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Chapter 535: Anarchy of the Fish Sea
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
The man from the Ashura Temple held in his hands a pair of pale-white Buddhist Commandment sabers as if they were fashioned from ivory. His faintly bloodshot eyes burned with extraordinary rage, conveying his intense desire to rip Meng Qi and Jiang Zhiwei into pieces.
The beautiful yet cold looking female expert of the exterior opened her mouth to talk him down, “Lou Jia, don’t start anything yet. Wait for the Fish Sea residents to leave, then you can fight however you please.”
Lou Jia took a deep breath, the anger within his gaze having faded significantly, turned to them, and said, “Go on you two, get out of here, if it wasn’t for this being neither the time nor the place, you would be in a world of pain right now!”
This type of person would make anyone’s blood boil. Meng Qi could not but help feel his right hand reach across to rest on the hilt of his trusty sword, Flowing Fire.
He was currently disguised as a swordsman in order to avoid the recourse from Mystic Fairy and Bliss Bodhisattva.
Jiang Zhiwei silently spoke in secret to him, “Don’t get dragged in by him; he has cultivated one of the six Asuran “Fury Phases”. It takes his anger and builds upon your reaction to it by creating more of the same. The angrier you become the stronger it becomes, building more and more combat strength from your increased anguish. You mustn’t get sucked in.”
Meng Qi was a little shocked upon hearing this and took in a deep breath, bringing his feelings back under control. But, he suddenly had a thought…
Lou Jia shouted at them, “What are you looking at, get out of here now!” He was akin to a furious beast as he ranted and raved at them.
The Snow Mountain Sect Exterior expert floated next to him, then she turned to him and added coldly, “Lou Jia, stop it now or you’ll infect the bystanders here.”
Just as the words had left her mouth, Meng Qi suddenly opened his mouth as he looked up at Lou Jia and coldly mocked him,
“Really, it’s okay, taking care of him won’t affect anyone else.”
It was as if the one the woman had been trying to talk down just now was him.
“What!” The fury within Lou Jia’s eyes was immediately ignited.
Just as his roar sounded, a sword light flashed and a crimson sun seemed to appear on the ground – its light spreading out in all directions, illuminating everything. It blended together in such a way that it was hard to tell where the sword light ended and where the sunlight started.
Lou Jia simply felt sword light coming towards him, burning and searing hot. It reflected and refracted about him, to his sides, and behind him – he couldn’t tell which were real and from where any deadly blow might arrive.
“d.a.m.n!” In his roar he unsheathed and controlled both of his blades in a crazy looking manner – it was as though he was coc.o.o.ning himself in a “grayish-white sphere of bone”. The sphere then took on a scarlet glow as a sea of blood engulfed him, blocking the longswords from every direction. It was like he was sheltering him from the sun!
Boom clang boom clang! A stream of clangs and crashing booms rang out and all that could be seen was the contrail of flames as the Grand Sun lifted off. Inside it was a sea of blood and grayish-white as it thrust its way upwards to the clouds. The people on the streets carrying their luggage were not all that affected by any of this – they only felt a rise in temperature as it became hotter.
The Grand Sun then exploded midair, a sea of blood poured out, and Lou Jia reappeared halfway up in the sky.
“d.a.m.n! d.a.m.n it!” He snorted and roared repeatedly in his fury. His trunk had now swollen out to three meters across and black hairs that had a blood l.u.s.ter covered his body, making it look akin to a ca.s.sock. His body had become very muscular and every inch exuded earth-crushing ferocity. Compared with just a moment ago, his breath must have now tripled!
All the while, Meng Qi floated in front of him in his white robe, his jade-like crimson long sword hanging pa.s.sively behind him.
Their exchange had now caught the attention of Fish Sea’s urban experts of the Exterior.
Just as Lou Jia was about to throw all caution to the wind and attack him, the woman from the Snow Mountain Sect flew in between them and shouted, “Stop this immediately!”
Her robes fluttered in the wind – they were white and slightly blue-tinged, similar to mountain snow. The dirk she held gave off a cold light which matched how she now spoke, “If you keep going with this, then as a member of the Snow Mountain Sect, you both will become my enemies; however, if you wait for everyone here to evacuate, then I couldn’t care less for what you do about your grievances!”
“Fine with me.” Lou Jia could not have antic.i.p.ated that the instigator, Meng Qi, would just simply agree to her terms.
Lou Jia looked at her, then at him, and gradually his anger abated as his size also returned to normal. He addressed her, “Xue Lengzhao, unless there are orders to the contrary from the Prime Asuras, you will also die today!”
With a snort of rage, he turned and flew off.
Xue Lengzhao turned to Meng Qi, “Well, Mr. wherever-you-are-from, anyone who gets on the wrong side of the Ashura Temple folk here on the Immensity Sea is really probably best off getting out of here as soon as they can.”
