The Sage Who Transcended Samsara Chapter 602 - Gongyang’s Execution
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Chapter 602: Gongyang’s Execution
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
Meng Qi hastily escaped from the city, fleeing to the hills of the west. The Map of Mountains and Rivers replica only had a few more uses. This was a restriction suffered by artifacts replicated from their actual, legendary counterparts. Meng Qi realized that the effects of the Map would not last long and he had to regroup with his company in order to work together to slay Gongyang Zeng!
It was for this very reason that the Far-seeing Eyes and the Omniscient Ears, in their plan to kill Meng Qi and his company, had to stop mid-way in their journey to conjure magical barriers and formation. Then again, their misjudgment of their own powers and their artifacts contributed to their arrogance. Their overconfidence in their strength had caused them to refuse to head back to their lair with the Map laden with Meng Qi and company, spelling their own demise.
Within the short period where the enchantments of the Law Phenomenon and his additional limbs and head would be in effect, his current strength and power would allow him to deter most pract.i.tioners of martial disciplines below the Fourth-fold Heaven. With careful planning and fortuitous opportunities, he might even be able to successfully defeat them single-handedly. Still, Gongyang Zeng was an experienced warrior who has the attainment of the Sixth-fold Heaven within his sight. As a Master of his Clan, Gongyang Zeng would not be lacking potent magical artifacts. Any lapse of carelessness would see them walking down the path once trodden by the Far-seeing Eyes and the Omniscient Ears!
Therefore, Meng Qi’s decision to carry out the a.s.sa.s.sination today was hardly a whim. Everything, from the preliminary implementation of their scheme to their scattered escape routes and their eventual regrouping, was prearranged! At the high hills of the west, they would meet!
With Gongyang Zeng’s disappearance yet to be discovered, Meng Qi fled from the city and made for the hills. The hills were usually quiet and deserted. No one lived in this wilderness.
As far as he could tell, Jiang Zhiwei and Ruan Yushu were not here. Instead, he only saw Zhao Heng, Qi Zhengyan, and Tian Kuo.
With a curious twitch of his brows, he surveyed the surroundings with his spiritual senses. He warily flew over and landed near them.
“Lady Jiang and Lady Ruan disguised themselves as bandits and allowed themselves to be caught and kept within the prison. They are presently confined so I was charged by them to come and report this to the Juzi.” Tian Kuo spoke to Meng Qi via telepathy as he had guessed that Meng Qi had suspicions.
As one of the junior wardens of the prison, Tian Kuo could come and go freely.
Realizing the intricacies of his comrades’ plans, Meng Qi turned to the rest of the company, waved the Map of Mountains and Rivers, and said, “We shall speak of others later. First, let us eliminate Gongyang Zeng!”
“Gongyang Zeng?” Zhao Heng and Tian Kuo exclaimed in unison with fright and surprise. Even Qi Zhengyan could not help being a bit shocked.
“He has secretly taken the Minister of Works, the Master of the Gongyang Family!”
This feat can be likened to the a.s.sa.s.sination of a general despite the protection of his thousands and thousands of soldiers!
Meng Qi continued brusquely, “This can only be done with the help of the Map of Mountains and Rivers. Prepare your artifacts. It will not be able to hold him for long.”
The instruction was for both Zhao Heng and Qi Zhengyan.
“Very well!” Zhao Heng cried, brandis.h.i.+ng the golden G.o.d-tying Rope while Qi Zhengyan positioned himself at the other flank with the Yuxu Apricot Flag in hand.
After recovering from the shock of the revelation, Tian Kuo hastily said, “Masters. The artifacts must be unleashed and operated as swiftly as possible. The Gongyang Family possesses a replica of the true Universe-muddling Pennant. Once activated, the Pennant conceals its wielder’s body and aura from his foes and gives him the ability to flee to long distances in just a few breaths. It is, for all intents and purposes, one of the most potent artifacts for the purpose of escape and flight.”
“Anything else we need to know?” Meng Qi acknowledged the warning with a curt nod. Any instructive reminders could help prevent unexpected ha.s.sles.
