The Sage Who Transcended Samsara 606 The Shard Of The Celestial Cour
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Without any hesitation, Meng Qi approached the pillar of light at the center of the square. Strands of gossamer mist floated lazily around him and the pillar as he made the trade.
There was a bright flash. A small, blue ma.n.u.script appeared in his hands. Meng Qi could feel the keen and deadly aura that emanated from it as if each and every word written within had been infused with the edge of a sharp blade.
He riffled through the pages of the ma.n.u.script carelessly and ended the trade with 980 Karma points to spare.
Jiang Zhiwei stepped into the swirling mist and deposited the Sword of the Sun-penetrating Rainbow, the trunk of the peach sprite, the Golden Essence of Age, and the Crimson Bladed Herb into the pillar of light and proceeded with the refining of her sword.
Streams of brilliant light poured in and bathed Meng Qi and his companions in pure white. When the blinding radiance dissipated, the newly-reforged Sword of the Sun-penetrating Rainbow was seen in Jiang Zhiwei's hands. The sword shone dangerously in her grasp, the cold glint of its blade seemed capable of splitting the sky in two. It has a sacred aura that could ward off all that was evil and foul.
"It is almost close to the highest grade of Precious Weapons. I will need some time to get used to it." Jiang Zhiwei smiled delightedly.
Despite being charged a mere 600 points for the enhancement, the materials alone had cost close to 5,000 points. Most people would rather trade for a new Precious Weapon of high grade from the Dominator than bother to ama.s.s the required points and ingredients for the refining. Nevertheless, the Sword of the Sun-penetrating Rainbow was a weapon that has always been a faithful companion to her, having earned her trust and confidence. Being close to reaching the strength of a Precious Weapon of high grade, Jiang Zhiwei preferred to bear the additional cost of about 1,000 points to ensure success against the risk of failure during the process of refining.
Jiang Zhiwei closed her eyes. A faint glow emanated from her body as she exclaimed excitedly. "I can project my spiritual senses farther with the help of my sword now!"
"Ah?" Meng Qi responded, perplexed and dazed. He surmised that it may have been an ability from the peach sprite that came from the Far-seeing Eyes.
The special abilities held by the Far-seeing Eyes and the Omniscient Ears were most likely innate abilities. It was hardly a surprise that the ingredients derived from their remains had inherited their corresponding traits.
Jiang Zhiwei's eyes trembled with elation as she opened them again. "My spiritual senses can reach as far as two or three hundred miles away with the Sword of the Sun-penetrating Rainbow, although I can hear nothing."
"Very good!" Meng Qi and Zhao Heng cried in unison. The ability was a lesser form of the actual sorcery employed by the Far-seeing Eyes—an ability that rivaled the spiritual senses of martial pract.i.tioners at the level of the Half-step from the Dharmakaya.
Additionally, the Sword had also inherited another distinctive feature of the wood of the peach sprite to ward off all that was evil and foul. The sword has would be even more powerful if used against foes of such vile nature. The newly-added advantage was more important than the enhancement of its sharpness and its Sword Qi.
Jiang Zhiwei looked once more at the central light pillar as she recovered from her amazement. "I shall need to attune my Inner World and the Exterior once more when I reach the level of the Third-fold Heaven. My conformation with the Dharma and Logos of Nature will reshape the essence of my Dharmic Form. I will need to intensify my a.s.similation of the substance of my study in swordsmans.h.i.+p." She reflected aloud.
Jiang Zhiwei has studied many different disciplines of the sword in order to enhance the cognizance and mastery of her own skills. Thus the culmination of her Dharmic Form, "the Form of the Supreme Sword Master" that she had derived from her other persona, the "Supreme Taoist".
"I see, you intend to exchange for other swordplay disciplines of the Exterior levels?" Meng Qi guessed with a chuckle.
"Yes. When we were still in the levels before the Exterior, all other sword disciplines that I had exchanged for were only the Primary Instructions coupled with one or two of the corresponding strokes. All of them were lacking to fully function properly, so I need to complete my mastery of all the missing pieces." Jiang Zhiwei nodded in agreement.
As she spoke, she completed her exchange with the Dominator and expended 4,000 Karma points to acquire the four remaining strokes that she had been lacking from the discipline of the Azuremoon Immortal-falling Swordplay, and another 5,000 points for the Twenty-three Sword Skills of the Six Annihilations technique to help her to completely grasp the Swordplay of the Holy Spirit. The entire transaction left her with only 180 Karma points.
With Jiang Zhiwei's affairs concluded, Meng Qi turned to look at Qi Zhengyan. "Senior Brother Qi, what do you have in mind aside from the Dark Chaos Crystal?"
With the attunement of his Inner World and the Exterior nearing, there were no other avenues of advancement for him save for acquiring the Sixth Level of the "Book of the Chaos" discipline, the "Dark Chaos", at a cost of 2,000 points. Its consummation would be integral to facilitating his pursuit of the attunement in order to advance further.
