The Sage Who Transcended Samsara Chapter 474
Killing Blade has come to the Capital!
News of Meng Qi’s arrival spread as fast as the wind across the capital city of Luoyang. Soon his name was heard throughout every alley. The site of his lodgings and the real purpose of his coming to Luoyang quickly became the main debate of all who were curious and inquisitive in the city.
The Exterior Scenery was a very vague concept to the masses. It was a remote dream in comparison to the Ranking List of Young Masters, which appeared more real and “tangible”. Ordinary people could discuss and debate the Ranking List with excitement and fervor. It was like a dream that even their future offspring might have been a part of in due time, rather than a distant fantasy which they had not even the slightest impression on.
That would explain the uproar when he who sat upon the Ranking List throne made his arrival into the capital.
The interior of The Garden of Peace and Stability was quiet, tranquil. The pleasant and charming patio was adorned with miniature mountains and hills, flourishing trees and shrubbery. “Really, my Lord. He is only the greatest on the Ranking List of Young Masters,” Feng Zheng complained with disdain, “One who has yet to even attain Half-Step skills. Surely there is no need for Your Highness to risk such a venture. Being summoned by a Prince of the Empire would suffice in impressing him,” said Feng Zheng as his verbal drudgery ensued with contempt. “Moreover, according to Yan Chong he is nowhere near He Jiu or Wang Siyuan in their heydays.”
Prince Jin Zhao Yi of the Imperial Court strolled through the cooling shade of the overhanging trees with his hands clasped behind his back. “The greatest of the Ranking List of Young Masters who was capable of killing Wolf King is not someone to overlook,” the prince answered quietly. “He may not have skills and powers of the Half-Step. But where could he be in three years from now? Five years from now? Or even a decade from now? We set our sights as far as possible. Patience and forbearance is critical for the future. One can never make preparations for the future too early.”
Feng Zheng beheld the words of wisdom of his young master. He was undeniably irked by his master’s infatuation with Su Meng, but the young master’s words were those of merit and truth. Indeed no one could tell the future. No one could predict how long the Emperor could cling to his sovereignty even if he was no longer in his prime. The end of his reign remained distant. He could endure for a few years or even a decade before he abdicated the throne.
The former champions of the Ranking List of Young Masters, aside from those that had perished, had mostly ascended to the Exterior Scenery in good timing. A number of them enjoyed outstanding progress, such as Su Wuming, Gao Lan and Han Guang. So it was best not to underestimate the future prospects of one who reigned supreme on the Ranking List. He or she might rise through the thickets of the perilous Jianghu and emerge as a grandmaster in the future!
Su Meng becoming an outstanding Top Class Master Pro in the Exterior was something of a given, even if it did take three to five years!
A smile surfaced on Feng Zheng’s face, “His Royal Highness has great foresight…”
As his personal eunuch, despite his desire for his master to become someone of great ability, he was still wary of those that His Highness might put his confidence in.
Zhao Yi passed through the central courtyard of The Garden of Peace and Stability where he could see green trees and mountain-like features. It was not that accessible to most people with just a few small buildings dotted about and a few people enjoying its tranquility.
Zhao Yi halted a moment to take in the scenery, “In spite of all this having been landscaped, being able to find such a spacious place as this inside Luoyang’s outer perimeter really allows the The Garden of Peace and Stability to live up to its name.”
Feng Zheng snorted, “The Emperor’s conduct will see trouble befall him sooner or later.”
The Garden of Peace and Stability had mysterious beginnings, which could apparently be traced back to some of the Luoyang aristocratic families.
Zhao Yi shook his head with a smile, then leapt over a pond and made his way over to the most remote area of the outlying buildings.
When they got over to the structure a waiter met them and rather politely said, “Master Su would like to request the pleasure of your company upstairs for tea.”
Feng Zheng’s face changed slightly. He was a little annoyed, but also, he raised his opinion on Meng Qi somewhat. While the two of them had not gone about getting here covertly, nor had they announced what they were doing exactly. They were just acting like two normal people. Who knew Meng Qi could predict their intentions!
The waiter, who took very light steps, led Zhao Yi and Feng Zheng in silence.
When he got upstairs, Zhao Yi immediately spotted Meng Qi. He was wearing a green robe sitting cross-legged behind a small table. Set in front of him were three teacups, and next to him a copper stove glowed red.
Spring water was heating on the “reddish” stove and paintings of trees lined the bamboo incensed room, where a gentle autumn breeze was blowing through. Pale blue teacups the color of a misty rain sat before the elegant and understated man. It was all so tranquil, even the long saber that lay on the table managed to not seem murderous. All of which made one feel that they should not break the sense of peace inhabiting the space.
Zhao Yi and Feng Zheng sat down in silence. They could hear the kettle on the stove coming to a boil.
