The Sage Who Transcended Samsara Chapter 342
Xuan Bei had not introduced the names of the palm, finger, fist or genuine Qi, and Meng Qi did not care much for them either. Enlightening the Acupores was a period of time during which one was supposed to build a strong foundation and find his own path, so knowing more and seeing more was beneficial. However, making things too complicated was not a good idea. He had already confirmed his path of the blade and had expended a lot of spiritual energy on doing so, and there was an imminent Samsara task too. If he divided his attention to learning a new kung fu, his losses would probably outweigh his gains.
Moreover, if his weapons were damaged or lost, he would have no choice but to fight barehanded. He was not afraid anyway, for he had his palm as his saber and his fingers as his sword. With increased hardening effect from Eight Nine Mysteries and Golden Bell Shield, he could take on most ordinary situations. On top of that, he had briefly skimmed through the Seven Immortal Illusions from “the Immortal Pressing Art” and it counted as barehanded kung fu. He had only picked it up along the way since he was practicing the Immortal Pressing Art, and had not spent too much energy on it. It was completely different from the palm and finger chapters from the “Seven True Scripts” that he had specifically studied.
Of course, reading it whenever he was free was not too bad. It could potentially come in handy someday.
After Xuan Bei gave a brief description, he made a grabbing motion with his right hand and a script flew out of his meditation room. The script was made of normal paper and its pages appeared to have been casually bound together.
“Stay here for a few more days. If you still have queries about ‘Facing Wind in Air’ and the ‘Acupoint-attacking Finger’, you may ask me anytime.” He passed the script to Meng Qi.
Meng Qi looked at the script that had long been prepared and came to a sudden realization. Had his master begun secretly writing “Seven True Scripts” after knowing that he had ventured into Jianghu? He suspected that his master had planned for Zhen Hui to bring it to him when the junior monk left the mountain to roam. His master had not come up with the idea only because Meng Qi had gone all the way to Shaolin Temple to report information!
Meng Qi felt warmth in his heart. His vision turned slightly blurry as he received the script and bowed once more.
Seven days later, at the foot of Mount Liantai.
Zhen Hui was somewhat reluctant but also excited to see Meng Qi go. “Senior Brother, once I’ve opened my Acupores of Nose and made my way through Bronzemen Lane, I’ll head down the mountain to find you and join Jianghu! I’m gonna be like the protagonists in those stories!”
Actually, he already had the ability to cross Bronzemen Lane. It was just that the Flower-pinching Finger was a high-level finger art, so if he was overly-focused on winning, it would be difficult for him to use his power. Hence, Xuan Bei had decided to allow Zhen Hui to go only after opening Six Acupores, which would enable him to easily use his power.
“Sure, I’ll probably still be in River East then,” answered Meng Qi with a smile. River East was full of strong people and was thus the best place to train.
He chatted with Zhen Hui for a while before watching the latter return up the mountain. Then, he clasped his hands behind his back as he headed for the paved road at top speed, although it appeared like a slow and casual pace to the eye.
After conveying information about the monk mastermind to his master, Meng Qi believed that he would not receive any threats from them for a brief period of time. First of all, there was no value in intercepting and killing him anymore, and secondly, even if they wanted to exact revenge, they would have to contemplate if it was a trap. The upper brass of Shaolin Temple could be using it as an opportunity to collect clues and evidence and then wait for things to cool down. It would not be too late for them to do something similar even if it were later on.
After advancing for some time, before he had left the boundary of Shaolin Temple, a monk popped up in front of Meng Qi. He was wearing a yellow frock, looked about 20 years old, and seemed gentle and refreshing. However, he also seemed simple and slow. His eyes were soulless, but when he looked at Meng Qi, they lit up with a fiery radiance.
“I am Zhen Ben. I have seen you before, donor Su.”
