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Chapter 537: Amour Monk
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
Fish Sea was known as ‘mini River East’. Even its architectural style and city layout were similar to those of River East, with water flowing through the city, black roof tiles atop white city walls, and greenery that stayed out of view. The city looked as if it had stepped out of a poetry painting.
The beams of Buddha Aura rose in the distance; the black tiles atop white walls and greenery flowed in the water. Rays of light soared up the sky, turning the night sky into daytime.
Dark smoke swirled around the Castellan Mansion, where an entirely pitch-black Asura was standing inside. His face was a mask of fierceness; he had a dragon head atop a human body and a pair of eyes on his armpits. His four arms were holding Precious Weapons of saber, sword, bracelet, and vase. The minute Jiang Zhiwei took a step forward, disappearing inside the city of Fish Sea.
The light bouncing off the glazed tiles of the buildings on Guangling Street soared straight to the sky and exhibited a tall visage of Vajra, its entire body cast in what it appeared to be ancient copper. It was sacred and solemn, holding sabers in both its hands. It stood there as steady and unmoving as a mountain. The magnificent lights also faded away, disappearing inside the city walls.
What remained was a sword light that alternated between dimness and vibrancy. There were extraordinarily brilliant Aurora Lights of different colors and locust trees shrouded in thick layers of Yin Qi. For a time, the unsurpa.s.sable masters of Fish Sea all materialized their Dharma Forms and rushed to the location of the beam of Buddha Aura with all their might.
Following them were streaks of lights of different colors. The entire city, which had its ordinary citizens sent away, was deserted in the span of minutes. It was so quiet that it was enveloped in a deathly stillness.
Jiang Zhiwei was floating in midair as she watched this brilliant, thrilling scene unfold before her eyes. She could feel Exterior breaths dashed toward a faraway spot one after another. Taking in the cool, tranquil night lit by the moon, she felt a kind of alienation from the situation as if she was watching a farce, feeling not the slightest hint of the desire to go and take a look.
Life will be difficult if one constantly wrestled with dissatisfactions. Likewise, if one had few desires, one could be much stronger!
Jiang Zhiwei, who watched calmly as a member of the audience, suddenly smiled wryly and silently mocked herself.
“Fortunately it’s the Primary Instruction of Buddha’s Palm this time. I’m able to remain unaffected and make judgments with a cool head without being misguided by my greed…”
“If it’s the Primary Instruction of Seven Strokes of Heaven Interception instead, then my sword light might already be joining those streaks of light earlier…”
It had always been her ambition to observe the swordsmanship of all the families and nurture her own swordsmanship. If it was Seven Strokes of Heaven Interception that had appeared, she could not guarantee that she would not try her luck to obtain an adventure.
There was no shortage of weak fighters trying to get their hands on the many treasures that had appeared in the world. Some even entrusted the task to Bo Huayuan, but the treasures would end up getting transferred from one hand to another and hidden throughout the journey. In the end, the treasures would end up in his alms bowl.
The distant beam of Buddha Aura, like a large tree that propped up the sky, undulated while the rest of the lights danced around it like fireflies. They gleamed and blinked as they flew, making for an indescribably beautiful scene.
Jiang Zhiwei, with her clothes billowing in the wind, admired the ‘beautiful scenery’ with a quiet heart.
Suddenly, a fairly emotionless female voice drifted to her ears. “Why aren’t you joining them?”
Jiang Zhiwei did not turn her head; she had long sensed the woman who was floating in the air nearby. She was a beautiful, if garish, woman with an impressive figure clad in a lilac dress. On the back of her hand were hidden indigo ice crystals. She was none other than the Exterior expert of Snow Mountain Sect, Xue Lengzhao.
“Well, aren’t you here as well?” Jiang Zhiwei did not look away from the scene before her.
Xue Lengzhao was carrying a strange short sword in her left hand. In her cold tone was a hint of ineffability. “I’ve been robbed once and learned a bitter lesson not to ever bite off more than I can chew. I now know that I need to evaluate the situation and understand my own limits.”
Even if she was the one fated with the treasure and it would fly directly into her embrace, she still had to survive the siege of all the masters!
Jiang Zhiwei was momentarily stumped when she heard what Xue Lengzhao had said, her mind recalling the information Sword Washing Pavilion had on the latter. Xue Lengzhao was a distinguished disciple of Snow Mountain Sect of the previous generation, ranked within the top 10 of the Ranking List of Young Masters in her prime. Yet, she somehow fell for a trap and got herself captured by the perfect Half-step master, Amour Monk, of Merriment Temple. By the time her seniors came to her rescue, her Vital Qi had been depleted so much that she couldn’t even walk straight. Otherwise, given her talent, skill, and sect, how was it that she could not even pa.s.s the first step of the Celestial Ladder even after spending 10 years in the Exterior realm?
However, Xue Lengzhao could be considered a person with great perseverance. Though she had been used as an Incense Stove and had her Vital Qi exhausted and foundation damaged, she still moved forward step by step and became an Exterior expert from a Half-step one.