Qi Zhengyan thought for a moment before he spoke. "As a student of the Huanhua Sword Sect which specializes in the mastery of swordplay, the skills and techniques that were incorporated into the previous levels of the Book of Chaos discipline that I learned are different from swordplay. They required additional efforts of study until my meditation upon the Wordless Stone Stele. It was only afterward that the headway of my mastery progressed smoothly. Hence, I will now exchange for skills for me to harness the energies of the Chaos as auras of Sword Qi to complement my swordplay disciplines."
Upon his attainment of the Exterior, he would be allowed by the elders of his sect to meditate and study the Sword Art of Immortal-given Longevity—one of the most potent disciplines of his martial sect!
"The Demonic Dark-cloud Swordplay?" Jiang Zhiwei and Meng Qi gasped in unison.
The sword discipline was a method of harnessing the energies of Chaos once created by a warrior who had fully mastered the discipline of the Book of Chaos.
With the slightest hint of a nod, Qi Zhengyan said, "Indeed. I wish to exchange for the Primary Instruction of the discipline together with its first five strokes."
The description of the Primary Instruction of the Demonic Dark-cloud Sword depicted its function as a method to rein in the energies of the Chaotic Void as Sword Qi, while the rest of the discipline was composed of mostly sword techniques. The Primary Instruction of the discipline cost 1,000 Karma points, while the first six strokes required 500 points apiece, and the eighth stroke, which would incorporate the collective execution of all seven preceding strokes, would cost 1,000 points.
"Indeed, with the disciplines of the Book of Chaos and those that you learned from the Huanhua Swords Sect, there will be countless possibilities that you can apply to your present skills and techniques," Jiang Zhiwei said in agreement.
Meng Qi nodded his approval as well. "You can use the Book of Chaos discipline to complement your actual sword disciplines in the actual realm, and the other way round in the Samsara realm. Common enemies would never be able to trace your origins."
With no more interest in talking, Qi Zhengyan promptly exchanged for a piece of obsidian that blushed with a hue of darkness, and the Primary Instruction together with the corresponding first five strokes of the Demon Dark-cloud Swordplay. The transaction had cost him 5,500 Karma points, leaving him with only 280 points.
"I also wish to complete the mastery of all the other martial disciplines of the Exterior that I have learned before. The singular strokes of varying disciplines cannot be easily integrated into one unified swordsmans.h.i.+p." Zhao Heng admitted his intentions aloud. Jiang Zhiwei's example had shown him a solution to his conundrum.
A singular stroke of a martial discipline of the Exterior could be a potent and potentially decisive technique against foes below the level of the Exterior. A stroke that could decide the victory or defeat of a duel. Still, their ascension into the levels of the Exterior had opened their eyes to the fact that one or two singular strokes of these martial disciplines could no longer fill their defensive needs, much less for offense. The enemies that they would face henceforth could easily defend themselves against martial disciplines that lacked its integral pieces. Then again, there were cases such as Jiang Zhiwei, a true and deeply talented student in the disciplines of the blade, who could easily turn the bits and pieces that she had learned into a unified set of her own creation—a fresh discipline of swordplay with techniques and strokes that she can freely dispense at will.
Before rising to the ranks of the Exterior, Meng Qi's mastery of the sword and the saber had risen through his fortuitous encounters and the advice that he had received from others. His finesse in using the weapons had been on par with Jiang Zhiwei back then. However, ever since their breakthrough, Jiang Zhiwei's study of the Swordplay Sutra of Supremacy had elevated her over Meng Qi by a huge margin. But then again, Meng Qi's present focus on the Eight Nine Mysteries technique and the Heavenly Golden Scripture pushed him slightly above Jiang Zhiwei in terms of fighting power, and his abilities would continue to grow rapidly in the near future.
"Do you intend to fully complete the discipline of the Emperor's Swordsmans.h.i.+p?" Meng Qi asked with feigned nonchalance, specifically restraining himself from asking if Zhao Heng had "instead referred to the other martial disciplines that he had learned".
This was because Zhao Heng had an inclination not to mention the other skills that he had learned before. Therefore, Meng Qi also refrained from bringing up the subject.
"Indeed. It suits me well," said Zhao Heng. He spent 4,800 Karma points to complete the entire discipline of the Emperor's Swordsmans.h.i.+p, acquiring all that he lacked, from the second stroke to the seventh. The strokes that he redeemed all embodied the different aspects of the True Dragon, a symbol of the Emperor. That left only the eighth and ninth strokes, both of which were techniques of the Dharmakaya level.
Immediately, Zhao Heng redeemed another item that would help his a.s.similation of the True Emperor Seal. The item would help intensify the focus of his powers to unseal his apertures and help him reach the Second-fold Heaven. It cost 1,500 Karma points
Everyone but Ruan Yushu had already decided their course. She had kept quiet all this time.
"What do you have in mind, Yushu?" Meng Qi asked with concern.
With puckered lips, Ruan Yushu said, "I will be trying for the Exterior in just a few months. The study of more music ma.n.u.scripts would merely be distractions. The selection of exotic minerals and produce that I chose earlier for the purpose of my training would be sufficient for now. Besides, the Phoenix-perching Zither has already reached the level of a Precious Weapon..."
