The Sage Who Transcended Samsara Chapter 394 - The Three-miles of Tianxiu
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Chapter 394: The Three-miles of Tianxiu
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
The county town of Ying City in River East was a prosperous place, evidenced by the endless terrace dances of Misty Rain Mountain, the perfectly made-up ladies in Yuehu, the rouge that drifted along the three or so mile stretch of the Tianxiu River, and the fragrant aromas of food and wine that wafted out from the paG.o.das to envelope half the town. Then there were the luxuriant incenses within the Samantabhadra Temple, and the thatched roofs and earthy courtyards of the Heart-calming Temple. There was also River East’s renowned Book Lu Academy and the bastion of chivalry and righteousness, the Yuehua Sect, not to mention the aristocratic families that presided over their thousand-year-old legacies.
In Jiang Province, it was second only to the provincial town of Guangling, in terms of its number of Exterior-level masters, and purported to be heaven on earth!
It was a typical walled town in River East, with waterways connecting in all directions. Its three longitudinal and four horizontal gridded structure gave it a reputation as a dragnet that was hard to escape from. When one went boating on the river it meant being surrounded by weeping willows as you man the undulating current. Offset by white walls, black tiles and copper green door-k.n.o.bs, it was altogether too much beauty to take in all at once.
In spite of the freezing winter that had arrived, it was hard to find such beautiful surroundings. Still, with the Lunar New Year coming up, lanterns and streamers had been hung above both banks. The place was brightly illuminated, reflecting off of the surface of the water as if the Milky Way had fallen to earth, lending even more beauty to the spectacle.
Meng Qi was dressed in black clothes, with a long saber hanging from his waist. He was sitting in a small boat, and in front of him was an old man with grey hair pulling some oars. Both sides had extravagant junk, which either followed the current downstream, or went against it upstream. From time to time the sounds of girlish laughter drifted across the water. There were rich notes of harp music, and the sounds of drinking games that people played with their hands. The fragrance of cosmetics wafted lightly in the air. The whole vicinity was illuminated as if it was daytime.
This was the three-mile strip of immorality that made up Tianxiu!
Meng Qi looked around with great interest. From time to time junk went by as he went about viewing the houses on the banks. He was taking in the atmosphere of the waterside town.
From time to time junk would brush past on both sides of the little boat. The men of Jianghu above were leaning against the railings with women in their arms and did not care to look down below as they pa.s.sed, allowing Meng Qi to enjoy an unusual tranquility within the sea of noise.
Meng Qi, sitting upright in the middle of the boat, looked at the old man and smiled, “My dear old fellow, since it is my first time in Ying City, I wonder if there is a place that I must visit.”
The old boatman smiled and said, “It depends on what kind of things you like, young man. If you would like to pay your respects to Buddha then you should take a look at Samantabhadra Temple, where the monks are both well-versed and benevolent. If you would like to pay homage to the origins and enjoy being carefree, then you could take the opportunity to climb the northern mountain on a clear morning for a pot of tea at Heart-calming Temple, wouldn’t that be delightful?”
Meng Qi was taken aback for a moment and then laughed, “My dear old fellow, I didn’t expect you to give me such an elegantly formed verse. People say that the folk of River East are very well read, and today I can believe them.”
The old boatman’s diction had the elegance of a well-versed Confucian scholar.
He self-mockingly said, “Ah, that’s because when I was young, I studied for a few days at the Book Lu Academy. If you place importance on the words of the Saint, then the Book Lu Academy is not a bad place to visit at all. During medieval times, there was once a Saint who gave a sermon there sharing sublime stories with deep meaning to those that listened. Prior to its decline, it was, along with the w.a.n.g family from Zhou County, for a long time a sanctuary to the Confucius Sect.”
“When I heard the part about sermons I got a headache.” Meng Qi laughed teasingly, “Actually I am more interested in food.”
“Food? Then you must visit the paG.o.das, where you should order Beggar’s Chicken, some Yuehu sweet and sour fish, and enjoy a cup of Misty Rain Mountain’s local wine. Even if these don’t suit your palate, at least you will have something to tell your friends later on.” The old boatman recommended, just like that. Then he prattled on, rattling off a list of gourmet cuisine along various streets with great sincerity, all the while completely engrossed in what he was saying.