The boiling lava within the Plenitude Gate caused the airflow to become excruciatingly hot. The surrounding scenery appeared distorted.
Floating on top of the stream of lava was a straw mat with a long table, a copper stove, a kettle, and a tea set sitting upon it. Immortal Yunhe sat behind the table and tended to his tea-brewing with leisurely enthusiasm. Mingxu and Mingguang flanked him, looking as if the heat did not bother them.
The gate engraved with countless pattern flung open, unlocked by a certain rhythm. Immortal Yunhe looked at the gate with a grin. “My young friend Su, I never thought things would be this coincidental. I feel like a catastrophe is coming. I’ll have to trouble you to run around a little more.”
“It’s my responsibility,” Meng Qi said. His one step shortened the distance between them so much that his feet instantly landed on the straw mat. He sat opposite Immortal Yunhe and told him everything about the emergence of the Primary Instruction of Buddha’s Palm. He spent quite some time explaining and giving minute details of the matter as to win Immortal Yunhe’s confidence.
Immortal Yunhe had heard the gist of it from Mingxu and Mingguang. He positioned his fingers into certain postures as he listened, using his ring, middle, and index fingers as different symbols in his auguring.
He stretched his hand after Meng Qi was done with his explanation and smiled. “The signs are evident. The statement that the Primary Instruction of Buddha’s Palm ought to be right. If I wasn’t in the Grotto and cut off from the world, I would’ve long sensed it,” he said.
He paused momentarily before continuing, “But the actions of the w.a.n.g family of River East are quite suspicious.”
Meng Qi nodded. “That’s why all the Dharma Forms and grandmasters of the other families are currently staying put. They’re wary of the w.a.n.g family intentionally leading them to the wrong location and gaining the advantage from there.”
“Judging from the beams of Buddha Aura, the Primary Instruction won’t be emerging somewhere far even if not within the regions of Fish Sea or Tan Han. Perhaps the w.a.n.g family have ulterior motives…” Immortal Yunhe said with lament. “But they’re the rightful owners of the Way of the Emperor; which of them can disregard Buddha’s Palm? They’ll come sooner or later…”
“What’s your plan, Immortal?” Meng Qi asked straightforwardly.
“Buddha’s Palm contains Siddhartha Gautama’s path to enlightenment. Even if I won’t turn to meditation and constantly try to gain enlightenment or comparison, I can use it to hasten my progress. I’d be lying if I said I’m not tempted,” Immortal Yunhe said quietly.
“However, it’s still a Buddhism technique at the end of the day and it contradicts my school of Taoism. Even if it can help me, it’s not worth the risk of obtaining it.”
“Thus, I’ll be watching on the sidelines and make my move only when an opportunity arises. I won’t forcefully compete for it.”
Meng Qi smiled. “Rest a.s.sured, Immortal. I’m currently in a relatively weak cultivation realm with endless potential. I’m in no shortage of techniques, so like you, I won’t be taking too big of a risk for Buddha’s Palm. Hence, when I invite you to join me, I am naturally quite confident in obtaining it.”
He spoke about his potential without even a shred of shame or modesty.
However, this was also a fact. If he hunted for great and rare exotic minerals and produce, and keep to his cultivation routine, the t.i.tle of grandmaster would eventually be within his grasp.
Of course, if either the Immortals or Immortal Yunhe obtained the Primary Instruction of Buddha’s Palm, he would soon be able to solve the problem of exotic minerals and produce being such rare commodities!
“That I’m not worried about. If I can obtain Buddha’s Palm, I’ll definitely lend it to you as long as it doesn’t ruin itself after the first attempt,” Immortal Yunhe said, smiling.
The two of them began discussing and hammering down the details of their cooperation, including Meng Qi allowing Immortal Yunhe to step out of the gate to familiarize himself.
Meng Qi suddenly smiled and said, “Immortal, I think it’ll be a while more before Buddha’s Palm emerges. If I encounter strong enemies that I can’t win against, I’m afraid I’ll have to trouble you to help me.”
Immortal Yunhe returned a faint smile. “It’s no trouble, but how should we divide the items on the enemy’s body?”
“d.a.m.n it! Immortal, please be conscious of your image! You’re an ephemeral being who consumes the wind and dew as your nourishment, one of the true esteemed Taoists! Don’t be such a worshipper of money! Being a great senior Taoist, isn’t it a matter-of-fact to help someone of the later generations? What’s this talk of dividing spoils?” Finding Immortal Yunhe’s behavior to be truly strange, Meng Qi replied mockingly, “What do you think about a 7:3 ratio, Immortal? I’ll take the larger cut.”
“Take everything if you can handle it yourself. But if you’re forced to ask for my help, I’ll be taking the larger cut.” Immortal Yunhe chuckled.
Meng Qi picked up his teacup and took a sip. “Then that’s decided!” he said with feigned seriousness.
“Huh?” Immortal Yunhe was dumbfounded.
“Haha! No matter how I think about it, it’s too great of a deal to exchange some spoils for a powerful helper! If we get into an argument over the spoils, I might just lose my life!”
