The Sage Who Transcended Samsara Chapter 655
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
Meng Qi stood in the Immortal-tracking Alley. He emptied the bag containing the items that belonged to Master Xiyue and had them all exchanged for as much as seven thousand and six hundred Karma Points.
If not for the need for haste, Meng Qi would have hung the items in the Immortal-tracking Alley and displayed them for sale to his fellow members of The Immortals guild. But the skirmish for the Zither of Limbo and his battle against the Evil Spirit of Zhenwu had impressed upon him the immediate need to improve his flaws. He urgently required a skill that would endow him with a temporary boost in power for the Sacrifice Formula was no longer useful to him!
Ever since attaining the levels of the Exterior, he has noticed that many side effects of techniques which acceded temporary boost of powers were increasingly terrible. Some would damage the Vital Spirit of its user, some would dissolve its user’s attainment of the Exterior levels, some would forfeit half of its user’s life and so on. The endless list of horrible aftereffects for using such skills appalled Meng Qi. To use such skills would be tantamount to suicide, if without the perfect healing effects bestowed by the Dominator of the Six Realms of Samsara. Even the Immortality Elixir of the East Pole would be useless if one became dull or slow after using such deadly skills.
This would explain why the disciplines of the Eight Nine Mysteries and the Heavenly Golden Scripture have no techniques of such disposition. Then again, both disciplines would surely have – if there were such needs – methods that fulfill the needs for a suicidal rampage.
With reference to the perfect healing treatment of the Dominator of the Six Realms of Samsara, Meng Qi now has doubtful reservations since the incident of the Evil Spirit of Zhenwu.
With his expectations lowered, he searched through the list for any techniques with lesser side effects despite mostly coming across techniques with negligible effects or ones with brief enhancements. At length, he came across one: the Nature-involving Knack.
The technique allowed its user to imbue the energies of Nature into his or her own Dharmic Form. This would allow the Dharmic Form to separate from its user and unleashed its hidden powers to enhance one’s mortal body and Vital Spirit. But the effects of the technique would only take place in a split-second period, lest the Dharmic Form would be permanently severed from its user. The loss of one’s Dharmic Form will cause the user to fall back into the level of the Half-step from the Exterior. The precipitous fall from grace would also destroy the fundamentals of one’s long years of training and cultivation, making the clamber back to triumph a herculean effort.
“It can only be used as a final stroke or a frantic measure in a do-or-die situation…” Meng Qi’s chin dipped lightly, fully comprehending the perils of the technique.
Even the normal application of the Nature-involving Knack would wear out one’s Dharmic Form. Without the usage of potent medicines or elixirs or the healing effects of the Dominator of the Six Realms of Samsara, one could only focus on amassing corresponding exotic minerals and treasures to restore one’s Dharmic Form to full robustness.
Meng Qi spent five thousand Karma Points for the exchange of the technique. Added with his original surplus, he had a total of four thousand and eighty Karma Points left. He then redeemed a Bhaisajyaguru Relieve Pill which cost him four thousand Points.
The peaks where the stronghold of the Sword Washing Pavilion sat pillared into the sky, grazed even the clouds up high. It was early in the winter, with snow falling upon the white-blanket mountains in the region where everything in sight was white, a vista of pure white that bespoke pure sanctity.
The Primogenitor Lingbao, with his mask removed, in his usual self as Taoist Chonghe, came with Meng Qi in tow.
He hid in a small crevasse faraway and watched as Meng Qi walked to the stronghold. His gaze caught something suddenly; a figure that he seemed to have noticed through the whites of the snow and the multiple layers of barriers that abounded the outer peripherals of the stronghold. His expression turned heavy.
There stood two disciples at the entrance of the stronghold with swords hung from their waist. Their stares were keen and stern like unsheathed swords. They were first startled by Meng Qi’s sudden appearance. But immediately, they surmised his identity through his characteristic saber, appearance, and clothing.
It was Su Meng, the Killing Blade!
The most acclaimed young warrior in the last decade!
The disciple who stood at watch greeted Meng Qi, “You are here to meet with our Senior Jiang, Young Master Su?” The disciples were disturbed by the fact that a youth of similar age to theirs was already a master of the martial arts in his own right; one who was clearly several cuts above the rest.
“Yes, I am. Will you please announce my arrival?” Meng Qi responded with a cheerful smile.
The disciple paused and answered, “I am afraid Senior Jiang is currently in hermetic training. It seems like she is trying for the First Celestial Ladder. But it is not a sealed training session that cannot be interrupted. I will immediately send word inside.”
The disciple hurried away and disappeared on the mountain path uphill. Meng Qi watched him leave, composed and cool. His gaze traveled to the nearby mountains and peaks with his hands held behind his back. Some looked ancient and bare, some were verdant and yet mystifying, and some were steep and precipitous. None were the same. In different shapes and sizes, the mountains loomed over the valley, a ring of accompaniment that accentuated the majestic and unrivaled greatness of the main peak that housed the stronghold of the order of the Sword Washing Pavillion.