The Meng Qi before them was in no hurry, he took the pale blue cups and warmed them next to the stove.
Before long, a loud bubbling could be heard as countless bubbles broke free from the edges of the lid.
Meng Qi slowly arranged the teacups in a row, his movements in line with the Dharma and Logos; cool, confident and in no hurry whatsoever.
From Feng Zheng and Zhao Yi’s perspective, it simply felt as if his movements and expressions were entirely natural, at one with his quiet place. It dispelled all worldly worries and frustrations.
The sound of boiling was louder now, and steam rose up in small twists. Meng Qi’s right hand flicked out and grabbed the hot kettle effortlessly, then proceeded to pour water into the teacups.
The water poured in a steady stream, and in his left hand he held a tea whisk with which he stirred the tea.
Within the steam, the buds of tea danced around and floated to the surface and, bobbing a little, opened up into their leaf shapes. It was a magnificent display the art of tea making.
Witnessing Meng Qi’s unhurried tea-making, his movements that were seemingly in harmony with nature’s rhythm, and watching the steam rise and the froth float caused Zhao Yi to feel as if all his worldly woes had been washed away. His very being was immersed in this tranquility as his mind was calm and his heart felt inner peace.
“This tea is from the North Zhou Dynasty’s Long Hu peak area. It has a strong flavor to it, and is also very robust as you can brew tea from it three times before it deteriorates.” Meng Qi spoke with a smile, his voice soft and full of confidence, which was quite fitting for this tranquil setting.
Zhao Yi’s body and spirit were utterly relaxed, and he had almost forgotten all of life’s stress outside of this little building. He calmly looked at the froth bobbing in his teacup as he breathed in the tea’s fragrance. Without realizing it his tone had softened, “I hadn’t considered that the Killing Blade would be a master of tea ceremony as well.”
Meng Qi rubbed the tea cup lightly and said, “Lately I have taken it up as a mean to finding calmness.”
Feng Zheng’s eyes narrowed as he considered how just now he had almost been pulled into all that peace and tranquility. The leader of the Ranking List of Young Masters was more complex than he had thought, and once again Meng Qi took a higher place in his opinion of him.
Meng Qi had fought with people from all different age groups and reached the Half-step level without experiencing the Oneness of Heaven and Men, lacking an intuitive understanding of the realm. Now, he was all the more extraordinary for having only faced it following Happycloud Heights.
While still looking at the surface of the tea Meng Qi said, “What brings your Highness here?”
Zhao Yi laughed softly as he looked at the seemingly modest and peaceful Meng Qi in front of him, “You have a debt of gratitude to me for saving your life. When coming to the capital, how could I not be your host?”
Meng Qi, like an old monk, did not move, “It is the thought that counts.”
In a casual manner, Zhao Yi replied, “It shook the world when Wolf King was beheaded, and now that you’re here in the capital, naturally, there is banter about what might happen next?”
Meng Qi laughed, “So, the famous heroes in Luoyang are keen on martial arts, are they?”
As soon as he had finished speaking, he lazily turned his head to look out the window and said in a low voice, “The wind’s kicking up.”
It was getting dark. It seemed the autumn storms were coming.
Zhao Yi did not inquire any further. He smiled and started to chat about various things going on in Luoyang. He took on the role of a warm host, and they both enjoyed themselves for a while.
Finally, he got up when he saw Meng Qi prepare to serve more tea, and said with a chuckle, “While I do not consider myself talented, I can, however, talk for hours about Luoyang. If I have made you feel in any way uncomfortable, please let me know.”
He came across like an old friend dropping by for a chat and had not broached any topics that remotely touched on politics, or the forming of alliances.
“I am much obliged Your Highness.” Meng Qi walked them to the top of the stairs and watched them both leave while nodding slightly. When he was at Happycloud Heights, Old Third had been brought up so well, so sophisticated. It really was another level compared to this. However, many things would be hard to take care of should they attempt to go to the Sumptuous Fruits Banquet together. It could be deemed similar to a layer of hell trying to subtly help Laowu keep his head up in such company.
As he thought about it he raised his teacup, took a light sip, then spat it out audibly.
“This stuff tastes awful… though I am grateful to know about the etiquette of serving tea and playing host…” Meng Qi scowled.
He really was a beginner at making tea, only that afternoon had he watched a tea master dividing tea in this way. He just copied what he had seen and pretended to be a more cultured person to bluff in front of Old Third.
Outside, the rain had started falling.
Zhao Yi walked with his hands behind his back again. His body seemed to have an invisible layer that repelled the rain, “So?”
Feng Zheng understood what his master meant and mused aloud, “He cannot be overlooked. It does feel a lot like back then with He Jiu and Wang Siyuan, however, it is still early. If there is an opportunity, then it might be possible to achieve something, to consolidate something that will be of use to us in three to four years from now.”