“I might be greedy but I’m not so bad that I can rival Jiuniang!”
Jiang Zhiwei felt a deep sense of sympathy for Xue Lengzhao when she heard her bring up the past. She did not know what she should say and had to rack her brain before saying, “Lady Xue, a person has no need to lament about being bitten by a wild dog and neither will the world say anything about it. Furthermore, you’re now an Exterior expert and achieved the Third Heaven. To many people, you’re a fairy.”
“Now, with the emergence of Buddha’s Palm, those of Merriment Temple will be definitely be coming too as they’re a Buddhist sect. Who knows if you’ll get an opportunity to avenge yourself?”
Snow Mountain Sect currently had many Exterior experts in the Bogda Shan mountain range in Fish Sea, led by a grandmaster and several Peerless Master Pros. If they discover Amour Monk, it was entirely possible that they would kill him!
Xue Lengzhao did not show bitter hatred or desire for revenge on her face when she heard Jiang Zhiwei mention Merriment Temple. Instead, she shuddered and looked frightened. Her lips quivered as she heaved a long sigh.
“It’s best if I don’t meet them.”
Her eyes were somewhat blank and she spoke as if out of the deepest fear in her heart, “In the past 10 years, I knew myself to be of extraordinary nature, one that would allow me to step out of my trauma. I knew I could re-establish my foundation and move forward once again, but in the end, I couldn’t face myself from back then. You wouldn’t understand what kind of feeling it was. From the tip of my toes to the last strand of my hair, every part of me was immersed in incredible pleasure. It felt as my Vital Spirit had flown straight to heaven. I felt lazy all over and couldn’t gather any energy at all. I just wanted to sink into that feeling forever…”
She paused before continuing, “My spirit was utterly and thoroughly destroyed. I knew I would give up everything for that kind of happiness, be it my ego, dignity, loved ones, friends, or future. I would’ve done everything that he ordered me to do…”
Jiang Zhiwei could see the fear of and ‘obedience’ for Amour Monk rooted deep in Xue Lengzhao’s Vital Spirit. Everything would be fine if they never met again but if they did, she might not be able to resist him.
“Huh. Merriment Temple is really a despicable sect, truly worthy of its name as one of the Nine Evil Paths. To emanc.i.p.ate one’s way, intelligence, nature, and void to go down the evil path…” Jiang Zhiwei did not try to persuade Xue Lengzhao and merely said in a quiet voice, “You can only truly break free from your trauma by killing him with your own hands…”
“Kill him?” Xue Lengzhao’s expression changed. “Two years ago, he had already pa.s.sed the first step of the Celestial Ladder… I merely hope that he’ll create so much havoc that someone will kill him as soon as possible…”
Suddenly, a quiet laugh drifted to their ears. “My dear Zhao, you’ve truly missed me, haven’t you? You really didn’t betray all the efforts that I’ve put into you.”
Xue Lengzhao shivered all over when she heard the voice, her expressions changing again and again. Yet all of the changes shared the same similarity: an unspeakable fear as if she was facing a true demon!
From a short distance away, a white-robed man strode through the air toward them. He had a handsome face with eyes that carried a hint of exhaustion and melancholy. It made him look exceedingly charming. Pink lotuses would bloom under his feet with each step that he took.
He was the Peerless Master Pro of the Fourth-fold Heaven of the Exterior realm – Amour Monk of Merriment Temple, also Bliss Mendicant’s Uncle Master. He had once ranked within the top 10 of the Ranking List of Young Masters!
His gaze swept over Xue Lengzhao, who instantly felt weak all over as her mind raced with all kinds of lascivious memories of the past. “W-Why didn’t you go to where the Buddha Aura is…?”
Her voice became quieter and quieter. Amour Monk turned to smile at Jiang Zhiwei.
“Though you’ve altered your appearance, your feminine nature is unmistakably mellow and rich. I’m afraid yours is much superior to that of my dear Zhao’s.”
Jiang Zhiwei’s hand was already on the hilt of her sword.
Inside the Sword Washing Pavilion, an Exterior master stepped inside Su Wuming’s room of hermetic training.
“There’s a beam of Buddha Aura rising somewhere nearby Tan Han. Sect Leader sent me here to ask for your opinion, Junior Brother Su.” There was clear awe in his eyes as he looked at the seemingly blank green-robed young man.
“What does Buddha’s Palm has to do with us?” Su Wuming replied indifferently.
He closed his eyes once again without the slightest bit of concern for the matter.
Next to an una.s.suming grave were gra.s.shoppers hopping on a bed of strange flowers.
Master Lu arched his back and patiently removed the growing weeds.
Ice Fairy was standing next to him, her lips quivering as she mumbled, “Brother-in-law, there’s another beam of Buddha Aura in Tan Han again…”
Master Lu stopped working and smiled. “I won’t be joining them. The way of Buddha isn’t my way. It’s best that I don’t encounter it.”
He added self-mockingly, “It’ll just lead me askew with my current realm…”
He returned to his weeding work, once again resuming his earnest enthusiasm.