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Translator: Larbre Studio Editor: Larbre Studio
Duan Rui’s mind went completely blank. In recent years, his nickname, the Hundred-Flaw Heavenly Demon was enough to frighten the crying children into staying silent. However, at the moment of encountering the monk in gray kasaya, he was overwhelmed by a sense of inferiority. This person looked a little familiar. Years ago, he was defeated by a similar-looking person – Su Meng – over and over again. In fact, he would not be able to make an escape without the help of the Devil Master.
Just a few moments ago, Duan Rui was still seeing the Brocade-Weaving Idleman, Shao Changge, the descendant of the Bodhisattva of Joy, Ying Ning, and the vast, windy field covered with tall, green grass. Nonetheless, in the blink of an eye, an old monk in gray kasaya, a pale young man, and a fairy who was holding a sword had shown up. Apart from that, he was currently at a place surrounded by a fast-flowing river with several iron chains hanging across the river. Had he been moved from one world to another in a flash?
On the grassland, Shao Changge and Ying Ning were standing still with their eyes wide opened. Staring at the place where Duan Rui disappeared without a trace, their mouths opened little by little. Yet, they could not make a sound.
What happened just now?
A hand had just come out of the void and captured the Hundred-Flaw Heavenly Demon! Through the twisted air, they could sense a familiar aura and get a glimpse of the place that was located at the other side of the void.
After a few moments, the pupils of Shao Changge contracted suddenly while he cried out,
“The Frenzied Blade!”
The Frenzied Blade, Su Meng!
The young miss in Shao Changge’s family had once collected a thunder blade named the Evil Tribulation. From time to time, she had been taking it out and admiring it. The blade was only destroyed after she returned from the Nine Levels of Heaven. Later on, Shao Changge was told that the original owner of this blade was Su Meng. His aura was so strong that it had stayed on the blade for a long time without fading at all. Therefore, Shao Changge could never forget this aura.
On the other hand, Ying Ning mumbled, “Jiang Dong.”
The place on the other side of the void must be Jiang Dong. Not only I’m born there, but I’ve also embarked on a Jiang Hu adventure there ever since I enter the Orifices-Point Activation Stage. There is no way I’m mistaken about it!
Both of them almost spoke at the same time. They looked at each other and came to an unbelievable conclusion:
The Frenzied Blade had captured the Hundred-Flaw Heavenly Demon, Duan Rui from another place, Jiang Dong!
In the current world, aside from the omnipresent Su Wu Ming, who else was able to that?
Was he showing a legendary feature of being omnipresent, or was it due to some other divine arts?
What realm had the Frenzied Blade achieved?
Feeling frightened, they immediately fled to the place where they returned from the Immortal Heaven.
Duan Rui, after recovering from shock, had numerous thoughts emerged in his mind. In just a few seconds, he had recognized the Life Master, Mister Wang and the Taishang Supreme Sword, Jiang Zhiwei. After that, he suddenly felt that the monk in gray kasaya was looking familiar – he seemed to have seen him at somewhere before.
Putting aside the withered appearance and dispirited aura, the monk was actually having outstanding facial features. He had a pair of thick, straight eyebrows that were slanting slightly upwards, and a pair of mesmerizing eyes…
Suddenly, a person came to Duan Rui’s mind,
The Frenzied Blade, Su Meng!
He is the famous swordsman, Su Meng, who used to be in the Jiang Hu for more than ten years. Despite being trapped in all kinds of desperate situations, he has always been confident in his own power. I’ll never forget those traumatic experiences he gave me!
This place is Jiang Dong. Obviously, he has made me travel across the distance of half of the Great Jin Empire, the entire North Zhou Empire and half of the Grassland… upon this thought, Duan Rui could not help trembling, and his legs became flaccid.
Although Duan Rui was not constrained in any way, he dared not escape at all.
Wang Siyuan raised his head slightly and mumbled,
“The Principles of Karma…”
The eyes of Jiang Zhi Wei were glinting with interest.