Tian Kuo proceeded to report everything that he knew about Gongyang Zeng. At length, he concluded. “Gongyang Zeng is the mastermind of the coup. I implore the Masters to inflict retribution in the name of vanquis.h.i.+ng injustice!”
“So he is the one responsible for the atrocities!” Meng Qi’s eyes squinted and his teeth gritted with anger. Regret, rage, and sorrow swelled in his chest as memories of the death of the King of Chen, the imprisonment of the followers of the school of Mo, and the undertaking of their preaching of Mohism which had been thwarted returned to him.
“And now we shall dispense judgment for treason, vengeance for treachery!”
Meng Qi had never considered himself one who embodied benevolence and generosity in his heart. He took a deep breath and calmed himself, dispelling the myriad of emotions that welled within him. Stillness and peace returned to him as he sought to regain tranquility and serenity of his mind.
He unfurled the Map of Mountains and Rivers. Holding one end of the Map, he shook it toward their center!
With a swish of the Map, a figure emerged from within. In his hands was a heraldic standard, a procession pennant in the dark hues of the Chaotic Void. It began to unleash its powers, masking the existence of its bearer. From the figure’s other hand, he flicked a pebble that glimmered with a supple blush of various shades.
Gongyang Zeng had long been preparing for this exact moment!
Meanwhile, Zhao Heng and Qi Yanzheng had not been idle. The golden cords of the rope hurled forward toward Gongyang Zeng. There were knots on every interval of the rope. Upon each knot were runic scripts that s.h.i.+mmered in the air with ethereal radiance as the rope coiled around Gongyang Zeng.
Images of thousands and thousands of Golden Lotuses bloomed into view, each of them glimmering with a faint but distinct glow of holiness that extended far and wide into the horizons like the far-reaching brightness of the sun!
Pop! Pop! Pop!
The pebble with the blur of colors struck the Golden Lotuses. One by one the lotuses were destroyed by the pebble before heading straight for Meng Qi.
The Yuxu Apricot Flag weakened the force of the pebble as Meng Qi braced for impact. Summoning the amplified strength of the Law Phenomenon technique, he swung the Flowing Fire and his saber toward the pebble.
A small but blinding flash erupted from the point of impact, swallowing the Five-colored Stone whole.
There were flashes of colors as the pebble hit Meng Qi’s face. The golden glow of protection dimmed briefly as the force of the pebble left a welt. His head would have been blown apart or ruptured by the sheer force of the pebble if not for the protection of the Eight Nine Mysteries.
This was a secret treasure of the Seventh-fold Heaven indeed!
The Pennant glimmered with a dull glow and the figure of Gongyang Zeng vanished into thin air. However, the G.o.d-tying Rope had successfully curled itself around him!
Gongyang Zeng returned to view a few paces away from them. He fell to the ground with the Rope wound tightly around him. Runic images shone in the air around the Rope. Its sealing effect restricted the powers of Gongyang Zeng and his Dharmic Form!
With brisk steps, Meng Qi hurried forward and cast the Immortal-sealing Technique and added more layers of magical seals on him.
He looked at Gongyang Zeng who was lying incapacitated on the ground. The eyes of his immobilized foe burned deeply with hate and rage as he glared back in return.
“Minister of Works, did you foresee the coming of this day when you slew His Majesty during your coup?” asked Meng Qi.
He could not help but gloat when he saw his enemy paralyzed before him!
Gongyang Zeng repressed his anxiety and fright. He looked around and saw Tian Kuo. Coldly, he sneered. “It was you!”
He then turned to look at Meng Qi. He roared with laughter and said, “Why such words, Master Su? It is by the Will of Heaven that dynasties are built only by victors. Did Duke Huan of Qi not slay his brother and take his place before he claimed the powers of the Dharmakaya and became the greatest of the Six Hegemons?”
The Duke Huan of Qi was the first de facto leader of the warring states of the Apotheosized World. Now, Gongyang Zeng was using his example to justify his acts of treason.
