The Sage Who Transcended Samsara Chapter 82: Inquiry
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President Wu Jing?
Hearing this name, Meng Qi shuddered and his heart palpitated with fear. Wu Jing was the President of Commandment Hall!
Though he was the youngest among the Wu generation, his cultivation was outstanding. He was almost as competent as the presidents of Dharma Yard and Bodhi Yard. He was also on the Terrestrial Rankings and was known for his keen pursuit of justice, discernment of subtle evidence, non-indulgence, and intransigence. He was the most formidable eminent monk in Shaolin.
The president of Commandment Hall will be inquiring Meng Qi in person. Just what were they suspecting of him?
Falling into a state of uncertainty, Meng Qi saw the door of the meditation room open with a draft of wind. Zhen Miao walked in first, followed by Xuan Kong with a malicious expression. They separated and stood some distance from each other, deferentially making way for another person. A yellow-robed monk walked in, a red ca.s.sock slung over his shoulder.
He was around 40. His skin was deeply tanned. He was ordinary-looking, with sharp facial features.
As the president of Commandment Hall, he was staid and reserved, unlike his subordinates who always subconsciously put on harsh expressions. He did not smile much, but his eyes were full of acuity and grimness.
"This is the President of Commandment Hall, Master Wu Jing." Zhen Miao made the introductions to Meng Qi and Zhen Hui.
After the greeting, Meng Qi immediately felt the suspecting eyes of Wu Jing on him. Like a blade piercing into his flesh, like a glaring sun irradiating the snow, Meng Qi felt like Wu Jing's eyes saw through all his secrets.
Wu Jing withdrew his gaze and stared into Meng Qi's eyes. With a deep voice, he asked,
"Zhen Ding, where did you learn Ananda Oath-breaking Bladesmans.h.i.+p?"
"Ah?" Meng Qi was shocked, his heart surging with terror. He could not believe such a normal wound could betray his secret.
Xuan Kong looked at Wu Jing and saw him nod. He turned to Meng Qi and spoke seriously, "How can a frog at bottom of the well picture the immensity of the earth and the sky? Providential Sight and Omniscient Hearing are more than legendary stories!"
"Without any concealment, you've hacked right into Zhen Chang. How could the president not recognize Peace Quietude Split, the first move of Ananda Oath-breaking Bladesmans.h.i.+p?"
"Speak! Where did you learn Ananda Oath-breaking Bladesmans.h.i.+p? Did you conspire with Zhen Chang and Zhen Yong to steal the scriptures, and then turned on each for the share? Did you stash away the copy of Muscle-bone Strengthening Scripture?"
The barrage of questions was like bombs exploding in Meng Qi's heart. Though he knew Shaolin was guarded by many masters of the Dharmakaya level, he still did not act carefully enough.
"I, I..." Meng Qi was brainstorming for an excuse. The danger of being obliterated by the Dominator of Samsara in Six Realms was like a pike prodding his back. He could not simply tell the truth.
"He learned Ananda Oath-breaking Bladesmans.h.i.+p through accidentally watching our master practice it." Zhen Hui spoke out of nowhere with his ingenuous expression, ignorant of the severity of this affair.
"Accidentally?" Xuan Kong repeated, sneering. "Who can learn an Exterior level blade move through Gist of Trueness simply through accidentally watching someone practice?"
Zhen Ding must have learned the Gist of Trueness of Peace Quietude Split because he was able to wound Zhen Chang, who had achieved primary levels of Luohan Exorcism Supreme Art and Prajna Palm.
Hearing this for the first time, Zhen Miao looked at Meng Qi in awe. No wonder he could wound Zhen Chang! But Ananda Oath-breaking Bladesmans.h.i.+p ought to be imparted privately. If he could learn the Gist of Trueness in such a short time, his talent for bladesmans.h.i.+p should be on a prodigious level!
After all, Meng Qi had confronted death and other hazards before, so he collected himself quickly and tried to be a.s.sertive. "President, Uncle Master Xuan Ku, it's true. It seems that I have a particular affinity for Ananda Oath-breaking Bladesmans.h.i.+p. After seeing my master practicing it by accident, I contemplated on it while practicing in the stupa, where I was a.s.signed to practice Golden Bell s.h.i.+eld. The overwhelming mortal dust in my mind at that time was like a burning furnace, in which the Gist of Trueness of the Buddha was forged somehow."
If he were Zhen Miao, he would not buy his own words. But this was the only possible way for him to argue.
"Is there any relations.h.i.+p between Golden Bell s.h.i.+eld and Ananda Oath-breaking Bladesmans.h.i.+p?" Xuan Kong's face showed dismissal.
But Wu Jing answered approvingly, "Tell me more about your experience."
Meng Qi hurried to describe his experience. Since his experience was true, he could give especially detailed explanations.
While Meng Qi was talking, Wu Jing was staring at him. The pupils deep within his eyes seemed to be concentrating with golden light.
Wu Jing nodded when Meng Qi was done talking. "This is truly your experience of learning Gist of Trueness. But you've indeed lied about having seen your master's practice by accident. No one can learn Gist of Trueness only after seeing the bladesmans.h.i.+p once."