“In the past, I was taking pity on you because you’re having two souls concurrently that made you lose control of yourself. Involuntarily, you’ve been committing all kinds of sins. At that time, I’d been merciful to you for sparing your life,” said Meng Qi slowly while looking at Duan Rui. “However, in the past ten years, countless innocent people were killed by you. Apparently, I’ve made a wrong decision of sparing your life. Now, it’s time for me to make amends.”
Thump, thump. The heartbeat of Duan Rui was racing, and his body was getting colder – he was terrified of the approaching death. The images of numerous corpse that were mutilated by him flashed through his mind. Was he going to suffer the same fate as them?
Flop. Duan Rui suddenly lied prostrate in front of Meng Qi and begged, “Senior… no, I meant Master, I beg for your mercy. My wife and my young children can’t live without me. You… you can destroy my cultivation base and make me not be able to use martial arts anymore. Don’t… don’t kill me, please. I need to take care of my family.”
Meng Qi looked at him with an indifferent look. He was like a real Zen monk who was unmoved by anything that happened in the world. “When you were killing the innocent people, did you ever hesitate – even just for a second – when they begged for their lives?”
Duan Rui was overwhelmed by fear when he heard a sound of explosion that came from his body. Along with the black air that came out of his eyes, ears, mouth, and nose, his body was torn apart. The broken limbs were shooting in all directions, and the air was filled with a smell of blood.
Despite being badly injured, he tried to escape by using secret spells.
A sword beam suddenly appeared. It was divided into numerous rays that wrapped around the black air and the broken limbs. In just a few seconds, all of them shrank into a light sphere.
As the limbs slowly wriggled inside the light sphere, Duan Rui appeared again.
However, Meng Qi did not make a move. Seeing that, Jiang Zhiwei looked at the wound in front of his chest thoughtfully. Then, she drew her sword out of the sheath and stopped Duan Rui from escaping.
Just then, Wang Siyuan coughed and said with a smile, “Actually, you can still fight for your life.”
How? Duan Rui was desperate to grab any chance that could save his life.
“As long as you help us to open the Door of Stone on the back hill of Shaolin, we will spare your life. But after that, we will destroy your cultivation base and lock you in the Tower of Relic so that you can reflect on your sins. Once a year, you’re allowed to see your wife and children.” Although the conditions given by Wang Siyuan were harsh, Duan Rui accepted them without hesitation – he would do anything as long as his life was spared.
Meng Qi did not say anything, nor did he agree with the words of Wang Siyuan.
Wang Siyuan sent a secret message to Meng Qi and Jiang Zhiwei, “He is practicing the Sinew-changing Scripture in a reverse manner. Since it goes against the natural law, it has become a demonic magic art that is fueled by malicious force. If his cultivation base is destroyed, there will be no way to suppress or let off the malicious force inside his body. He will definitely go mad and die within seven days.”
He was sure about this because he had witnessed the death of many condemned prisoners who had failed to practice the Sinew-changing Scripture reversely.
Jiang Zhiwei shook her head and laughed, “You’re definitely one of the best tricksters in the world. Without telling a lie, you’re making people go into your trap voluntarily.”
As the conveyance light surged into the sky, all of them went straight to Shaolin.
This time around, instead of trying to hide themselves from Shaolin, Wang Siyuan made a visit in an aboveboard manner.
Many monk superiors had gathered in the Grand Hall.
“Master…” Meng Qi bowed to Xuan Bei.
Xuan Bei was wearing a red kasaya. Looking at Meng Qi with a delighted expression, he sighed and said, “It’s always said that nephews will resemble their uncles. Well, it seems to be true.”
He then stood out from the line and bowed to Wu Si who was holding a Nine-Ringed Stick, “Namo Amitabha. Abbot, I’d be happy to take care of the matters related to the Ananda Pure Land on the back hill.”
Without voicing an objection, Wu Si chanted the name of Buddha in a low voice.