His tone was always a little acerbic when it came to this kind of genius. He had abandoned part of his stature to take on such a slant as his means to entering the Exterior, as such break throughs later on would have been very hard. Whereas Su Meng was the kind that, once he entered the Exterior, would be able to progress through the realms rapidly. Just like Su Wuming had done back in the day. In just one year he attained N-fold Heaven!
“This kind of person is always the most arrogant, but with an equal measure of sincerity and equality that can be tailored as needed. Sadly, I overlooked him when I first met him…” Zhao Yi sighed.
Rain drops fell as the sky turned darker and the clouds grew thicker. Melancholy autumn winds and rains had arrived.
Meng Qi was sat in a chair facing the autumn rains with his eyes closed calming himself, something like someone listening very closely to something, or in deep sleep. Within the realm he currently occupied it was important to sense heaven and earth, to spend time in the Inner World.
The night silently crept in. Meng Qi’s right hand moved and tapped lightly upon the handle of his saber.
“Qian Qian of the Luoyang Martial Club invites Young Master Su to give pointers.” A voice full of middle Qi came from across some distance, as clear as if it were right next to him. However, it sounded a little aged. it sounded like the voice of an experienced Enlightened Master Pro.
“Where is he who dares ask the way?”
The voice got closer and there was a flash of sword light which seemed to blend with the night sky. Small sparks fell through the thick cloud illuminating the rain like a curtain after lightening strikes.
In the darkness of the night sky this blade struggled to go back and forth, it appeared like a bound animal trying to break free.
Meng Qi almost broke into song. He sighed and his right hand grasped the handle of his saber.
Saber radiance shot out swiftly like a dragon and absorbed all the surrounding Qi and vitality.
And although it tried to gather life, it was itself deathly. In an instant it clashed with the sword light.
It came to life then disappeared, Qi dissipated and light extinguished. The long sword lost its responsive capability, and with a loud crack it snapped in two and fell to the ground with a clang.
“The road is before you.” Meng Qi put the sword back into its scabbard. He was still sat in the chair. It seemed as if he had never gotten up. Still sitting there calmly listening to the sounds of the autumn rain falling.
Outside, an unguarded figure stood silently in the rain, soaked like a drowned rat.
After a moment, he whispered to himself, “The road is before you, the road is before you…”
He looked over at the broken long sword and suddenly felt a feeling of being released, like he had understood something while not understanding at the same time. He bolted into the rain and disappeared by the building.
After another while, through the rain came another voice,
“Du Linxi of the Du clan requests instruction.”
The newcomer was just about to approach when he felt his throat turn cold from something like saber Qi. He hurriedly altered his Body Movements and movement varieties, and yet, however he changed that saber Qi followed like a shadow relentlessly!
Only when he was 10 or so steps farther out did the feeling of the chilling saber Qi disappear. His forehead was left beaded with sweat.
He stood there for a moment, then turned around and did not look back.
The autumn rain kept right on falling. The sound of the drops like a lullaby, calming all in the dead of night with a hint of melancholy.
Then before he knew it, the skies had begun to lighten, and blue skies shone through.
Many curious Jianghu folk had tried to get close to the little building last night, the commotion of which could be heard from quite some distance.
“Look! Look! Those footprints should be Du Linxi’s, obviously using wind step footwork!”
“Surprisingly he didn’t even get within 100 feet…”
“That’s Stick-sweep Eight Point’s 40-kg Coiled Dragon Staff!”
“Flower Master’s folding fan… cut in two!”
They were baffled,as all the marks and detritus were quite far away from the little building, the closest one only being about 10 feet.
Suddenly, a more observant person pointed out, “Isn’t that the Qian Club Principal’s Starshine Sword? How did it come to be broken in front of the building?”
Qian Qian, from the Martial Club, was no ordinary person. He had achieved Oneness of Heaven and Men at the age of 40!
He was unsurprisingly also about three steps away from the building.
“I don’t know why the Club Principal has constantly been unable to make any break throughs. It’s actually quite odd. His strength has clearly fallen off…” Someone was attempting to make excuses for him.
But halfway through what he was saying, he sighed,
“Killing Blade Su Meng certainly lives up to his name.”
The people who lived in the immediate vicinity had only heard the rain and the challengers announcing themselves to Meng Qi. There had been no sounds of fighting to break the tranquility. Then a sigh escaped,
“The Ranking List of Young Masters number one is just that, number one…”
Meng Qi was still in a state of oneness with heaven and earth as he breathed in the morning sun, and then breathed out purple Qi. It was unclear when the rain had stopped. It was as though he was in a deep slumber.
It was then that the building’s servant appeared and said in a low voice, “Young Master Su, Luoyang’s Su clan has sent someone to invite you there. ”
Meng Qi slowly opened his eyes, his pupils were clear and seemed like deep pools of water.
At last, this was what he had been waiting for.