Memories of the Primary Instruction of the Seven Strokes of Heaven Interception re-emerged in his mind. The mountainous scene faded from his sight, replacing with the enactments of complex and profound strokes of swordplay before him.
“So the mountain terrains have been altered by the very hands of the founder of the Sword Washing Pavillion when he first established the order, and they have since been preserved as such.” Meng Qi savoring the experience as he nodded thoughtfully.
The disciples at watch who still remained at the entrance watched with misty eyes at Meng Qi who stood proud and tall in his garb of black fitting clothes, exuding an air of loftiness.
At length, a figure in yellow flew from the mountaintop. It was Jiang Zhiwei. She walked briskly to him, grinning widely as she spoke, “I heard that you have achieved a breakthrough?”
Her words were simple and direct, hemmed with her usual warmth that bore no hint of aloofness.
“Of course.” Meng Qi admitted brusquely, with a whiff of pride. There was hardly any need for secrecy before his most trusted friend. “I have a quest which I would like to invite you along. Let us walk as we speak.”
Jiang Zhiwei knowingly refrained from diving straight into the details. She turned back and left a few instructions with the disciples who watched the entrance and left with Meng Qi to an empty clearing a few thousand meters away.
“I have eliminated the Evil Spirit of Zhenwu.” Meng Qi conveyed to her directly via telepathy.
Jiang Zhiwei sighed in response, “I knew you would surely go on the quest when word reached me that you have passed over the First Celestial Ladder. I would have gone with you if I had a Reincarnation Charm. Aside from the first mission, you have single-handedly completed the entire series of missions. I am embarrassed whenever I think of this.”
She spoke with frankness without concealing her feelings.
“Would you not share with me any benefits that you have as long as it does not affect the interest of your order?” Meng Qi asked with a snicker. “My destiny is most unusual that I often receive much bounty in my endeavors. I share my rewards to win the favors of those who will help me. Won’t you help me in the future?”
Jiang Zhiwei caught his gist and giggled, “This is all a ploy of yours. It is too late for my regrets then.”
They teased at each other before Meng Qi returned to the main agenda of his visit and related to her his adventures beginning from the incident of the Zither of Limbo to the end where the Evil Spirit of Zhenwu was obliterated by the Dominator of the Six Realms of Samsara.
“The Dominator is most deceptive and cunning…” Jiang Zhiwei sighed with a gloom that overshadowed a former wonder that twinkled in her eyes when she heard of the Seven Strokes of Heaven Interception.
“The Dominator has abilities far above us. It would hardly help to worry about that now. We shall first retrieve the fifth stroke of the discipline of the Heaven Interception.” Meng Qi said. He gave a breath and continued, “I have requested for the help of a senior. But it is inconvenient for him to appear now. He will first send us to the stronghold of the Huanhua Swords Sect where we will first look for Senior Brother Qi.”
Ruan Yushu would still be busy steadying her newly-attained level, as well as her studies in music and art while Zhao Heng would hardly be able to relieve himself from the watchful eyes of the guards in the capital. Thus, Meng Qi decided that he would only seek out Jiang Zhiwei and Qi Zhengyan.
Would Senior Brother Qi have broken through into a higher level of power?
Jiang Zhiwei nodded her assent, guessing that the secretive help could only be a senior from the guild of The Immortals and asked no further questions. A warm gale of wind blew by whisked them off as they disappeared into thin air.
The stronghold of the Huanhua Swords Sect, atop the Four-elegance Mountain.
Jiang Zhiwei waited from a distance while Meng Qi went directly to the entrance of the stronghold and asked to see Qi Zhengyan.
The disciples of the Huanhua Swords Sect spoke deeply with a gentle and scholarly poise, “I am sorry, Young Master Su. Senior Brother Qi had recently attained the levels of the Exterior a few months before. But he had just finished steadying his new-found attainment when he left the stronghold on urgent business and has not come back since then. We have yet to receive word from him.”
He revealed truthfully Qi Zhengyan’s present situation and his absence from the stronghold of the sect.
“Why has Senior Brother Qi left with such haste? What has happened?” Meng Qi asked himself with a frown. He channeled his powers, using the divination methods of Jade Virtual Palace and found only a gloomy outlook on the trails of Qi Zhengyan that revealed nothing of his whereabouts.
Shaking his head, Meng Qi set the matter aside. He would have to quickly retrieve the impartation of the fifth stroke of the Heaven Interception lest any unfavorable incidents arise.
At the Earth Fairy Lake near the Mount Feiyan in the vicinity of Peijing city of the Northern Zhou Empire.
The lake sat in the wilderness of the mountains, spanning for thousands of meters. It was said that the lake was formerly a crater caused by the blows of two dueling immortals; now a lake with mystifying beauty and captivating sceneries. The lake was most famous for a natural core of ice in its center known as the Eye of Frost that has frozen the center of the lake into layers of ice that have endured for tens of thousands of years, a wondrous sight of immense rarity.