She flew back below and continued overseeing the evacuation of the ordinary folk from the Castellan Mansion.
Meng Qi put “Flowing Fire” away again and landed on the ground. Jiang Zhiwei coded secretly to him, “Did you do all of that intentionally?”
“Well, I considered that such blatant behavior is more than likely something that Mystic Fairy and Bliss Boddhisattva would ignore.” Meng Qi nodded gently.
They would never have imagined that he would be here in Fish Sea causing trouble with the people from the Ashura Temple, whilst also being disguised in this manner. Just as long as he did not get within several meters of Mystic Fairy, then there should be no cause for that strange sense of karma between them to trigger which would alert them to his presence!
Meng Qi seemed to pause a second before he continued, “And I think there was something a little fishy about that Lou Jia, he seemed way too obviously provocative towards us…”
“…it was like he was itching to pick a fight, or perhaps it is just a requirement of the “Fury Phase”. Jiang Zhiwei lightly frowned to indicate that she did not really agree with this explanation herself. She added, “Lou Jia and Xue Lengzhao are both exceptionally talented last generation disciples within their sects. They have been gaining strength within the Exterior for almost a decade now and are close to getting onto the Celestial Ladder now.”
He relaxed his clenched right hand, and said, “So, not bad opponents then?”
“Well, yes, not bad opponents at all!” Looking at each other they burst into laughter.
Another similarity they shared was their preference for closely matched opponents.
However, Meng Qi also enjoyed picking on weaker opponents too!
Jiang Zhiwei raised her head slightly and she examined the light remaining in the sky, “I’ll meet you in front of the courtyard on Guangling street at dusk. I’m off to find some sect members. So, see you then?”
Meng Qi had already changed his appearance and his disguise. Any more to do with the Sword Washing Pavilion would more than likely reveal his true ident.i.ty.
“Sure.” Meng Qi parted ways with her at the crossroads. He planned on using the time to scour the town for intel on what was going on around here.
He went up a block or so before a figure came chasing up behind him. The man chuckled slightly, “Hey there, hold on a minute, would you?”
Meng Qi turned his head to look toward this familiar voice with its familiar breath. Before him was a middle-aged man in a large-sleeved, generous robe. On his face grew a handsome beard and his eyes seemed to permanently be squinting, creating a line across his face.
Was he the Silvery-badge Arrester, Qian Kai?
Back in Ying City, they had investigated The Myths together. Later, after saving the Crown Prince, he had been sent into Luoyang and fate had once again brought them together. In fact, Qian Kai had previously invited him to a feast, but at the time Meng Qi had been unable to attend.
Had he recognized him? Or was it something else? He looked at Qian Kai whilst not permitting any of these thoughts to escape, “My friend, is there something I can help you with?”
Qian Kai wore nothing that indicated he was from the Six Fan School either, and as Meng Qi looked him over, his eyes returned to squinting as he smiled back at him, “That was quite impressive a moment ago, using a single strike to force back Furious Asura. I am Qian Kai from Luoyang. Do forgive me for creeping up on you like that.”
“Brother Qian, there is no need to be quite so polite.” Meng Qi smiled at him,Did he see all of the battle just now?
Qian Kai seemed to have a lot on his mind and sighed – allowing some emotion to escape, “There appear to be signs recently that the Snow Mountain Sect, the Ashura Temple, and the Jin Gang Temple are forming a union. As you may have noticed, those experts of the Exterior from the Ashura Temple – due to practicing the ‘Fury Phase’ and the ‘Slaughter Phase’ – are always finding it hard to contain their temper. They are forever starting fights. Naturally, they’ll run you out of the Fish Sea and the Bogda Shan mountain range if they beat you, but worse is that even if you do win, they’ll do whatever it takes to get their stronger seniors embroiled. In other words, you tend to lose regardless and are sent out of town just the same.”
“As I see it, you were lucky just now with a draw, otherwise… Hmm, well those Prime Asuras from the Ashura Temple you know, starting with Meng Nan, they all tend to look out for their own at the end of the day.”
Meng Qi wiped cold sweat from his brow, as he was quite familiar with this tune. If you have any type of altercation with them, they always send someone stronger, faster or more experienced after you. “So, what you’re saying is that the Ashura Temple are deliberately baiting people?”
“It seems to be the case, but I can’t tell what’s in it for them yet. It could be that they want to monopolize things here before any of the other sects and families have a chance to send their own experts along, thus giving them a head start on locating wherever the Buddha’s Palm might be.” After that he let out a long sigh, then instantly looked around to check that n.o.body was paying any attention to them. “I came here on my own like this because I thought I would have a crack at things and try my luck at finding it myself before any of these larger Western Region sects arrived. Whilst I have had some leads, things have been moving along at a snail’s pace. When I saw that you were not overly fussed by their show of force, but instead having strength of your own, I thought to myself Why not invite him to join forces? ”
Meng Qi frowned a little at him, “So, you have a few leads already?” Pulling people randomly off the street to make up the numbers for a posse is not the safest of ways to go about things, you know?!
