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Home > The Sage Who Transcended Samsara

311 The Treacherous Jianghu

 The newcomer was Ruan Yaoguang, Ruan Yushu's family senior who accompanied her to the Da Jue Temple.

In her youth, she was known for her beauty in the River East. Later, she was traumatized by a relationship and remained unmarried for life. Since then, she paid little attention to her appearance. She was Ruan Yushu's grandaunt.

Behind her was Jiang Zhiwei in a yellow dress and Ruan Yushu in a white dress. Jiang Zhiwei looked bright and beautiful holding her sword. On the other hand, Ruan Yushu was the picture of a cold beauty as she hugged a zither to herself. They were walking toward them amid the fine rain, smoke, and cloud, looking like a beautiful pair of twins or perhaps fairies falling to the mortal world.

"Here comes Lady Jiang of the Sword Washing Pavilion. I see..." Realization hit Wang Siyuan when he saw the two ladies being friendly with each other. "I did wonder why Younger Sister Yushu would visit the Da Jue Temple at such a time."

"Things are becoming a little more interesting..."

He stared at Meng Qi as he uttered those last few words. His pale face flushed abnormally, making him look somewhat crazed. His eyes, however, were incredibly bright.

Jiang Hengchuan's expression, on the other hand, was incredibly odd. It was full of disbelief. Logically, as Civil Star, he would always stay calm even in the face of the most unexpected and desperate situations. He would then use his wisdom to look for a chance to escape. Thus, he shouldn't have acted so out of his character as if his bottom line was exposed.

"How could this be? How could this be..." he muttered to himself like he was trapped in a nightmare.

Meng Qi smiled to clear his doubts. "Zhiwei happened to be traveling here so I asked for her help in following Xiao Zhenhai. I acted as a visible chess in the entire chessboard to divert your attention. But she surprisingly discovered the secret meeting between Xiao Zhenhai and Snake King by coincidence. I then invited Lady Ruan and Senior Ruan and waited for a chance to capture you all. My plan seemed to have worked effectively."

This was an additional layer to his setup, there was no way he would be able to anticipate it...

"Impossible, impossible..." Jiang Hengchuan still couldn't believe what had happened.

Ruan Yaoguang asked as she braced her dragon-headed crutch, "Were you referring to the sign outside that read 'everything is fine'? Of course, I waited until they had almost entered the villa before killing them."

So Jiang Hengchuan was looking around outside for the secret sign. Fortunately, Jiang Zhiwei left her trace in the entrance of the alley, indicating everything was going well... Meng Qi felt fortunate. If not for his confidence in his plan, he wouldn't have dared to enter the villa with Jiang Hengchuan who clearly had ulterior motives.

Jiang Hengchuan became composed again, but he was still frowning. He said thoughtfully, "Impossible, impossible..."

Ruan Yaoguang said irritably, "Devil is really strong but he isn't my rival at all."

She thought Jiang Hengchuan didn't believe she could defeat Old Zhong.

As the Third Heaven of the Exterior, she was as strong as or perhaps even stronger than Wang Buchi. Even if Old Zhong was a Half-step Exterior Scenery expert and owned a precious weapon, his complete defeat was in the books. There were two reasons for that. One, he couldn't use his precious weapon perfectly. Second, he was being sprung on by several enemies with higher realm than him.

Wang Siyuan was blushing heavily, apparently out of excitement. "Senior Yuan, that's not what he's in disbelief about."

"Since this is a test, how can there not be an examiner?"

Ruan Yaoguang was stunned. "Are you saying there's an expert of the Exterior on Old Zhong's side? That under ordinary circumstances, I wouldn't be able to kill him?"

"Yes." The one who replied was Meng Qi. He looked at Wang Siyuan and said, "Even if the most mysterious organizations wouldn't use a Dharmakaya villa solely for a test. Don't you think it's a big waste?"

He paused, turning to look at Jiang Hengchuan. "You've spared no effort in setting a trap for Master Wang and pinning Lord Lou down. Finishing your test is, of course, your goal, but you want to pave the way for your examiner as well? But you can't understand why the examiner did nothing as Senior Ruan took Old Zhong down."

Jiang Hengchuan had recovered from the shock and became normal again. He looked at Meng Qi and Wang Siyuan as if trying to see through them. "You're right. I don't understand why Crape Myrtle Star did nothing to stop Senior Ruan. After all, failing the test is better than losing a strong partner..."

It was too late for him to save Fire Lord. Who would have predicted this outcome? Furthermore, he was also there. Crape Myrtle Star shouldn't have to save Fire Lord. If Fire Lord was in danger, he would have pretended to help Su Meng while trying to create an opportunity for Fire Lord to escape. But who knew Su Meng would be so quick in killing Fire Lord!

Meng Qi's smile was so sly that he resembled the foxy Duan Xiangfei.

"Naturally, he was bogged down by a senior."

Wang Siyuan was a little startled. "You know?"

Meng Qi wasn't the only one who knew. So did Zhiwei and Yushu. Otherwise, they wouldn't have attacked Old Zhong. He smiled and said, "Of course, that's all thanks to you reminding us."

"You noticed it?" Wang Siyuan turned even paler even as he blushed even darker. He became abnormally excited.

Meng Qi didn't but he could make a guess once everything was said and done. He laughed internally, but he appeared solemn as he asked, "Where's Wolf King?"

"He's where he's supposed to be." Wang Siyuan's expression turned even more frantic but his tone was increasingly cold.

