as he produced his official seal.

This had not been solely in preparation for the Zhenwu's Decoy Grave task. The Dominator of Samsara in Six Realms' discounts for purchasing elixirs were as high as scripts, Refined Weapons and the like. It was far cheaper to buy them from within Six Fan School and more profitable to exchange them for Karma points.

Ruan Yushu suddenly muttered to herself in a River East accent, "Green Ribbon..."

In River East's intonation, it was easy to mix up 'Green Ribbon' and 'monster'. However, when facing Six Fan School's arresters, nobody dared to say that, and thus most would speak using the official language.

"Hehe." Meng Qi pretended not to have heard that.

Whereas Ruan Yushu acted like she had not been the one who had uttered those words just now. In a straightforward manner, she pointed at the Space Ring and said, "Elder sister Zhiwei, I came prepared."

Qi Zhengyan's poker face was as strong as ever. "I've been roaming, so I'm not lacking in any recovery or antidote elixirs."

Perhaps because they had used the Samsara talismans, for a brief period of time, the Dominator of Samsara in Six Realms was not hurrying them to enter Zhenwu's Decoy Grave.

"Oh, by the way, there's something..." Meng Qi summarized what had transpired in Yangxia and Maoling, anxiously gazing at his companions.

Jiang Zhiwei appeared suspicious at first, but then her expression relaxed. Her face seemed to have a sheen to it, adding on to her overflowing beauty. "Young masters have gathered in Maoling for various reasons and turned into chess pieces? But I didn't get an 'invitation'. Oh, I happen to be in Dizhou and am about to open my nine acupores. If I walk along the Baiyi River, I'll be able to reach Maoling in five days. How could I miss out on such a big project?"

Like "Five Emperors' Knife" Qing Yu, she was highly interested in sparring with masters on the Ranking List of Young Masters. Moreover, she knew the purpose of Meng Qi's story. She directly agreed without having him to even open his mouth to make his request.

"That would be great!" Warmth filled Meng Qi's heart as he exclaimed in joy.

Ruan Yushu pressed her lips together and directly stared at Meng Qi. "You said that you'd treat me to good food if I opened Six Acupores!"

"Haha." Meng Qi drily laughed. He had long forgotten about that.

Jiang Zhiwei hid her giggles behind her hand. How could Ruan Yushu possibly forget something that concerned good food?

"Since you happen to be in River East, I'll ask my father if I can go to Maoling for sight-seeing." Ruan Yushu's icy demeanor never faltered, as though she were speaking about something completely irrelevant. "Although there might be an elder accompanying me."

She was only around 16 years old, and was also the Ruan Family's beloved daughter. Even if her strength was above average and she was naturally gifted with the zither, she had never been allowed to go out for sight-seeing. However, since Maoling was in River East, it was relatively close to Langya. Thus she could use sight-seeing as an excuse. On top of that, if there was a master following her around, it was unlikely that she would be disallowed from going.

"That would be great." Meng Qi sincerely cupped one hand in the other before his chest. Although Ruan Yushu had not explicitly stated that she would help him, her actions had proved her intentions.

Qi Zhengyan thought about it and said, "I've crossed the Luoyang region and should reach Maoling in around seven days. I hope I get to meet some masters from the Ranking List of Young Masters."

Meng Qi thought this was a little dangerous for Qi Zhengyan. Jiang Zhiwei's strength was extraordinary, so he had no need to worry. Ruan Yushu had an elder following her around, so she would be fine. Qi Zhengyan, however, paled a bit in terms of strength, even if his "Book of the Chaos" was powerful. Yet this "cousin" of his was doing this out of the good of his heart. It would be upsetting if Meng Qi rejected his offer. Then Meng Qi remembered Qi Zhengyan's Exterior level fatal move and eventually nodded. "Alright!"

Anyway, it was about time Senior Brother Qi sparred with true masters so he could grow stronger and accumulate experience.

"I opened the Mouth Acupore a month ago, and have completed the beginning stage of my Inner World," added Qi Zhengyan, who had felt Meng Qi's worry.

Only then was Meng Qi able to let go of some of his worries. He inwardly exclaimed, "To have such loyal friends to go through thick and thin with, I have lived a worthy life!"

For some reason, he had a vague feeling that Senior Brother Qi's confidence had grown stronger than before.

