The Sage Who Transcended Samsara Chapter 657 - Mind Games
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Chapter 657: Mind Games
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
“Somebody has collapsed!”
“What happened? What is going on?”
Ba Tu’s sudden collapse to the ground startled the pa.s.sersby around. Some ducked away to avoid being implicated, while some came over to help, and the rest kept a distance and watched the commotion grow.
“He is dead!” The Good Samaritan who had knelt to help screamed out loud.
They had not expected such a turn of events. How could a person just die suddenly?
Was it a seizure or a stroke?
Suddenly, a figure emerged from the midst of the gathering crowd. The person announced himself as a student of medicine and began to perform examinations on the corpse under the curious eyes of the onlookers.
“No illness and no injuries either…”, he murmured to himself, pressing Ba Tu’s chest and abdomen.
Suddenly, Ba Tu’s rib cage sagged and cracked opened like a dried husk that crumbled under the force of his hands.
The frontal parts of the corpse split open to reveal nothing inside. The internal organs of the dead person were missing as if they have been gnawed away by ravenous hounds!
The crowd of onlookers flocking around was instantly shocked and terrified by the eerie scene. Everyone fled with fear such that only Ba Tu’s corpse was left lying on the ground without anyone nearby.
Meng Qi and Jiang Zhiwei looked at each other, feeling a creepy sensation tingling down their spines. They were hardly strangers to blood and gore. But this was the first time they encountered something like this.
Meng Qi had felt the presence of life and vigor when Ba Tu had pa.s.sed by him earlier. How was it possible that his internal organs were missing and he was killed so suddenly?
At this moment, there came the loud, shrieking yells of a man who was frightened by the scene.
“The tribes of the prairies are here again!”
“Shaman witchcraft?” Meng Qi and Jiang Zhiwei were left speechless. It was extremely probable that the deed had been done with the help of witchcraft.
Jiang Zhiwei had once been informed about Shaman’s witchcraft during her tutelage in her sect. But it was the first time she had ventured to the outskirts of the prairie gra.s.slands. Thus, she had not thought of it instantly. Meng Qi had experienced venturing into the gra.s.slands of the North, but he had little or no understanding about the witchcraft of Shaman for he had only fought once against a Shaman.
“Could it be that the Wolf-slaying League had done harm to any Shamans?” Meng Qi looked at the corpse of Ba Tu. Without going close to it, they skirted pa.s.s the dead man and returned to Peijing.
It would be prudent to keep himself relieved of any other matters when the affairs of the Northern gra.s.slands no longer mattered to him!
Back at the inn, Taoist Chong He was already waiting for Meng Qi and Jiang Zhiwei, in the guise of the Primogenitor Lingbao.
“I will not worry too much since the matter has already been recounted to the Lord of Purity and Magic,” the elder Taoist spoke calmly.
Taoist Chonghe had been listening to their meeting earlier with Cao Xianzhi. But he would enter the fold under the guise of the Primogenitor Lingbao should the need arise. There was minimal risk of him exposing himself as long as his powers were restrained. There was a likely risk of The Immortals being labeled as insurgents or radicals. But with the guild of The Myths being the most notable example of anarchists, The Immortals’ guild had, after all, undergone heavy scrutiny.
Then again, he would surely refrain from being excessively harsh, for any loss of lives from the Cao Clan would be most unnecessary.
“Unfortunately, it is most likely that the Cao Clan would refuse your request. Otherwise, they will tender a harsh counteroffer,” Meng Qi sighed.
With the cat out of the sac, Meng Qi could not help but feel troubled that the information of the crypt was released to the Cao Clan.
Bu Cao Xianzhi was nevertheless, a member of The Immortals. It would be disrespectful to him if the Primogenitor Lingbao were to suddenly darken his door with such hostilities. The action could never be justified and the virtues on which the guild of The Immortals was founded upon would amount to nothing. Meng Qi was slightly dissatisfied by this, but he understood well the reasoning himself. He himself would be ridden by anger and vengeance if the guild he had joined had plotted against his own kin behind his back.
Moreover, there was nevertheless, the slight chance that Cao Xianzhi might have narcissistic designs of his own to place his own interests above that of the clan’s. This would instead culminate in them working together and Meng Qi would not have to worry about getting himself in trouble. That would be a fair price in exchange.
The Primogenitor Lingbao nodded and remarked, “The Cao Clan will immediately begin a sweep of the surrounding areas of their forbidden grounds once the word of the crypt reaches them. There is no reason to benefit strangers when they have already waited for years and even decades.”
“And they might even sneer at our folly for informing them…” Meng Qi scoffed at himself.
Jiang Zhiwei who had been listening quietly to their exchange suddenly spoke, “But the release of the information of the crypt to the Cao Clan is not entirely a bad move. We can use it to our advantage and mislead them. Otherwise, without any prior information, they would elect to wait and defend their forbidden grounds with heightened readiness. This would not allow us any openings to exploit.”