Qian Kai was nodding, “I know of somewhere that I don’t think people know about – where a beam of Buddha Aura is located. It’s just that I am not quite brave enough to go there alone.”
He could see that Meng Qi had his doubts and whispered, “To be totally candid, I have invited another friend as well. He would be considered an old acquaintance of mine. We ran into each other here on the Fish Sea and he’s also someone I feel is worthy of my trust.”
Meng Qi appeared as if he was cautious, “So, why invite me then?”
It is always a little odd when someone you don’t know that well trusts you like this. Unless they’re just looking for some cannon fodder, of course!
“It would be hard to say how many experts of the Exterior from the Western Regions there are in the Fish Sea and the Bogda Shan mountain range region at the moment. With it just being the two of us, we come across as too diminutive a force.” Qian Kai laughed, “And with those other than yourself, either I cannot be sure of their real-world combat strength, which is cause for worry. Or we have some previous grievance which precludes us from cooperating. Yet with you, and seeing how you took on Furious Asura, which everyone did accidentally, and all with seldom witnessed moves from the Exterior too. Well, it peeked my interest.”
This made him consider something more and his face then took on a more serious tone, “Well, I have been around Jianghu for quite a while now, and I imagine I have met most from the Exterior. Yet, I don’t know you, so might I inquire as to your background?”
Meng Qi laughed spiritedly, “Well, I hid away in Bomi for quite a few years, so it’s not that surprising if you haven’t heard of me. Quite a few enemies have died there, yet now the red mist is dissipating, so I thought I’d come to the Fish Sea to try my luck, you know? If I can get hold of the Primary Instructions for the Buddha’s Palm, well, it would leave me with the ability to easily dispense any of my enemies!”
Qian Kai went about sensing Meng Qi’s breath in some detail before arriving at the conclusion that he could not for the life of him work out whether Meng Qi was older or not. He chuckled at this and asked, “I wonder if I might inquire as to your name?”
“Shen Bao.” Meng Qi smilingly said.
“Well, Brother Shen, I am aware that all of this has come along suddenly. Naturally, you would have your doubts and are right to be cautious I think. Come along to the tavern in a while and we’ll have a chat whilst we wait for my friend to arrive. He’ll show you some proof of what I am talking about, and you can choose what you want to do after that.” He invited warmly.
Meng Qi was going to wander about town looking for intel like this anyway, so he may as well accompany him. Additionally, it was in this way that he gradually learned which Central Plains’ experts of the Exterior had recently arrived here. He also heard all of the latest Fish Sea gossip.
After they had been seated a while, he heard footsteps on the stairs which made Qian Kai’s face flush with joy, “You’re here!”
He welcomed in the man, whom he introduced to Shen Bao , “This is Zhou Qiushan from River East.”
He was a man in his 30s wearing an official’s robe. His features were indeed relatively plain, and he was short and plump. Under his right brow, he had this mole, a little like the beauty marks some women have.
“And this gentleman is from Bomi, Shen Bao, or just Brother Shen.”
Meng Qi went about greeting Zhou Qiushan with his hand cupped over the other little bows. Just as they were about to sit down, a thought suddenly struck Meng Qi’s mind,
A man in his 30s. Relatively plain features. Short and plump. A mole under his right eyebrow…
This is the same description that Senior Brother Qi had given for the ‘Blessing-endowed Heavenly Official’s appearance!
Back in Luoyang Qi Zhengyan had previously come across someone whom he thought at the time might be him. Unfortunately, at the time he had not followed it up any further, yet the features he had described were identical with the man who was currently in front of him!
Could it be that Zhou Qiushan and the Blessing-endowed Heavenly Official from The Myths were one and the same person?
Did Qian Kai know?
Was this some form of a trap, or was he just someone naively pulling in people off the streets to make up the numbers for this treasure hunt of his?
Thought after thought barraged Meng Qi, but he did not let on what he was thinking – he just sat there looking his usual cool, calm and collected self. “So, Brother Zhou, what do you know?”
Zhou Qiushan just pulled out an object, whilst his expression remained listless, “This is what we found in the vicinity of the where the radiating Buddha’s Aura has been discovered.”
It was a black Prayer Bead which had already lost all its strength, but you could still tell from looking at it that it carried the marks of something quite old which had been through a few sc.r.a.pes here and there.
“I’ve also managed to enlist a helper, who shall be along any moment now I expect – a Peerless Master Pro no less…” Then he looked at Meng Qi and added, “Who is also from Bomi!”