Ruan Yushu seemed a bit bothered about the items that she should exchange for.
Meng Qi was still thinking about her conundrum when Ruan Yushu spoke again, "Thus, I intend to redeem a manual that would teach me how to strengthen my music skills and help increase the range of my powers."
"Why bother us with complaints when you have already figured everything out..." The edges of Meng Qi's lips curled with annoyance. He was puzzled, though. He hesitantly asked, "Increase the range of your powers?"
"The music I play now can affect enemies as far as 500 to 1000 meters but no further. The skills of the Exterior levels in the manual will allow me to strike as far as 2000 to 2500 meters." She explained briefly.
"Is it that powerful?" Meng Qi and Zhao Heng exclaimed in amazement.
The music that Ruan Yushu played has always been ranged attacks. When enhanced by the skills that she would learn, it would not be an overstatement to say she would be able to strike before enemies had even seen her!
Ruan Yushu nodded seriously. "So it is."
As she spoke, she showed them the skill on the list of exchangeable skills provided by the Dominator. It was called the "Thousand-mile Ma.s.sacre Tunes", a rarely-seen skill that cost 6,000 Karma Points!
Meng Qi and the others were left speechless by Ruan Yushu's response. They immediately urged her to redeem the skill.
After concluding their individual transactions, the company of five disbursed the 400 Karma Points they had set aside earlier for information about their next task.
The voice of the Dominator of the Six Samsara rumbled frankly.
"A task in the Realm of the Journey to the West: On top of the Five Pillars Mountain, a Shard of the Celestial Court has appeared. Your task shall be to defend the item that rests in the central core of the Celestial Court from the demons that will be coming for it. The prize for success shall be 3,500 Karma points. Failure will result in the forfeiture of the same amount of points."
"The task shall commence after one year."
"The Realm of the Journey to the West!" Meng Qi, Jiang Zhiwei and the others shared grim and dark glances as they recalled agonizing memories of the deaths of Zhang YuanShan, Fu Zhenzhen, and Luo Shengyi.
There was silence for several seconds, broken only when Meng Qi sighed and spoke. "There is no need to elaborate on the perils that await us in the Realm of the Journey to the West. To make matters worse, our task this time involves a Shard of the Celestial Court. We had better prepare ourselves well."
There was no knowing what demons they would have the misfortune of encountering once more, what elements of the realm they would have to endure again, or if they would even be able to enter the Holy Mountain again...
Jiang Zhiwei and the others nodded dismally, the jovial mood for talk had left them as they prepared to leave the Square.
Meng Qi suddenly remembered something. "The Primary Instruction of The Buddha's Palm is presently kept at the Lanke Temple. I can bring anyone with me who is interested to a.s.similate uponit. Are any of you interested?"
Qi Zhengyan shook his head, saying, "The skills of Buddhism are of no good to me."
Meng Qi noticed the huge contrast in how swiftly and resolutely Qi Zhengyan declined and the desperate and hungry demeanor of his past self. He had truly transformed to such a degree.
"Indeed, the Book of Chaos and the disciplines of the Huanhua Swords Sect would be enough to keep your hands full, especially when you have to concentrate on your looming breakthrough." Meng Qi's nodded gently in approval. Then he sn.i.g.g.e.red as he teased. "I wonder what appearances would your Dharmic Form take, Senior Brother Qi? The True Form of the G.o.ddess Nvywa?"
The vein on Qi Zhengyan's forehead bulged in reaction as he turned away.
"Okay, I will follow you to meditate upon it once I have finished the study of my current skills," said Jiang Zhiwei with calm indifference toward Buddhism.
Jiang Zhiwei was always interested in anything related to swordsmans.h.i.+p. Meditating on The Buddha's Palm could inspire her to realize more principles in wielding the sword and help her create her own swordplay discipline.
"I will focus on my breakthrough first before I come to enjoy the tranquility of Buddhism," Ruan Yushu said with a similar pa.s.siveness indicating no desperate hunger but a mere acceptance of anything that could be a boon to her.
Zhao Heng voiced his refusal with a frown. "I am afraid the teachings of Buddhism are contradictory to my course. Moreover, I am afraid I cannot slip away unnoticed. I have to decline."
"That is because you don't know that your brother has a.s.sumed the t.i.tle of the 'Buddhist Emperor'..." Meng Qi grumbled to himself. Still, Meng Qi understood that Zhao Heng's concern was reasonable, so he did not press the issue.
They exchanged a few more words before they all took leave of each other. Once back in the actual realm, Meng Qi looked at the white clouds and the vast blue skies above. All of a sudden, a niggling worry came back to mind.
"How should I solve the quandary of the karma of the Thunder G.o.d from the Ninth Heaven?"
He had recently sensed that the karmic burden he had inherited was beginning to weighing down on his shoulders and affect his feelings!
The Sage Who Transcended Samsara 606 The Shard Of The Celestial Cour
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