Unswayed by the crooked words, Meng Qi looked at him and calmly replied. “Yet, the turmoil that scourged the lands did not cease and the world truly fell into a period of upheaval since the incidents of Duke Huan. What justice is there?”
Running out of patience to bandy words with Gongyang Zeng, Meng Qi lifted his saber. He bowed in the direction of Shangying and said,
“His Majesty the Great King treated his subjects with respect and kindness. I am in the debt of His Majesty for his appreciation and his blessing on the efforts of the school of Mo. On this day shall this treacherous wretch be slain as a sacrifice to his greatness!”
Despite the emphatic words, there was no hint of hate or contempt. Certain that Meng Qi was adamant in his resolve to exact judgment, Gongyang Zeng decided not to say much. He closed his eyes and bitterly spoke. “I only regret that I have been wrong to trust the Tian family. I would not be in such a sorry state if not for their treachery. The lot of you would have been reduced to nothing but dust!”
Meng Qi breathed lightly. The Dharmic Forms within him materialized and merged into one as he channeled his power. Darkness formed and cl.u.s.tered around them. He raised the blade high and swung it down with all his power focused on the tip of its edge.
The blade descended with a whining hum. A black dot the size of a pinhole appeared indistinctly before its tip.
The powerful blow was just a fingerbreadth from Gongyang Zeng when his incapacitated body suddenly levitated off the ground and a hideous crack appeared in his large robe that was bound by the G.o.d-tying Rope.
The blade struck Gongyang Zeng mercilessly. He roared with agonizing pain. Meng Qi’s unsparing stroke of d.a.m.nation tore him savagely into bits and pieces, leaving bone fragments and chunks of flesh and blood scattered on the ground.
To ensure that Gongyang Zeng would not have any opportunity to flee, Meng Qi had not relieved him of his raiments and Precious Weapons aside from his s.p.a.ce Ring because that would have required the removal of the G.o.d-tying Rope.
The bits and pieces that littered the ground s.h.i.+fted slowly. They converged with each other to form three words:
“Death to Injustice!”
Like Meng Qi before him, Tian Kuo turned and bowed in the direction of Shangying in respect to the fallen King of Chen.
Taoist Chixia, the grandmaster of the Golden Light Cave, leaped with intense anger when the reports reached his ears from a member of the Gongyang family. He stopped pretending to be a follower of the School of Mo and left the prison, seething furiously. He headed straight for the Gongyang family Manor.
He searched through the manor and found neither the corpse of Gongyang Zeng nor Gongyang Bao. His anger surged further, but there was also a creeping sensation of wariness and dread.
The kinsman of the Gongyang family who had been following behind was filled with doubt and fear. A pract.i.tioner of the Exterior himself, he summoned the guards and servants of the manor and interrogated them about the whereabouts of the Master.
“The Master was livid when he left earlier!”
“He seemed to have gone in the direction of the prison…”
The coherent responses to the interrogation left the Taoist frowning curiously.“Could it be possible that Gongyang Zeng found something? Was he on his way to seek his counsel but some unknown woe had befallen him?”
He looked around and noticed something was not right. Fiercely he asked, “Is this the site where my Martial Nephew Gongyang was slain?”
The kinsman of the Exterior initially nodded in response. However, when he looked closer, he was astonished. “How could this be?”
“There were hardly signs of a scuffle, nor were there scorch marks that would be left if a corpse had been disposed of by incineration!”
The experienced Taoist Chixia studied the surroundings. He thought quietly before exclaiming.
“The Map of Mountains and Rivers!
“The enemies are related to the Small Heaven Cave of Yuxu Mountain!”
“The Map of Mountains and Rivers? That explains it…” The kinsman replied in bewilderment.
Decisively, Taoist Chixia quickly barked orders. “Conjure the magical barriers and seal the entire city before it is too late!”
His orders had barely been heard when another kinsman scrambled back hastily. He was another warrior of the Exterior who had been dispatched to search the ancestral shrine. He cried frantically. “This is bad! The soul lamp of the Master has just been extinguished!”