So it was the martial arts zealot Zhen Ben! Meng Qi was instantly enlightened. When he had still been with Shaolin Temple, he had not had much contact with Zhen Ben. He had only heard of many interesting things about him. If he had not mentioned his Dharma name, Meng Qi would definitely not have recognized him.
Meng Qi had found it strange since before. As a martial arts zealot, how could Zhen Ben resist sparring with a person like him? After all, Meng Qi had betrayed the Zhen generation and was now among the top few on the Ranking List of Young Masters. Since he had returned to Shaolin Temple, Zhen Ben would probably not miss having a match with him.
So he had been waiting there.
“Senior Brother Zhen Ben, you’re too polite,” Meng Qi smilingly replied.
Zhen Ben straightforwardly said, “I would like to have a match with donor Su.”
“I mainly learn the Vajra Unbreakable Force, and also train in Vajra’s Powerful Palm, Prajna Palm, Form Denial Finger, Ananda’s Finger, Merciful Thousand-Leaf Hand and Crossing Lake on a Reed. I can activate the Sacrifice Formula as well. I look forward to our match, donor Su.”
The Sacrifice Formula aided in the learning of supreme arts and could co-exist with any type of kung fu. Thus, when Shaolin Temple monks spoke of the kinds of supreme arts they had learned, they did not include it.
Hearing Zhen Ben announced all his supreme arts in one breath, Meng Qi could not force a smile. However, being able to experience Shaolin Temple’s supreme arts in the flesh was also a challenge. Hence, he gravely replied,
When he uttered those words, his entire aura changed. He was no longer the carefree, smiley guy from before. He seemed to become one with the surroundings as he immersed himself in the mortal world and appeared even more terrifying. The movement of his right hand reaching for “Heaven Inflicted Pain” followed a certain rhythm of heaven and earth with inexplicable wonder.
Meng Qi gripped his sword hilt under the draw of Qi. At the same time, Zhen Ben’s exposed skin glowed a dark golden. His palms looked like they were coated with a layer of gold leaf as he slammed them towards Meng Qi.
The variation in moves of Vajra’s Powerful Palm was crude and simplistic, but its strength was terrifying. Layers and layers of airflow were slammed so hard that they collapsed. It was almost as if an entire chunk of the air had been cut out, giving off an unusual feeling of permeability.
Compared to Zhen Miao, Zhen Ben was evidently less focused on winning. He did not conceal his common sense and had not struck with his ultimate move first.
Meng Qi’s long saber was like thunder. Like a sharp knife cleanly slicing tofu, it soundlessly streaked across the layers of airflow and cleaved right between Zhen Ben’s two palms. It pushed them apart with a shake.
He began displaying his bladesmanship. It was like a bird perched on a dead twig or a swallow fighting with the wind and the waves–its quick sharpness broke through the slow clumsiness. With just a few moves, Meng Qi was able to repress Zhen Ben’s Vajra’s Powerful Palm.
Just as they were battling to their hearts’ content, the long saber strangely shot out from the palms’ shadow and swung down at Zhen ben’s head. It moved at a slow and unusual pace, but it contained countless changes within. Every variation was so fast it exceeded one’s imagination. No matter where one tried to hide or what move he used to counter the attack, they would all feel weak and futile.
Zhen Ben’s expression did not change. His arms suddenly spread out and he continuously struck with his palms, like he had grown over a hundred arms all of a sudden. They systematically blocked Meng Qi’s long saber.
“Clang!” Countless clashing sounds combined into a single, cacophonous noise, reflecting the speed at which they varied their moves!
With a shift of his feet and a heavy, horizontal swing of his long saber, Meng Qi compressed the airflow into a swirling vortex that sucked up all the innumerable palm shadows.
Zhen Ben fiercely closed his five fingers and the joint of his index finger popped upwards, a reddish-green. It had a colorful sheen to it as it slowly knocked against the blade of the saber. Its force was kept well within and held tremendous explosive power.
Ananda’s Finger was a fierce finger art specially used to break through protective hardening kung fu. If one was very well-versed in it, there was nothing that it could not break. It was one of Shaolin Temple’s 72 supreme arts!
