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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

303 Giving in

 The Snake King walked in a strange manner that was very different from that of usual masters. His feet seemed to stick to ground, never lifting from it. Yet he moved with no hindrance from friction, slipping and sliding about. He slipped past Meng Qi with ease and bolted for the door.

If the circumstances had been different and the two had clashed, Meng Qi still would not have been able to stop the Snake King's escape at this point in time. Someone on the level of Half-step Exterior Scenery, no matter how bad, was ultimately still on the level of Half-step Exterior Scenery!

However, there was still Jiang Hengchuan!

He had been a step behind Meng Qi, and was currently standing by the door.

Upon seeing the dark-skinned Jiang Hengchuan, who gave off a farmer vibe, the Snake King did not hold back. He mercilessly swung his fists out as his arms blew up in size. His genuine Qi was like a snake opening its huge mouth, swearing that it would race against time to make its getaway. As long as he could get out of the small tower and enter North Street, who could possibly chase him down or find him?

"Snap! Snap!" Under the force of the strong wind, the door to the room was snapped in half. It flew directly down the small tower and plunged into the pond, knocking several vicious fish unconscious.

Shadow after shadow came to life. As if they were tangible beings, they pulled at Jiang Hengchuan's ankles and arms. They felt thick and heavy like pythons.

All of a sudden, Snake King saw the air around Jiang Hengchuan change. He suddenly seemed like a hermit from the mountains, wild and masculine and not at all ordinary. Even as he was surrounded by the shadows and faced Snake King's fearsome fists, he still appeared completely at ease. Yet at the same time, he carried with him a strong aura of the secular world; one of intersecting fields and farming through days and nights. He was not lofty and holy like a God. Instead, he had an element of nature to him and integrated into the environment.

"Oneness of Heaven and Men?"

Snake King had long sensed that this follower of the swordsman in white had extraordinary strength, and was probably an outstanding individual who had opened nine acupores. However, he had not thought that he was actually capable of Oneness of Heaven and Men!

Back then, an assassin's career was highly unpredictable. Thus, after receiving help, Snake King had immediately dove into opening the Hidden Latch to build a connection between heaven and earth. However, he had not even been able to attain the preliminary Heaven-man Connection, much less the Oneness of Heaven and Men. Was it not for that, would he be so tired and frail at only 70?

Those who had achieved Oneness of Heaven and Men belonged to an unconventional and preliminary kind of convergence between the inside and outside. They made use of genuine Qi and the outer world, as well as an extremely strong cultivation of the spirit to support themselves. Therefore, they would only show signs of frailness and old age when they were right at death's door.

Jiang Hengchuan formed fists with his hands and fought Snake King's strength with his own. He did not give in at all. His two fists were like dragons emerging from their caves as they charged at Snake King.

"Whoosh!"

The force of his fists began to condense, dragging in the surrounding airflow spiraling around it. Fierce wind blew and caused the entire small tower to creak as it swayed. It was as if there was an earthquake and the tower could collapse at any moment.

The moment he lifted his fists, Heaven and Man were connected!

"BOOM!"

The four forces from their fists collided and exploded abruptly. Genuine Qi flew in all directions. They scattered the dark shadows, sent windows flying, crushed the walls, and blasted holes in the floor, so violently that they could see what was below them.

Jiang Hengchuan took a few steps back and almost broke the railing. Snake King slid back a certain distance as well. They were unexpectedly on par with each other!

It seemed like they had the same outcome, but the two were in different situations. Behind Jiang Hengchuan was the pond full of fallen assassins, and behind Snake King was Meng Qi.

Meng Qi swung his long saber and swung down from high above. In swift succession, he performed nine strokes. The airflow compressed and rumbling sounds could be heard.

The long saber seemed to turn into a vortex that sucked in all of the surrounding vitality. It created an extremely strong and fierce blow as if it were carrying out divine punishment.

His dragon-like blade filled the area with thunder, condensing into streaks of silvery Knife Qi before it struck. A nearby pillar felt the brunt of it and noiselessly split open right down the middle. The cut was inconceivably clean.

The walls had several deep sword marks as well. The floor split apart, and the small tower precariously shook even more.

The sky outside darkened further, as if there were storm clouds gathering overhead.