He was rather a.s.sertive. Meng Qi was not sure whether his judgment was out of common sense or his concealed Heavenly Knowing skill.
"President, may you be just. It's true." Meng Qi was afraid of even looking at Wu Jing.
Wu Jing kept silent for a while. While Meng Qi was wondering if he would extort a confession from him with Heavenly Knowing or Kung Fu like 13 Soul-plundering Hands, he suddenly spoke. "Rights and wrongs are already predestined. No one who distorts truth can ever escape punishment. Come with me to Great Buddha's Hall. You will be interrogated by His Abbots.h.i.+p and the other Elders. Think of the consequences along the way. Put down the slaughtering knife, a buddha may arise inside you."
He then walked out. A smug smile appeared on Zhen Kong's morose face, suggesting that he knew Meng Qi would be found guilty as expected.
Facing Wu Jing whose strength was considered top cla.s.s even among the Exterior level masters, Meng Qi naturally dared not defy him nor escape. He could only calm himself down and follow him. He consoled himself that the secret about the Dominator of Samsara in Six Realms would not be discovered with Providential Sight. He was not at all worried about the charge of conspiring with Zhen Yong and Zhen Chang. Since he was innocent, he was not afraid of Heavenly Knowing or other scary skills.
In a daze, Zhen Hui followed as well, not at all realizing that Wu Jing had only questioned Meng Qi alone earlier.
The evening breeze was cold. Walking slowly, Meng Qi concentrated his mind and rid himself of fear and fright.
At that moment, Wu Jing turned back and gave him a look, seemingly having detected the change in his mood.
In Great Buddha's Hall, Meng Qi saw Abott Kong Wen for the first time, also known as the legendary Dragon-subduing Arhat.
The color of his face was a faint golden and his long white brows were drooping. He was thin, with a heavy string of huge beads slung over his chest. Holding a cane with nine tin rings, he stood there looking like the true epitome of detachment from the secular world.
There were also some monks wearing red ca.s.socks, of which Meng Qi knew only a few: the President of Bodhi Yard, Wu Si; the Elder Wu Xiang and Wu De; his own master Xuan Bei.
After greeting the Abbot, Wu Jing briefed them about the whole affair, including his judgment through Heavenly Knowing that Meng Qi had lied.
Wu Xiang, Wu De, the Elders, and the Presidents all nodded and showed trust in Wu Jing. Even if Patriarch Dharma himself reincarnated, before he claimed Dharmakaya, he would also not be able to learn Gist of Trueness of a blade art only through seeing someone practice it once by accident.
"The Buddha is lenient and willing to save every soul. If you sincerely repent, your sin will surely be redeemed." Wu Jing turned to Meng Qi, eyes like lightning.
Meng Qi looked at his master Xuan Bei, who looked expressionless. Just as he wanted to speak, another Elder came in.
"Amitabha Buddha. Your Abbots.h.i.+p, for your information, we haven't found the copy of Muscle-bone Strengthening Scripture down the Body-renouncing Cliff, nor other supreme arts or secret scriptures. Perhaps they were melted in the poisonous lake."
"There are numerous poisonous creatures under the cliff. Many donors who cultivate poisonous Kung Fu like practicing there. We didn't forbid this, only admonish that they kill less and commit less evil," Wu Si, President of Bodhi Yard, said placidly. His brows and beards were all gone, like a stark tree without leaves.
Meng Qi knew what he was suggesting. It was likely some expert of the Exterior level practicing poisonous Kung Fu had received a grand gift that fell from the heaven.
"Amitabha Buddha. Wu Ding, take several Elders with you down the cliff and inquire those donors about it," Abbot Kong Wen said calmly.
Wu Ding was the President of the Sundries Yard, which also included Reception Yard and Ch.o.r.es Yard.
Xuan Kong suddenly spoke, "His Abbots.h.i.+p, Elders, perhaps the parcel had never fallen down the cliff."
He was implying that Meng Qi had stashed the parcel away.
"Zhen Ding, where did you learn Ananda Oath-breaking Bladesmans.h.i.+p?" Wu Jing asked again, with a more intense tone. "Did the Muscle-bone Strengthening Scripture really fell off?"
The loss of the copy of the scripture made Meng Qi shudder with cold sweat. Could it be that he really could not prove his innocence this time?
Meng Qi calmed himself. Under the looks of strictness, indifference, and clemency, he said, "Your Abbots.h.i.+p, Elders, the scripture has indeed fallen off."
"Zhen Ding, where did you learn Ananda Oath-breaking Bladesmans.h.i.+p? Monks are not allowed to lie!" Wu Jing was even sterner.
Meng Qi's heartbeat thumped even quicker. He was hesitant if he should continue to insist or make up other excuses. His palms were oozing cold sweat.
Under such pressure, he could not help feeling fl.u.s.tered.
Just as he clenched his teeth and got ready to tell them another reason, he saw his master Xuan Bei walked out of the line of Elders and kneeled before Abbot Kong Wen.
"Your Abbots.h.i.+p, I plead guilty. I've illegitimately imparted Zhen Ding with Ananda Oath-breaking Bladesmans.h.i.+p."
The Sage Who Transcended Samsara Chapter 82: Inquiry
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The Sage Who Transcended Samsara Chapter 82: Inquiry summary
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