Soon, Meng Qi and the others had arrived at the Door of Stone.
The light of the colored-glaze that shone from the door was conveying a sense of Zen. On the door, there was a line of words that wrote, “Those who are loving, righteous and benevolent, do not enter this door.” The words were as pure as the Bodhi, and as firm as the Jin Gang.
“Open the door,” said Wang Siyuan to Duan Rui.
As Jiang Zhiwei flicked the handle of her sword, several sword beams were gushing out of Duan Rui’s body. His power was restored.
The eyes of Duan Rui turned dark, and his aura became evil and filthy. With a cruel expression, he turned his right hand into a black claw and smacked the Door of Stone hard.
As the black air went into the door silently, Wang Siyuan summoned an illusory Ancient Book and pushed it forward.
On the Door of Stone, the seal filled with a sense of Zen remained unchanged. However, strangely, the door was opening slowly. It was as though something far away was acting in response to the black air.
The scene behind the door was the same as what Meng Qi saw in the Universal Fragment. There was no sun, moon, wind, cloud, nor mountain. Only a dark land could be seen. Blood stains and broken limbs were scattering everywhere.
As Xuan Bei chanted the name of Buddha softly, a form of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva appeared behind him. He was eliminating the demonic aura with the Ksitigarbha Transgression Script.
On the other hand, Wang Siyuan had restrained the power of Duan Rui once again to prevent him from using his demonic magic art that seemed to be resonating with the Ananda Pure Land.
As all of them were powerful martial artists, they had arrived at the foot of the seven-story Xumi Mountain in just a short while. The formations – namely the Destruction of Peace, the Arrival to the World of Mortals, and the Entanglement of Karma – were all destroyed. Some of them were destroyed by Han Guang previously, whereas the others were destroyed by both Meng Qi and Wang Siyuan.
As the Air-Conveyance Technique could not be used here, Meng Qi and the others had to climb the mountain by foot. Walking side by side with Meng Qi, Xuan Bei suddenly spoke, “I used to feel guilty when the Tang Family was exterminated because of me. I’m not regretting the decision of lending a helping hand to them. Instead, I regret my mistake of not hiding my plan well enough. During that time, my hopes were all shattered, and I was living in despair. I even thought of ending my own life. But whenever I thought of the Elderly Ku who was still alive, I would force myself to move on in life so that one day I would be able to take revenge on him. Although it went against the teachings of Buddhism, I just couldn’t let go of the hatred.”
“Because of this, when you killed the Elderly Ku, I felt that you’ve sought revenge on behalf of me. I’m finally freed from hatred. Today, I only have one wish left – to master the mystery of life and death and revive my family members. I owe them a peaceful and happy life.”
The reason of him saying these words was not to express himself, but to encourage Meng Qi to stay strong and endure the hardest times in life. Eventually, he would be able to find a way out. In fact, feeling hatred toward his enemy could at least motivate him to fight for a target in his life!
Meng Qi turned his head and looked at his Master. There seemed to be a flash of fire in his eyes. Then, he said in a low voice, “I got it.”
Just then, Meng Qi and the others had passed through the destroyed formations. The seventh story and the mountain peak had came into sight.
There were deep pits and cracks everywhere. It seemed that in the distant ages, a great war had happened here. Aside from the Ananda Pure Land and the mountain peak that still existed, everything else was destructed.
Of course, there was no formation on the seventh storey.
Meng Qi, Xuan Bei, Jiang Zhiwei and Wang Siyuan moved forward slowly and carefully. Suddenly, a voice was heard.
“My heart is never calm because I’m not able to let go of my beloved. That’s why I’m still trapped in the unending cycle of birth and death in the world of mortals. It’s true that I’ve vowed to follow the commandments of Buddhism, but I’m breaking them repeatedly. If I’m unable to get rid of my current state, how am I going to get a chance to see the Gautama Buddha?”
It was a sad voice that seemed to have come from the distant ages.
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