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Chapter 536: Knowing When to Come or Leave
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
“He’s from Bomi as well?” Qian Kai’s furrowed brows relaxed as happiness surfaced on his expression. “It’s that senior?”
“Yes, that’s him.” Zhou Qiushan plastered a smile on his wooden face. “After much difficulty, I finally managed to convince him of our sincerity and get him to agree to explore the place where the beam of Buddha Aura rose together.”
They noticed the doubt fleeting across Meng Qi’s expression as they conversed. Qian Kai smiled and said, “Brother Sheng, the senior that Qiushan sought help from is a top fighter. He’s strong and unyielding, and his tricks are particularly remarkable, enough to put us in awe and revere him. Hehe, he’s from Bomi as well. I wonder if you know him.”
“What’s his name and nickname?” Meng Qi asked perfunctorily. He knew only a couple of people who resided in Bomi and did not think he would recognize the senior’s name.
“His name is Lu Jiang and he has been hiding in Bomi for a number of years. He wasn’t famous in the past but he’s known as Hermit Yusheng now,” Qian Kai replied, smiling.
“Hermit Yusheng? Heh, for a hermit who pa.s.ses his time in peace, what’s he doing getting in on the action in Fish Sea?” Meng Qi chuckled.
“Right now, besides several of the masters of the strongest sects in the West Regions, the other masters have yet to arrive. This will be a great advantage for the Peerless Master Pros! Even if you choose to live your life in peace, never to obtain the impartation of Buddha’s Palm, it’s still your gain to get a cut of the accompanying Buddha treasures. When it comes to treasures like these, the more, the better.”
“How strong is he?” Meng Qi asked while fiddling with his teacup.
“When we came across Senior Lu, he managed to force a tie in his fight against one of the Asuras of Ashura Temple, Nanda Dragon King,” Qian Kai said firmly.
There was a clear admiration in his tone.
Under Meng Nan, the Prime Asura of Ashura Temple, were the four Prime Asuras Kings, 13 Asuras, as well as 20 Suras. Nanda Dragon King could be considered as the forefront of the Temple and one of the hopefuls to breakthrough to be a grandmaster and become Asura King. Lu Jiang was definitely not one to be underestimated if he could force a tie out of Nanda Dragon King!
“If Senior Lu comes across an adventure now, his fate as a grandmaster is practically sealed.” Zhou Qiushan nodded gently, sounding as if he was trying to excite Lu Jiang.
Meng Qi smiled. “Bomi is vast and often has dense populations and people don’t ever go there. I’ve never met him before.”
Qian Kai and Zhou Qiushan nodded at the same time, taking it as a matter-of-fact. Bomi was a lawless land. If two Exterior experts with similar levels of strength came across each other, the stronger one would definitely ‘forcibly oppress the other party’. The fact that Shen Bao was still alive meant that he was lucky enough not to meet any masters or had a master beside him when in trouble.
The latter was the less likely scenario, thus, it was normal that Shen Bao had never met Senior Lu!
Qian Kai was about to speak when his ears moved slightly, prompting him to instantly rise to his feet. His face was full of smiles. “Senior Lu is here.”
Meng Qi did not know who Senior Lu was and there were also plenty of Exterior experts roaming the streets. It was not until Qian Kai spoke that he realized that the person stepping into the restaurant was Lu Jiang.
“Oh, I know him!”
Zhou Qiushan was also on his feet and opened the door together with Qian Kai. Both of them waited for Lu Jiang at the stairs and respectfully said, “Senior Lu, we hope you didn’t have any problem finding this place.”
He had not told him about their meeting place, but with so few people left in Fish Sea, Lu Jiang would be able to find them just by asking a few questions.
“Ashura Temple is increasingly bold in its provocations. I didn’t want to delay, lest I miss my opportunity,” an old, hoa.r.s.e voice said.
He calmly accepted Qian Kai and Zhou Qiushan’s respectful greeting and stepped inside the half-opened door, where he instantly felt a familiar yet unfamiliar breath inside.
“Decisive indeed,” Qian Kai praised, smiling. “Senior Lu, a friend of ours is waiting inside. He’s from Bomi as well and he’ll be joining us.”
“Oh, he’s from Bomi? I wonder if I’ve met him.” The old, hoa.r.s.e voice sounded indifferent as if he was a lofty person making a perfunctory remark.
Qian Kai laughed along and pushed the door open. “Shen Bao! Brother Shen, Senior Lu has come,” he said quietly.
“Shen Bao…” Lu Jiang, who had been walking to the door, suddenly stopped in his tracks.