“Clang!” The vortex, long saber, and Ananda’s Finger collided and vanished at the same time.
Whereas Zhen Ben’s left hand that had been hanging at his side had at some point in time found its way into his sleeve. Meng Qi suddenly felt like his sensing of the genuine Qi flow had become slightly unclear.
Out of the blue, an idea came to Meng Qi. It felt like a finger style attack, but it had no shape or form and was difficult to grasp!
Form Denial Finger?
The second most difficult finger art in Shaolin Temple apart from the Flower-pinching Finger?
Without a tangible form, it was like the air had come to assault him without his knowing!
To be able to make himself rely on his senses, Zhen Ben had achieved a small consummation and the Gist of Trueness. It was the same as using an Exterior-level killer move!
Meng Qi was taken aback. He did not dare to be careless and wrapped his saber in genuine Qi and mental energy. With his saber as his hands and heart, he calmly cleaved in front of him.
“Clang!” “Heaven Inflicted Pain” rang out of nowhere, but blocked the Form Denial Finger.
Seizing his chance, Zhen Ben launched himself at Meng Qi like he was sliding across the ground. He raised his right fist and suddenly brought it down. Palm Gust spread everywhere as if it were enveloping the surrounding heaven and earth.
His palm move was simple but solemn. It gave off an all-knowing feeling–any thoughts and attempts to hide or escape could not be concealed from it and were difficult to accomplish. It sealed off any possibilities of continuation.
With Prajna in his palms, the entirety of Buddhism was in his hands!
It was the Prajna Palm, and Meng Qi could tell it was so from past experience. However, compared to Zhen Chang, Zhen Ben’s Prajna Palm had an extra edge to it that made one feel it could sever off frustrations.
He had activated it using the “Vajra Unbreakable Force”, and thus the Gist of Trueness he had obtained was different from that of Zhen Chang in the past.
Wisdom became his blade. Since it could slice through Vajra, it would also be able to cut off frustrations, eliminate suffering, and obtain peace and quiet!
Faced with such a palm, Meng Qi was aware that the Ananda Oath-breaking Bladesmanship was not effective when he was on the defensive. Hence, he raised his long saber and performed several strokes at high speed. Purple thunder flooded the place before it transformed into nine wild dragons. It terrorized Buddhism and repressed Zhen Ben with its strength, using might to counter wisdom!
Crackling resounded as thunder exploded in the air. The wisdom had been disturbed and Vajra no longer existed.
The advantage Meng Qi possessed in terms of strength and realm enabled him to break through Zhen Ben’s ultimate move in a single stroke. He now had the upper hand.
Just as he was about to whip out his bladesmanshipand drive Zhen Ben into a corner, the latter suddenly drifted backward. He said,
“Let’s stop here. I don’t have any more strength to continue.”
Meng Qi gave an awkward expression. Senior Brother Zhen Ben was an interesting talent indeed…
Since they were just sparring, Meng Qi had no choice but to sheathe his saber and stop attacking.
Zhen Ben sincerely continued, “Donor Su is stronger than me. Even if I were at the level of Seven Acupores, I would not be able to beat you. I’d probably need to reach Eight Acupores to do that, no, by the time I’ve reached Eight Acupores, you would’ve likely already reached Nine Acupores. I still would not be able to beat you…”
He had slipped into a “complicated” calculation problem and was somewhat frustrated for the time being. His eyes slowly returned to their initial soullessness.
Meng Qi did not disturb him. He directly went around Zhen Ben and left. Spending too much time with people like Zhen Ben made him feel like he was getting dumber!
After traveling for half a day, Meng Qi entered the city at evening and stayed in a hotel. He first practiced his main technique and then trained “Facing Wind in Air” and the “Acupoint-attacking Finger”.
All of a sudden, everything went black. There was a flash of light before he was shrouded in a dense smoke.
It was time for a Samsara task again…