She was thinking on the brighter side of things.
“The Cao Clan has Divine Weapons, defensive barriers and the chrysalis of a deceased Dharmakaya kin. The defenses of the two main forbidden grounds are so great that I can barely intrude with my current strength unless I can achieve another breakthrough.” The Primogenitor Lingbao pointed out the strength of the Cao Clan.
The Cao Clan commanded formidable strength as one of the greatest n.o.ble families in the lands.
Meng Qi pursed his lips and raked his mind for solutions as his brows frowned in dismay.
“What would the Trickster, w.a.n.g Siyuan and the Demoness, Gu Xiaosang do in such circ.u.mstances?”
The two were the most adept in devising schemes and stratagems amongst all the heroes of his generation. Meng Qi has many times been on the receiving end of their plots and machinations that he could not help but think of both of them when he wanted to make plans of his own.
With great foresight, the Demoness, Gu Xiao Sang focused on her true but mysterious objectives, shrouding them with deceptions. Meng Qi would have long checkmated her if only he could understand the convolution of her thoughts. Instead, w.a.n.g Siyuan was a tad more direct in his approach that he has always left Meng Qi with inklings of his designs. At the very least, he had once counseled Meng Qi that the key to formulating a strategy was to conceal one’s true intent.
“To conceal one’s true intent?”
With a plan slowly coming to hatch in his mind, he heard the voice of the Primogenitor Lingbao breaking his thoughts, “The defenses of the forbidden grounds may be too difficult to be breached. But they can be diverted and mislead, just like what our young friend, Jiang, here has mentioned.”
“W-what the… No wonder people always say ‘experience, like wine, mellows with age’!'” Meng Qi began to string the pieces of input together and a plan materialized!
He giggled, drawing curious glances from the Primogenitor Lingbao and Jiang Zhiwei. Feeling slight pity that he did not have a feathered fan that he could use to fan himself like the fabled Zhuge Liang of old, he revealed his plans slowly, “Would the Cao Clan believe our words completely that we are looking for the hidden crypt? Despite what the Lord of Purity and Magic, Cao Xianzhi, might believe, would the Master of the Cao Clan not suspect that we might have some other designs in mind?”
“Are we pretending to be pursuing a different target?” Jiang Zhiwei caught the gist of his plans.
“Yes!” Meng Qi confirmed with a smile. “The Cao Clan has four different forbidden grounds. The most important to them would be the ancestral shrine at their ancestral residence and the Earth Fairy Lake. The most valuable treasures of the other two forbidden grounds have long been removed. This would leave only leftover residue as well as sites now used by their kin for training purposes. The sentinels of these two forbidden grounds would most likely be, at most, of the First Celestial Ladder.”
“And Cao Xianzhi does not know of my involvement in this matter. His arrangements in the defenses of the grounds have hindered your infiltration. Thus, they would also suspect that the crypt could also be in these two forbidden grounds. We can use this point as a diversion to lead them here.” The Primogenitor Lingbao nodded as he understood Meng Qi’s schemes.
Meng Qi continued intently, “Jiang Zhiwei will first create a diversion there. When the timing is right, I would like to request that you use your secret treasure to prepare and wait for the arrival of their reinforcements before you trap them there.”
“The heightened state of readiness of their defense and suspicions will surely cause them to prepare against our diversionary tactics. Only a portion of their reinforcements will be dispatched there whilst they prepare for other incidents. You, Sir, will then trap them here temporarily with your artifacts and separate the city of Peijing from the outside world!”
“By this, we use the crypt as bait to cripple their defenses and the plans of the Cao Clan.” Jiang Zhiwei’s eyes twinkled as she fully understood Meng Qi’s stratagem.
With the information of the crypt revealed to the Cao Clan, they would try to “mask” their “ulterior motive”, and with this “ulterior motive” the true plans of entering the crypt would be hidden! A plot within plots!
“And finally, you will go to the Earth Fairy Lake to call for help!” The Primogenitor Lingbao continued for him with a thoughtful smile.
Meng Qi laughed and nodded. “Please do create a huge ruckus if possible, Sir. I will transform into a close subordinate of the Master of the clan and pretend to desperately plea for help from the rest at the Earth Fairy Lake. At the end of my message, I will feign death!”
“I may not be able to infiltrate using my transformation techniques, but the defenses would be nothing if the watchers inside were to open the entrance on their own accord!”
The Primogenitor Lingbao continued with a nod, “The seriousness of the matter and the death of the messenger who had come in such dire need will convince the watchers there that an attack is indeed at hand. The defenders of the grandmaster level inside will activate the chrysalis of the deceased Earth Immortal within the Eye of Frost and withdraw from the Earth Fairy Lake with haste. Nothing — not even the Earth Fairy Lake — is more important than the well-being of the Clan.”