Lu Jiang was dressed in a black robe and had a pair of jug ears and triangular eyes. Numerous wrinkles lined his face. He was none other than the ‘Gatekeeper’ that had earned his freedom thanks to Meng Qi!
Lu Jiang saw a young man dressed in a green robe sitting across him. His appearance was ordinary, if not a little standoffish, and his mouth was curled into a slight smile.
“This is Shen Bao?”
Lu Jiang felt as if he had returned to the past when the painted door had opened, unleashing an unimaginably majestic breath that suppressed the void. It had been all too terrifying!
“Brother Shen, this is Senior Lu,” Qian Kai said, making the introductions.
He noticed that something was off and turned to look behind him. He saw Lu Jiang appearing stunned at the door, his wrinkled forehead beaded with sweat.
Ever since his interior and exterior exchange and the enlarging of his Vital Spirit, Lu Jiang had a particularly firm hold over his body. There were few occasions where he had allowed himself to be drenched in sweat. Lu Jiang’s unusual behavior surprised and confused Qian Kai and Zhou Qiushan.
“What’s wrong, Senior Lu?” they asked in a whisper.
Lu Jiang opened his mouth but no sound came out. He finally managed to squeeze out an ugly smile after much difficulty. “So we meet once again, Senior Shen. It’s a small world indeed.”
“S-Senior Shen?” It finally hit Qian Kai and Zhou Qiushan why Lu Jiang had looked so terrified and they turned to look doubtfully at Meng Qi.
“Just who is Shen Bao, to be able to frighten an old monster who can draw a tie against Nanda Dragon King? Just how strong is he?”
For a moment, speculations ran wild in their minds. Fear colored their eyes as they looked at Meng Qi.
“He really knows how to hide his ident.i.ty!”
Meng Qi patted the surface of the table and said, deliberately ambiguously, “It’s the birth of the Primary Instruction of Buddha’s Palm. How can I be absent?”
Lu Jiang smiled and played along, saying, “It’s me who has overestimated my abilities, but I never did once yearn to learn Buddha’s Palm. I just hope to find one or two accompanying Buddha treasures.”
Qian Kai had finally calmed down by then and chuckled. “So you’ve been hiding your true ident.i.ty from us, Brother Shen. This means our exploration will be even safer.”
Tap, tap, tap! Meng Qi knocked on the table, numerous thoughts crossing his mind.
“To be so daring as to invite me even though they know I’m ‘mysterious and powerful’, aren’t they worried about being killed after we succeed? Looks like they have tricks up their sleeves that they’re depending on…”
“It’d make sense if Zhou Qiushan is Blessing-endowed Heavenly Official of the Myths…”
“Even though I have the Plenitude Gate, I haven’t got into contact with Immortal Yunhe yet. What if he’s not interested in Buddha’s Palm or doesn’t believe me?”
“Besides, with the birth of the Primary Instruction, Heaven Sovereign would definitely show up as long as he could escape. Or perhaps he’ll hide somewhere and have Zhou Qiushan and the rest investigate on his behalf…”
Meng Qi compared their respective ‘trump cards’ and thought about his earlier decision to rid his heart of greed. He stood up before Qian Kai, Lu Jiang, and Zhou Qiushan could sit down. “Upon second thought, I won’t be joining you,” he said, laughing cheerfully.
Whether or not it was a trap, he must not join this mission!
He must not count on luck to get him through life!
He must not let greed to deceive his mind!
Furthermore, now that he recognized who Blessing-endowed Heavenly Official was, he could just secretly monitor him and contact the Immortals. Then he would wait for the Myths to gather and land a killing strike on them. Why should he wade in this muddy water now?
He headed for the door with hands behind his back. Since he had given a ‘mysterious and powerful’ impression earlier, Qian Kai and Zhou Qiushan did not dare to stop him and merely tried to advise him not to leave. Lu Jiang exhaled. To him, it was one of the greatest strokes of luck in his life not to do this exploration with Shen Bao!
Meng Qi shot Lu Jiang a faint, barely-there smile when brushing past him.
Following the noise of Meng Qi walking down the steps, Qian Kai turned around to look at Lu Jiang. “Senior Lu, who exactly is Senior Shen?”
Lu Jiang recalled the glance that had sent his scalp tingling and said hesitatingly, “I have no idea either but he’s incredibly terrifying. I’m no match for him at all.”
Whether Shen Bao’s remarkable breath was due to a hidden Dharmakaya or some kind of divine weapon, container, or ability, Lu Jiang knew he was no match for anyone with that sort of breath!