Although he had not used Purple Thunder Force to perform Violent Thunder Shocking the Sky, Meng Qi had still activated Heaven Inflicted Pain. He could not rely on luck when he was up against someone on the Half-step Exterior Scenery level. He was not capable of Oneness of Heaven and Men either, in which a single hit could reach near the Half-step Exterior Scenery level.

The airflow was sucked into his Knife Momentum as the space between heaven and earth "shrank". Snake King suddenly felt that the blow to come was invincible and inescapable.

"Killing Blade?"

As one of North Street's biggest Controllers, Snake King had access to a lot of information networks. Thus, even though he had never seen Meng Qi before, when faced with such a blade, he could not help but think of this master on the Ranking List of Young Masters who was currently making headlines in Maoling.

Snake King did not dare let his guard down. He twisted and turned his body like a slippery snake, making it difficult for the Knife Qi to lock onto him. Out of the blue, he flew towards the other side with his back facing Meng Qi, his right leg bone straight. Like a whip, he kicked the thunder behind him with a snap.

This move resembled a snake striking someone with its tail. It was like a thunderbolt amidst clear skies, so fast that only its residual shadow could be seen. It seemed to be even faster than the speed of sound, dispersing the Knife Qi with a puff. Snake King managed to kick the tip of Meng Qi's sword, resulting in a series of explosion sounds reverberating through the void.

Meng Qi felt the weight on his right hand. The webbing between his thumb and index finger felt like it was on the verge of ripping. He activated the Immortal Pressing Art and quickly took a few steps back, preserving his remaining strength.

Meanwhile, Snake King had borrowed this kicking momentum with the intent of breaking through the window and fleeing. That was when he saw Jiang Hengchuan closing in on him. His right palm was raised and sliced down like a sword towards the weak point on Snake King's neck.

The force from his palm concentrated into something like the sharp edge of a sword. It carried with it a scorching heat so intense that there were already heat waves surging toward him even before the attack landed.

Once again, splits and marks appeared in the floor silently. They looked like they had been created by swords or axes; their edges were charred and lightly burning.

Snake King had his back to the enemy, which placed him in a disadvantaged position. Facing such a terrifying blow, it seemed like he had nowhere to run.

He took a deep breath and made himself shorter, like a snake coiling around itself. His right fist grew in size again and he punched towards Jiang Hengchuan's palm knife.

Right then, he strangely flipped out his index finger from his tightly clenched right fist. The dark shadows gathered into a long, thin line. It leaped over the palm knife and went straight for Jiang Hengchuan.

"Tongue-spitting Spiritual Snake"-- Snake King's fatal move!

Jiang Hengchuan relaxed his palm like a flower in bloom, spreading numerous changes. Then he suddenly curled his fingers together again with a single finger pointing outwards. It was the constancy among all of the changes.

That one finger shortened the distance between itself and the black line. It was almost as if it had been awaiting its arrival as it tapped the black shadow.

The shadow dispersed and everything returned to normal. Their two index fingers were pointing at each other.

Heaven and earth seemed to solidify in that instant. The two touching index fingers seemed like a scene right out of a picture scroll.

Then the force exploded. Jiang Hengchuan took three consecutive steps back, every step creating a new hole in the floor. Snake King's body was pulled back and he went flying, no longer able to keep his feet rooted to the floor.

However, he was a scheming fellow. The angle at which he had attacked was miraculous, because the direction in which he was flying was towards the entrance of a secret passage.

All of a sudden, Snake King's pupils constricted drastically. Meng Qi, whose white robes were fluttering in the wind, reflected in his eyes. He had yet to attack, but the Snake King could already feel a sharp swordwill piercing his Vital Spirit. Meng Qi's eyebrows, eyes, body and manner were all proud and sharp as blades!

This blade had already been formed even before he had moved to attack. It was truly terrifying!

Then, as Meng Qi drew his long sword, Snake King could no longer see his figure. There was only that brilliant sword light, its brightness rivaling that of an otherworldly rainbow.

This sword had no variations. Genuine Qi, strength, momentum and mental energy all fused together into a single entity. There was no route for retreating. It was difficult to differentiate the man from the sword!

It was exceptionally beautiful, like an immortal who had descended from the heavens. Snake King could not describe it in his own words, but he felt a jolt from within that made him feel like he would not have the strength to block it.

What beautiful sword light.

What a terrifying sword.