"Back then, I thought a person like Master Wang isn't the type to lie when even telling the truth can also help you achieve your objective. So when you said Wolf King was in North Street, he'd absolutely be there. That was where we went and how we discovered Snake King and Old Zhong. When we thought about it in another way, could it be a coincidence that Wolf King was hiding in North Street? Or could it be a setup? After all, Maoling is such a big place. There're no shortages of places to hide. But of course, North Street is incredibly chaotic and makes for a perfect hideout. That was why we didn't doubt Brother Jiang."

Meng Qi gave his explanation calmly while holding a 75-kg machete.

"Assuming it was a coincidence and Master Wang wasn't lying, then the conclusion I can draw from that came easy: you were the one who ordered Wolf King to hide there. Once I figure this out, I could understand why he would frantically launch sneak attacks against the Xuan Tian Sect heir. Wasn't he worried that he wouldn't be able to leave the River East alive? Though it was his style to fanatically assassinate others, rarely would he provoke those that he shouldn't. This was his habit and it wouldn't change just because he had come to the Central Plains from the grassland."

"My guess was that you stopped him just as he arrived in Maoling and struck a deal with him. He would help you attack Qing Yu and, on his way, kill me as a favor to you and a way to fulfill his killing hobby. But why did you send him to attack Qing Yu? I think you were testing him."

Wang Siyuan started coughing again, once again staining the already red handkerchief. He only managed to stop coughing after some time.

"I discovered something, so I tested him. The outcome gave me more confidence in the Dongyang villa and I decided to take this rare opportunity to destroy the official members of the mysterious organization."

"I didn't think you'd be able to deduce my plan to this extent. It's completely beyond my expectations. I've truly underestimated you," he said.

There was an additional quality of solemness and equality when Wang Siyuan looked at Meng Qi.

Meng Qi quietly accepted those compliments. This had nothing to do with his deducing ability, but rather the fact that he had first confirmed that something was wrong with Qing Yu before coming to understand the following setups...

Jiang Hengchuan muttered to himself, "Why didn't I notice that something was off with Qing Yu suspicious and test him?"

That was also a plug-in to the scenario. Of course he wouldn't be able to guess... Meng Qi gave his reply internally.

Just as Jiang Hengchuan's voice faded, a deep crack appeared midair and dissipated the smoke and clouds. It cut off the surroundings of the villa and connected the vast darkness.

In the darkness, a silhouette dressed in an imperial purple robe emerged. His every acupore point gave off a bright light that merged together to condense into Gods.

The Gods were like stars woven into the fabric of the night sky, dazzlingly bright. All 365 of them swayed and made a starry sky above, causing the entire villa to shake.

"Crape Myrtle Star..." Jiang Hengchuan muttered quietly.

When the emperor dressed in purple threw a punch, so did the 365 Gods in unison. The entire world seemed to shake, with the starry sky trembling along with it and emitting even brighter light.

Opposite the emperor stood a baby-faced Taoist with grey hair holding a dazzling long saber.

The minute the saber energy gleamed, Meng Qi could only see white and black colors. The colors of red, green, purple, and yellow disappeared and the world became still as if it was frozen. Even his mind wasn't spinning as fast anymore.

He didn't know how much time passed before his sensory organs began to function normally again. He saw the same smoke and clouds earlier, but there were no signs of the two newcomers anywhere.

Jiang Zhiwei looked up at the sky with eyes. Her expression was a fervent one as if the strike earlier rendered some invaluable help to her cultivation in the Twenty-three Swords Skill.

Meng Qi had once seen the Taoist earlier from afar. He recognized him to be Asininity Taoist of the Xuan Tian Sect, an expert in Terrestrial Rankings.

Meng Qi had thought something was strange when Qing Yu said that he discovered two lost methods of the Celestial Court, namely the Heaven-ensnaring Skill of Nine Fires and the Power of Omni-concealment. The lost methods of Civil Star and Fire Lord had easily reminded him of the Myths. How could the Xuan Tian Sect not think the same?

When Jiang Zhiwei was in the Great Buddha's Hall of the Shaolin Temple, she personally saw how the seniors from all sects gathered and discussed The Myths and The Immortals. Further, the Xuan Tian Sect bore a deep hatred toward them due to Qing Jing's death. Asininity Taoist was famous for his bad temper. Under these circumstances, they would definitely investigate themselves no matter the cost if they found a clue. They wouldn't have sent Qing Yu to risk his life.

This was also why both Meng Qi and Jiang Zhiwei had suspected Qing Yu when they were in the Samsara space. They had agreed that the Xuan Tian Sect would have a backup plan.

However, in light of the previous secret negotiation, The Myths and The Immortals definitely wouldn't know this unless there was a mole. That was why Jiang Hengchuan didn't anticipate that Qing Yu, who had seemed the most harmless, would be the most dangerous one.

When it came to predicting the actions of an expert of Terrestrial Rankings, their predictions might not be accurate given their subpar abilities.

Meng Qi couldn't help sighing again when he thought about how Qing Yu performed in their training spar as well as in the sneak-attack against Wolf King. Life was truly a drama where everyone lived by their acting skills. Even a little Taoist was so cunning!

The river water rose just then, the tide lurking around the corner. The gate of the Inner House suddenly gleamed with a dense green light.

The three Dongyang Seal's fragments on Jiang Hengchuan, Ruan Yaoguang, and Qiu Fei respectively lost control and turned into specks of light that flew toward the gate.