“I see…” Zhou Qiushan nodded, appearing deep in thought.
The stream of pedestrians on the street gradually dwindled as countless taverns and shops closed for the day. The only establishments that were open required the Exterior experts to provide their own food and drinks.
Meng Qi strolled down the street and managed to gather quite a lot of news. When midnight struck, he returned to the courtyard on Guangling Street where Jiang Zhiwei was already waiting outside the door.
He slowly walked over to her and they began walking shoulder-to-shoulder. Jiang Zhiwei relayed her voice to him soundlessly, saying, “The sect only sent ‘Reinvigorating Tree’ Granduncle Master Yu and ‘Fire Sage Nanming’ Uncle Master Xu here for now. I’m not sure which elders they will send as backup later on…”
She told Meng Qi all the information that Sword Washing Pavilion had discovered, including all the locations in Fish Sea and Tan Han that the beams of Buddha Aura had emerged in as well as which Exterior experts that all the sects and families had sent here.
Meng Qi also told her about his encounter with Qian Kai and reminded her of Qi Zhengyan’s judgment that Zhou Qiushan was likely to be the Blessing-endowed Heavenly Official of the Myths.
She nodded. “I’ll tell my sect to keep an eye out.”
“Since the Myths are coming, you should also think about what you’re going to do. If you’ve been provoking people and getting into fights like me, you best avoid them. If you want to blend in with them, you need to think about what you should do.”
If he tried to get involved in this matter with his strength alone, then he must take advantage of the confusion of others to his benefit. Based on Meng Qi’s current realm, he was still far from it.
“The Primary Instruction of Buddha’s Palm and the accompanying Buddha treasures are beyond my capabilities. We’ll have to ask others as to what can be done,” Meng Qi said quietly.
He would have to discuss this with the Immortals and find out which experts they had sent here, what they planned to do, and how he should cooperate with them. This was the only way to prevent him from being a headless fly, buzzing around without purpose.
The Immortals gaining the Primary Instruction was equivalent to him possessing it. Thus, he decided to cooperate as much as possible!
Of course, if the Immortals thought that his involvement would be too dangerous – that he would not be able to contribute much, take care of his safety, or help in killing Thunder G.o.d from the Ninth Heaven – then he should stay away from them as soon as possible.
To him, the lure of the Primary Instruction of Buddha’s Palm was not as strong as the Realm of Dharmakaya Chapters of Eight Nine Mysteries and Heavenly Golden Scripture!
Without waiting for Jiang Zhiwei to reply, he continued, “I’m going to enter the Plenitude Gate again and discuss this properly with Immortal Yunhe.”
Making Mingguang and Mingxu invite Immortal Yunhe was merely the preliminary step. It was highly unlikely that Immortal Yunhe would make a move when he was still in the dark over the affairs of the outside world. After all, the Primary Instruction would not really materialize just because he said so.
Thus, he was preparing to directly talk to Immortal Yunhe once he reached the gate.
Jiang Zhiwei spoke little as she walked alongside Meng Qi down the street. They tried to escape others’ attention and find an opportunity to retrieve the Plenitude Gate.
Meng Qi deliberately walked toward the Old Cao’s Restaurant while making a detour, planning to get Drunk Xie to contact the Immortals.
When Meng Qi stepped onto the street, he found it deserted. His eyes were frozen in shock before he could even come close to Old Cao’s Restaurant.
Everything inside the restaurant had been shattered, leaving no item untouched. The ground had caved in by three whole inches and it felt as if Old Cao’s Restaurant would collapse with just the gentlest sweep of wind.
More importantly, there was no sign of Drunk Xie!
“This is a result of a fight between a group of Exterior experts…” Jiang Zhiwei commented, voicing her judgment.
Meng Qi looked for Drunk Xie in the vicinity of the restaurant but found no note or trace left behind. His heart instantly felt heavy.
“Is this is a provocation by Ashura Temple? Or is his ident.i.ty exposed?”
Meng Qi and Jiang Zhiwei left the street, not daring to linger there for long. When they confirmed that there was no one following or monitoring them, they took out the Plenitude Gate. They opened it using the pre-agreed rhythm lest they give Immortal Yunhe any chance to ‘strike’ them.
Jiang Zhiwei waited for Meng Qi to enter the gate before returning it into the s.p.a.ce Ring. She began walking around freely.
It was deep into the night when she suddenly saw a distant ray of light soaring into the sky. It was a golden gla.s.s-like light, carrying with it the tranquil essence of Buddha!
“Yet another beam of Buddha Aura?”