After some time, he came back to earth, and saw that Meng Qi was still smiling at him, without having lost any interest.
“You are one of those Jianghu heroes, am I right?” He was looking at the particularly obvious long saber at Meng Qi’s waist.
“You have a good eye sir.” Meng Qi praised him rather arrogantly without relaxing the smile on his face.
The old boatman sighed, “Well this old fellow, for most of his days, has not met a Jianghu hero like you before, young man.”
“What makes you say that?” He had the feeling the old boatman was flattering him. In an instant he pulled his spirit together and sat up straighter to listen to the old man’s praise, though his smile was now a little strained.
“Excluding the experts of the Exterior, other Jianghu heroes are too conceited to look you directly in the eye. Some are just plain vulgar and think speaking in such a manner makes them quintessentially liberal and outspoken. Whereas others are like cold fish, unperturbed by worldly matters; otherwise they are learned, refined and polite. With so many different types, such a genuine and easy-going one like yourself young man – a Jianghu hero who always has a smile on his face – is very hard to come by.” The old boatman spoke from the heart.
Since he had boarded he found that the young man always had a smile; at times due to the moving scenery, or the hustle and bustle they were pa.s.sing, at others from the interest in whatever they were talking about. His language was humorous from time to time and he had a mischievous smile. Indeed, spending time with him made one feel better about life in general.
“Haha, the master is always saying that I am too temperamental.” On hearing his praise Meng Qi laughed with all his heart.
At that moment he raised his head to the noise erupting nearby, but all he saw was junk going by. There were some young masters dressed as swordsmen playing Blindman’s Bluff with a harlot. Their decent aural abilities resulted in their repeated success in catching them, her tender sounds bringing forth hoots of delight.
“It’s hard to believe that it is so bitterly cold so close to Lunar New Year, and yet Ying City is so hot from the activites of so many Jianghu folk…” Meng Qi laughed.
The old boatman said, “It is just this year, usually it isn’t like this. The number one on the Ranking List of Young Masters, Shapeless Sword He Jiu, decided to host a banquet in Happycloud Heights. He has invited a few masters from the Ranking List of Young Masters to attend. This has caused quite a stir in Jianghu recently and many young masters and mistresses have come to enjoy the show, if only to watch from the sidelines. It’s still well worth it. There, those on the boat there, they’re in on it.”
He raised his chin.
“Haha, who would have thought the Party of Happycloud would attract so much attention.” Meng Qi lamented more modestly.
“Naturally, the Exterior is like another world, flying about here and there like that, keeping watch over someplace. Then there are even those few that get to ride on horseback and travel all over Jianghu. These people, they’re not like the ordinary people that we come into contact with. There’s even less chance of meeting an Enlightened Master Pro. So, this Ranking List of Young Masters compet.i.tion is a big thing in Jianghu and has brought in most of the Martial Artists students.” Living in an era when Kung Fu had flourished, the old boatman could not help but express some of his interest as they broached the topic of Jianghu and the Ranking List of Young Masters.
He coughed and pulled on both oars, creating ripples in the water. “I keep hearing of how these experts of the Exterior are so… so… omnipotent and Heavenly Knowing, but I knew long ago they were by no means ordinary.”
“Huh, so this is an ordinary person’s opinion of the Exterior? ” Meng Qi was a little shocked, his gaze still fixed on the junk from just now.
On the junk above, a young man in a purple robe who had had a few too many to drink rushed over to the railing and vomited over the side. Spotting Meng Qi watching him he shouted out with the gusto that alcohol brings, “What are you looking at? If you’re so special go hire your own junk. For your mother!”
Meng Qi laughed and kept quiet as the man ranted and raved.
The old boatman gently breathed in and said, “Young man, you’re not like most of the Jianghu heroes. If it were them, concerns for their own self-esteem and self-image would indubitably compel them to fight right now.”
“Ah, so cultured!”
Meng Qi smiled and said, “As a human-being, when a wild dog yaps, should one shout back, or bite it?”
“Hmm, that’s reasonable. For a master to carry themselves at their position, they should not lower themselves to the level of a dog.” The old boatman suddenly saw the light. He felt the metaphor was a pretty good one.
Upon hearing this, Meng Qi nodded. With a serious expression he said, “That’s why I tend to pick up a brick and throw it from a distance.”