Snake King was in midair and could not easily dodge. His facial muscles twisted as he bit down hard on the tip of his tongue and spat out a mouthful of Blood Essence in an attempt to force himself to want to fight back.

His body folded from the middle, then continued to fold and fold until his head and neck were coiled.

Through the sword light and his body, Meng Qi first felt a disgusting greasiness that caused his long sword to slide off to the side uncontrollably. It was already difficult enough to stab the Snake King, but his muscles were as hard as rock, making him even more difficult to penetrate.

Snake King stretched out his left hand and gently hit his sword body. He was like a ball, suddenly jumping to the other side.

He relaxed his body and stood up again. His lower abdomen had a cut from the sword and drops of blood were trickling from it, but this was quickly stopped by his wriggling muscles.

Meng Qi hit the ground and Jiang Hengchuan blocked off the entrance to the passageway, sealing off any possibility of Snake King's escape.

"What the hell do you guys want?" Snake King spat in a hoarse voice as he raised both his fists. Since he could not escape anymore, he had to clarify the opponents' intentions so that he did not end up in a meaningless fight.

When he was young, he had been an assassin who had no qualms about trading his life for that of the opponent. However, now that he was old, he avoided going all out as much as he could.

In this regard, Snake King felt that he had been ignorant about the value of life as a young man. Only after he had gone through enough experiences did he realize that that was the world's most precious treasure. It was a wealth that could not be traded, and something that could not be regained after it had been lost.

Of course, that only applied to his own life. He could not care less about others'.

Jiang Hengchuan noticed that the Snake King seemed to be yielding. He told Meng Qi using Secret Voice-sending, "Let's come up with an excuse first so we can deceive him into going to his assassin courtyard. We shouldn't ask about the Wolf King directly, or why he keeps going to the assassin courtyard, in case he tries to fight to the death to protect his secrets."

Meng Qi completely agreed with Jiang Hengchuan's words. If Snake King really wanted to go all out, things would get messy for them.

Being an old and weak Half-step Exterior Scenery-level, Meng Qi and Jiang Hengchuan could definitely take him down with their combined strength. However, the amount of effort and strength they would have to put in and the risk they would be bearing was a different story. If Jiang Zhiwei and the others had been there, Meng Qi would have just used Purple Thunder Force to activate Violent Thunder Shocking the Sky and Heaven Inflicted Pain without hesitation. He did not need to care about his injuries. He could just go all out with comrades watching his back. Even if he suffered severe injuries, there would be someone to protect him.

However, the person next to him was Jiang Hengchuan, who could not even be considered a friend. If the fight became extremely intense and he suddenly developed malicious intent, Meng Qi would be helpless.

Jiang Hengchuan had to have a similar worry as well!

Hence the two of them had joined forces, and dared not go all out because of their misgivings. Had Snake King not tried to escape at the very start but fought them to death, there would have been a very good chance that he would have made it out unscathed.

Unfortunately, Snake King was unaware of their thoughts. He had mistakenly believed that they were in it together and thought that they were close comrades they could trust and rely on. With every misconception, he grew further from the truth.

"I have a nephew who was kidnapped and brought to Maoling. After investigating, I found out that he was brought to your assassin courtyard at the end of North Street." Meng Qi dangerously wielded his sword as if he would attack at any moment. His white robes were still as pristine as snow, without a single speck of dust on them.

Snake King paused a moment. "There?"

"So there's something suspicious..." Meng Qi calmly continued, "Please take us there to find him, before the manager there takes things into his own hands and ruins the child's life."

Snake King mulled over it for a moment, then replied, "Fine! But that's your own information. If he isn't there, it's not my fault."

"As long as you cooperate." Meng Qi's response was short. With the Snake King bringing the two of them into the assassin courtyard, they would not have to worry about alerting the enemy. Then Meng Qi could find a chance to use the Supernatural Power of Shaking Heaven and Hitting Earth to "question" the manager there and they would more or less figure out who he was and where he was hiding.

"What else do you want me to do?" Snake King asked upon seeing the two swordsmen remain motionless.

Jiang Hengchuan spoke up this time. "We're afraid that you might play tricks and use Secret Voice-sending to ask your subordinates to come up with a plan to kill us. So I'd like to ask you to make a Soul-pledging Oath, swearing that you won't use Secret Voice-sending tonight. If the two of us don't attack you, then you won't attack us either..."