“And once the doors are opened, I will use the Conjuration of the Taoist Trinity spell. With one of my doppelgangers to further create diversions, the coast would be clear for you to infiltrate un.o.bstructed. This is a contrivance of the mind indeed.”
“The Conjuration of the Taoist Trinity…” Jiang Zhiwei’s eyes widened and convulsed with shock at the revelation of the Master Primogenitor’s true ident.i.ty.
“There may be no c.h.i.n.ks in their defenses but there will surely be flaws in the hearts of Man. With distress and alarm as a catalyst, even the most impregnable defense would crumble like a thin piece of paper.” Meng Qi concluded with a touch of dramatics.
And once the impartation and the treasures within the crypt were safely secured, Meng Qi was confident that he would be able to withdraw away safely with the ruckus caused by his ruse still in effect.
The stratagem was a hardly complicated plan which was concocted using the knowledge of his former incarnation from Earth which was called “social engineering which depended not on martial skills, but psychology!
Meng Qi would thereafter need to select and a.s.sess an Exterior martial pract.i.tioner of the Cao Clan that he might persuade or control. He would study his quarry and find any weaknesses that he can exploit. Still, it was an undertaking that required time and yet, time was not a commodity that he could afford to luxuriate on and he had hardly any other options.
The three continued their discussion slowly, filling in the missing details as they tried to make their ruse as realistic as possible. At length, Meng Qi gave a long and heavy breath, “For the next two days, I will be tailing a few Exterior pract.i.tioners who are closely trusted by the Master of the clan. I will study and learn their behaviors and mannerisms and try to imitate their aura. It would be best if I can learn of the path of the flow of their genuine Qi on the surface.”
His mood improved suddenly. It would also be all the better for him to save the portion meant for the Cao Clan if they refused to cooperate!
“And I will help to watch the residence of the Cao Clan,” said the Primogenitor Lingbao.
At that moment, Jiang Zhiwei remembered their encounter with Ba Tu earlier. She related the incident to the Primogenitor Lingbao, “… Master Primogenitor, was that real Shaman witchcraft?”
Through their conversations earlier, Jiang Zhiwei had a good idea on the true ident.i.ty of the Primogenitor Lingbao. In the midst of her surprise and shock, she was aware of Taoist Chonghe’s various skirmishes against the scourge from the Northern gra.s.slands. He would most likely have a considerable understanding of Shaman witchcraft.
The Primogenitor Lingbao muttered quietly, “It is most certainly witchcraft used by the Shamans. But they are a revered kind amongst the tribes of the prairies; being charged with the defense of their tribes and rarely leave their abode. What has compelled them to secretly appear in the city of Peijing?”
There was hardly any need for the Shamans to appear themselves in mere matters of trade between the North and the South!
Taoist Chonghe was deeply concerned with the movements of the Shamans, for it could be the precursor of an invasion from the North.
“It could be an internal strife in the gra.s.slands.” Meng Qi admitted and mentioned to them about the Wolf-slaying League.
Taoist Chonghe merely nodded and said nothing.
It was in the dead of night. Meng Qi and Jiang Zhiwei lurked from the shadows around the ancestral residence of the Cao Clan with the Primogenitor Lingbao as a rearguard. Quietly, they watched for any Exterior pract.i.tioners of the clan coming in and out.
Suddenly, the voice of the Primogenitor Lingbao came to them, “At the side door at the west side of the residence. An Exterior pract.i.tioner of the clan comes near.”
The senses of the Primogenitor Lingbao were ten times over that of Meng Qi and Jiang Zhiwei!
“The west side door?” Meng Qi and Jiang Zhiwei hurried there.
They had barely nested into a new hidden position when Meng Qi saw an Exterior pract.i.tioner walking out. He relieved the disciples and the guards watching the gate, sending them off while he remained alone.
“That’s strange…” Meng Qi frowned to his companion via telepathy.
Jiang Zhiwei looked intently at the person, “That is Cao Tai, a pract.i.tioner of the Third-fold Heaven at best, the first-born grandson of the Master of the Cao Clan.”
“He is of the lineage of the Master! An Exterior pract.i.tioner who represents the authority of the Master of the clan!” Meng Qi set aside his doubts and closely studied the movements of Cao Tai as preparations for his transformation.
Suddenly, there was a flash of light outside the door! Two figures draped in dark robes appeared out of thin air!
Their robes are most extraordinary, for they protected their wearers from any spiritual senses and perception!
Cao Tai looked suspiciously around to make sure n.o.body was watching before he allowed the two mysterious strangers to pa.s.s through the magical barriers that protected the residence during nighttime. He then closed the door behind them and followed the cloaked figures into the residence, withdrawing from the sensory of Meng Qi and Jiang Zhiwei.
“This is most suspicious…” Meng Qi muttered.
The Sage Who Transcended Samsara Chapter 657 - Mind Games
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The Sage Who Transcended Samsara Chapter 657 - Mind Games summary
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