There were legends that spoke of the Ancestor of the Cao Clan of Peijing who had found an ancient chrysalis of a deceased Earth Immortal of the Dharmakaya Realm. With it, he had discovered the impartation left upon the shriveled husk. Following years and generations of accumulation of martial disciplines and teachings, the Clan has created a set of disciplines of their own: the Seventy-two Phases of the Earth Immortal, whose pith was the actual Seven Passages of the Earth Immortal found in the impartation from the chrysalis of old.
The Cao Clan did not fully restrict the entirety of the Earth Fairy Lake, sealing only the areas which the core of ice was at from outsiders, for the lake was a tourist attraction that was partially opened to the general public.
The waves of the lake rolled gently with chunks of ice undulating lazily with some snow on them.
There were many boats carrying tourists around. Meng Qi and Jiang Zhiwei disguised themselves and blended into the crowd of tourists, padding a boat on their own on the lapping waters of the lake.
They both sat cross-legged, looking far into the same direction with fishing rods with them, pretending to be enjoying a peaceful fishing trip.
Not far away from them, they saw two boats nearing each other. A warrior leaped from his boat and landed on the other, calling out loud.
“I have long heard of your name. I challenge you to a duel!”
Excited chatters of interested onlookers began to cluster as many boats came near to watch.
“Challenges, duels, the contests for fame and glory… Looking back into the Jianghu of old that was filled with fresh newcomers who had just released their Apertures, it is but drifting farther and farther away from us.” Meng Qi looked at his hook with feigned wistfulness as he spoke with a face of “misery”.
Knowing his temperament, Jiang Zhiwei laughed and teased, “Could it be that you have lost your interest in such matters now?”
Meng Qi thought on her jab and admitted truthfully, “No, I still do.”
Jiang Zhiwei chuckled and her eyes squinched. She studied their sceneries around them, taking in the feel of the fluctuations in the wafting aura of Nature. There have been many changes in the terrain of the surrounding regions that the location described by Zhen Wu was no longer there. For that reason, they both elected on a lake cruise with a boat to slowly look for signs and traces by studying the changing patterns on the aura of Nature’s energies in the area and discern the hiding site of the treasure.
The waves undulated gently with peaceful silence around them. Meng Qi took his chance and spoke via telepathy, “I have been much mistaken on the workings of the guild of The Immortals.”
Jiang Zhiwei could see that he was not revealing any secrets of sensitive nature; Meng Qi was a member of The Immortals and one who has earned the confidence of the leader, the Primogenitor Lingbao.
“Well?” Jiang Zhiwei could not understand the intentions of Meng Qi’s remarks.
“The Immortals is a group which is relatively flexible; mainly focused on the gathering of resources and intelligence to pooling together its members to help one another. There are only a few restrictions that bound us for the collective good, and members can also include clauses in agreements and covenants which will prevent any conflicts of interests to each other’s household, martial sects or orders. There are hardly any disadvantages with numerous benefits. Like this time, we could have even exchanged a Reincarnation Charm from The Immortals if only we had prepared earlier. We can even attain the corresponding martial disciplines of the persona of one’s choosing.” Meng Qi gave a lengthy explanation with a faint shade of embarrassment as if he was a peddler soliciting his wares.
Jiang Zhiwei had a moment’s thought. “And what are the disadvantages?”
“At one’s admission into the order, one will take up a persona of his or her own choosing with the corresponding impartation of skills and disciplines. But one will have to shoulder part of the Karmic burden of the persona which is chosen if the actual bearer of the persona is a legendary entity of old. Aside from that, the members of The Immortals are required to finish at least one task each year. But the full members of The Immortals are mostly from prominent and respected households of the aristocracy. There is hardly any possibility of evil or vile deeds.” Meng Qi concluded his assessment of the guild, improving the accounts of the Bluecloud Progenitor from a long time ago.
Jiang Zhiwei gently nodded. “Very well. I will join the guild.”
“You have decided so quickly?” Meng Qi instead was taken aback by her immediate reply.
Jiang Zhiwei smiled and spoke, “You have so clearly explained the advantages and disadvantages of admission. There is no need for more contemplation or hesitation.”
“She is as direct as the sword she wielded!” Meng Qi could not help but give an impassionate sigh.
Jiang Zhiwei regarded Meng Qi with a smile.
“Moreover, I trust that you will not allow harm to come in my way.”
The deep trust she had for him touched Meng Qi’s heart that his mood improved greatly. He looked at the blue sky and took in the cool air around them. There was an inexplicable repose of peacefulness and comfort. He said to her via telepathy,
“I have been deeply troubled and worried in my destiny being entangled with entities of the legends of old. Finally, I am able to taste the flavor of “living” once more.”
The atmosphere was dismal but his mood relaxed.
After a while, Jiang Zhiwei asked, “Which of the remaining personas are known for their skills with the sword? Be it male or female.”