Crack! The stones in the courtyard were reduced to dust by the huge shockwave that emanated from Taoist Chixia in his rage. He furiously snarled:
“There is no longer a need to seal the city!
“Send my instructions to all the other Clans: Withdraw their men from the prison. Leave their best men and retainers to watch the safety of their own residences. Keep all pract.i.tioners of martial disciplines with levels above the Exterior, important members of the household, and dissenters from the royal family indoors and under their care at all times. No one is to leave their premises.”
“I will watch the entire city of Shangying myself. I shall be looking from the sky above the city while we wait for reinforcements from the Golden Light Cave.”
“We shall not rest till we vanquish Su Mo and his band of wretched followers!”
With the secret treasures that they had redeemed before the start of their mission nearly depleted, Meng Qi ransacked the late Gongyang Zeng’s s.p.a.ce Ring. He hoped to find more secret artifacts that could replace their current ones or be put to use in future combat.
Despite not having the entirety of his stores with him, as the Master of the Clan, Gongyang Zeng’s wealth in the s.p.a.ce Ring greatly dwarfed those of Gongyang Deng and Gongyang Bao. There were close to ten exotic minerals and produce and two Precious Weapons. Both Precious Weapons were top grade: a spear and a sword. Lastly, there were four secret treasures that Meng Qi found even though Gongyang Zeng had already used two earlier!
“A Five-colored Stone, which has the powers of the Fifth- or the Sixth-fold Heaven. An Underground Golden Light Talisman and a Four-colored Lute, both of which are of the Fourth- or the Fifth-fold Heaven. And there is also a replica of the Blinding Bead…” Meng Qi recited the names of the items that he had identified. He was disappointed by the find. The secret treasures would help them if they were to encounter enemies in the earlier stages of the Exterior, but not against any foes with powers above the levels of a grandmaster! Furthermore, they would suffer drawbacks from using any secret treasure above their capability, the Seventh-fold Heaven!”
Tian Kuo reported Jiang Zhiwei and Ruan Yushu’s discovery that powerful warriors of the Exterior had disguised themselves as followers of the School of Mo in prison. It was due to this that they had revealed themselves to Tian Kuo and had charged him to deliver the news to Meng Qi.
“It is as we have expected. An ambush.” Meng Qi’s head bobbed as he mulled over the tale of Tian Kuo and his comrades still in the city. “There may be developments that would arise with the incident of Gongyang Zeng. Master Tian, I would like to request that you return to the prison and send word to my comrades. We need to ascertain the current state of affairs as we bide our time before springing into action.”
“Yes, Juzi.” Tian Kuo cupped one hand in the other before his chest.
On his way back, Tian Kuo saw Taoist Chixia sitting cross-legged high in the sky. Looming over the entire cityscape, the Taoist held in his hand a longbow as he watched the site where most of the peerage had sought refuge, a large area the size of more than ten li. Warily he scanned the horizon, ready to spring into action at the first sign of trouble.
“This will hamper my plans to rescue them…” Tian Kuo grimaced with exasperation. He slipped into the prison and communicated the plans to Jiang Zhiwei and Ruan Yushu.
Zhiwei and Yushu were also troubled by the heightened alert in the entire city. They were examining other options in gloomy silence when an aged but spry voice spoke to them.
“Donors, this Old Taoist may be able to help you with your conundrum, but you have to agree to a condition that this Old Taoist has.”
“Who goes there?” They could hardly believe that somebody had seen through their thoughts! They swiftly repressed their emotions and peered into the prison cell across theirs. Inside it was an old Taoist who was smiling jovially at them.
The elder Taoist clasped his hands together and bowed, indicating that it was he who had spoken to them.
“What is your condition?” Jiang Zhiwei asked brusquely.
“This will require the consent of the Benefactor, Master Su,” the old Taoist said as his gaze turned to Tian Kuo, implying that he wished Tian Kuo to deliver a message.
The Sage Who Transcended Samsara Chapter 602 - Gongyang’s Execution
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The Sage Who Transcended Samsara Chapter 602 - Gongyang’s Execution summary
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