“Umm…” The old boatman did not understand and looked perplexed.
By then the boat and the junk had already put some distance between them, all he saw was Meng Qi’s fingers flick and a small piece of wood shoot away from him. The wood landed in front of the lad in the purple robe, which he promptly stood on…
“Kerplunk!” The purple robe lad fell flat on his back, and his cursing and swearing suddenly stopped.
“Just like that.” Meng Qi smiled brightly, showing eight white teeth.
… The old boatman opened his mouth as if he wanted to say something. He was speechless.
The lad in the purple robe got up with some difficulty and, gesturing with his hands and feet, proceeded to report his unfortunate accident to his compadres. The few drunken Young Masters faces immediately went scarlet from shame, and hastily went about instructing the old madame to get the helmsman to turn around and chase after the small boat. They would teach whoever was on the boat a lesson.
Witnessing this scene made the old boatman a little nervous, but seeing how composed Meng Qi was, the smile still on his face, he felt calm again.
The junk relied on sails and had a tailwind, so in no time at all it was gaining on the small boat. The few hot-headed young masters rolled up their sleeves and prepared to board.
Just then, the small boat pa.s.sed by a stone arched bridge, on top of which a few people were crossing.
One was dressed in black clothes. He was carrying a long saber. He had square and not especially outstanding features, but he had the air of a hardened soldier, and his bearing was like that of a sword freshly drawn from the scabbard.
Meng Qi did not pay much attention to the young masters behind him. His eyes scanned the people on the bridge. Suddenly he froze. It was a coincidence!
As if by an invisible force attracting him, the man with the long saber turned his head and locked his gaze on Meng Qi, each man’s pupils reflecting the other.
“The Unstoppable Yan Chong?”
“Killing Blade Su Meng?”
There was almost Knife Qi in their gazes. The river behind Meng Qi erupted with a thunderous noise, and a wave struck the junk.
Meng Qi, a smile still on the corners of his mouth, cupped one hand in the other before his chest and bowed.
Yan Chong nodded his head and with the demeanor of an opponent on equal footing said, “See you at Happycloud Heights.”
After that, he turned his head and said something that brought his stunned companions back to reality. They walked away from the stone arch bridge.
His companions were a mix of male and female, and they kept looking back with wide eyes and stunned expressions on their faces.
“Was that Killing Blade Su Meng?”
The several drunk young masters were instantly sobered by the waves drenching them. Thinking of the two-man stand-off just now made the hairs on the backs of their necks stand-up. Once again they hastily instructed the old madame to turn them around.
The old boatman murmured, “The young man truly is a master.”
Meng Qi quitely accepted his praise and was about to open his mouth when he sensed something. Turning his head, he saw another junk coming downstream.
This junk was quite plain with no notable features and it was illuminated from the inside. The curtains were pulled open in one of the cabins revealing the person inside.
In her plain white dress, she was elegant, dream-like with deep eyes reflecting the fire from the lamps. There seemed to be a night sky strewn with stars in her eyes; bewitching and moving as if they carried both emotion and humor at the same time.
“Demoness Gu Xiaosang!”
“It’s amazing that she would show herself!”
She smiled gleefully as she looked out and took in Meng Qi. Next to her stood a little girl of just a few years, her face a little orb of pink jade. She was wrapped up in a red quilted jacket.
The junk was flowing with the current moving rapidly and in the blink of an eye, the boats would pa.s.s each other. Meng Qi was about to shout out, “Demoness Gu Xiaosang is here!”
That was when Gu Xiaosang pulled the little girl over to her.
Right then and there, the girl looked at Meng Qi and said crisply,
Meng Qi’s mouth gaped open. He had forgotten whatever it was he was going to shout.
The junk entered the ca.n.a.l ahead and he lost track of it. The old boatman pulled on the oars, oblivious to what had just happened. He was about to speak when he realized the young man was dumbfounded.
The Sage Who Transcended Samsara Chapter 394 - The Three-miles of Tianxiu
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The Sage Who Transcended Samsara Chapter 394 - The Three-miles of Tianxiu summary
You're reading The Sage Who Transcended Samsara Chapter 394 - The Three-miles of Tianxiu. This novel has been translated by Updating. Author: Cuttlefish That Loves Diving, 爱潜水的乌贼 already has 55 views.
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