"By the way, Zhiwei, I also want to ask you about how to preliminarily adjust the Inner World," Meng Qi mentioned in passing. Eight Nine Mysteries and Golden Bell Shield both had relevant content, but it was focussed on the essentials. After all, everyone had a different Inner World and different people had different paths. Scripts could not describe such aspects in detail.

On the other hand, major sects and aristocratic families had a lot of notes on it. These were compilations of predecessors' personal experiences meant to serve as references for their descendants. It was something the scripts did not have.

Jiang Zhiwei gently smiled and replied, "You've more or less stabilized Seven Acupores, so it is about time you consider such aspects."

The group continued chatting for a bit to catch up with one another before they began their mission.

"Entering the World of 'Nine Villages' and initializing 'Zhenwu's Decoy Grave'. You may stay up to a month before returning, or can discontinue and leave anytime."

The blue light grew and swallowed the four of them in one shot, disappearing into the darkness.

...

At a mountain range, the rising and falling peaks were resembling several dragons sleeping on the ground.

"Master, the terrain here is really good." A little taoist stood at the mouth of a run-down temple, looking into the distance.

He and his Master had hurried their way here to stay overnight in the temple. However, upon seeing the place, they realized that it had excellent fengshui and terrain.

His Master was an old Taoist with a head full of white hair. He was holding a Heaven and Earth Disk and carrying a Plum Stick on him, appearing like a man of noble character.

"Apparently, the terrain of this place was not originally like this." The old Taoist calmly stared into the distance as well.

The little taoist was shocked. He cried, "It's not natural?"

Man could actually alter physical terrain?

Even if it were the Nine Villages Master of the past, or a powerful man who possessed the title 'Tengen' and ruled over their current world, they could only bring about natural phenomena at most. That could alter the vicinity, but how could it affect the entire landform like a mountain range?

The old Taoist sighed. "Rumor has it that in ancient times, a major power was buried here. He wanted to live on even after death. Ever since then, the mountain range responded to his call and seemed to come to life. They shifted every year, eventually forming the scene you're seeing right now."

"M-Master, that's just folklore, isn't it?" The little taoist was dumbfounded. What kind of major power could cause the mountain range to move with just his last breath?

The old Taoist's face darkened. "It is indeed a myth, but there is also indeed a mysterious grave inside the mountain range. It is rumored that the Nine Villages ancestors obtained benefits from inside there, and thus were able to build their own respective immortal villages and become, in essence, the dictators of the earth. And since a long time ago, several 'Emperors of Tengen' have ventured into the mausoleum and reaped benefits. That is how they slowly climbed their way to the top."

"Really?" The little Taoist was shocked at first. Then his expression changed to one of yearning as he muttered, "If I could encounter the grave..."

The old Taoist's expression became even graver than before. "That is not a good thing."

"Huh?" The little Taoist was confused. Was having fruitful encounters, climbing one's way to the peak, and obtaining the title of "Tengen" not a good thing?"

"The ancestors of the Nine Villages and these few 'Emperors of Tengen' almost reached the realm of immortals. However, in their old age, all of them turned insane and dashed into the mountain range. Someone saw them enter the mausoleum." The old Taoist looked at the mountain range, his eyes dark.

The little taoist felt chills all over after listening to his master's words. "M-Master, how do you know?"

"My good friend Huangfu Tao was one of them," came the old Taoist's response. He took a deep breath.

The little taoist subconsciously took a few steps backward. He knew Huangfu Tao. He had often met him as a child. The man was the previous generation's "Emperor of Tengen" who could impose punishments on behalf of the heavens. He was also considered the strongest "Emperor of Tengen" across all generations!

The old Taoist's voice dropped to a low, deep tone. "That's only what I know. There could be even more who have benefitted from the grave but never managed to tell anyone..."

Just as he finished his sentence, four flying lights streaked across the sky like fallen stars. They directly plunged into the depths of the mountain range.

They fell amidst the mountains with the bright light trailing behind them. There was no rumble or loud explosion, only a faint light that spread out. The image of a mausoleum was reflected in it, but it vanished in an instant.

"The mausoleum has been opened..." The old Taoist mumbled to himself in astonishment.

...

As the four of them were regaining their senses, they realized they were in a dark and creepy cave. The top of the cave was a smooth arc. That made it apparent that it was definitely not natural.

Before them was a wide and deep river. However, there was not a single drop of water in it. The bottom of the river was readily revealed, its blood-red color startling them.

There was a chain bridge above the riverbed, and a stone tablet stood erect at the mouth of the bridge. It read:

"Boundary Between the Living and the Dead."