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Ning Que had almost no experience fighting against a Psyche Master.
However, he did have a lot of fighting experience.
When he realized that the quiet and joyful street in the morning, the hot vapor steaming out of the stuffed bun house, the happy children, the gossiping adults, and the rest of Chang'an city were all disappearing before his eyes, he took the quickest response instead of wasting time being shocked and stricken.
He closed his eyes, drew out the chopper from his waist, and recalled the last image he saw when his eyes were still open, then cut down forcefully following the traces left in his mind.
The dull blade, with chips of wood from the Old Brush Pen Shop, split exactly through the middle of the eyebrows of the middle-aged monk without the slightest deviation.
The grave before Ning Que's eyes was far away, seemingly a thousand miles away.
Yet it was near, seemingly just before the eyes.
He drew out the long and thin podao and slashed it down, as if to split it. The blade, as if it was still carrying the gra.s.s stains from Shubi Lake, precisely hit the grave, moving from a thousand miles away to one step before his eyes, without swerving off by even an inch.
However, the seemingly irresistible slash failed to split open the grave. Innumerable sparks rose up between the blade and the grave, forming one continuous line of fire.
Beyond the slender blade of his podao, Ning Que could see an opening.
On the street side of Chang'an City in the early morning, the middle-aged monk calmly looked ahead with a serene yet firm face, as if unaware of the chopper embracing the morning breeze as it aimed to split apart his eyebrows.
The skinny and shriveled martial monk standing by his side turned over his wrist to bring out an iron rod cast with refined iron, inserting one end in between the flagstones while the other end blocked the chopper.
There was an oppressive clash.
Ning Que closed his eyes, then bent his knees and stood on his tiptoes. He then jumped five feet back towards the street through the rebound force, holding the chopper in front of his chest horizontally. His wrist was s.h.i.+vering and his face was pale.
Chen Pipi, who was witnessing the fight, frowned.
It was a well-acknowledged rule that there would always be a martial cultivator with strong close-combat capabilities standing beside the Psyche Masters or Sword Masters that roamed the world. Thus it was not against the rules of the duel when the skinny and shriveled martial monk intercepted the threat to the middle-aged monk.
Chen Pipi was not aware that Ning Que had no idea about the rules of the cultivation world. He was not angry at the unfair teaming up of the two monks of the White Tower Temple against Ning Que. Instead, he frowned because of the pedestrians that still wore normal expressions on the street.
The children were tearing off the wet and soft paper that covered their meat buns.
The men of the stuffed bun house were collecting copper coins condescendingly and indifferently while sorting buns into the bamboo baskets of their customers. It seemed like they did not even care to utter a word to promote their sales.
Among the customers surrounding the steam oven, some were reprimanding troublemakers who jumped the queue, some were discussing the results of a gambling party from last night, and some were mumbling about the rumors of the imperial palace. Yet when the fresh buns appeared in front of them, they inevitably and immediately stopped talking in order to plunder the buns.
n.o.body noticed the two foreign monks by the side of the street and the appearance of the two gentlemen from the back of the mountain of the Academy. Neither did anyone realize there was a silent and dangerous fight going on by the street side right now. The street was noisy and lively as usual, as the world indulged in harmony and joy.
This was not "body in the mortal world and mind out of the three worlds".
It was arousing the mind through dhyana, and an iron doorframe had been built in front of the common people.
Chen Pipi did not expect the unknown middle-aged sadhu from the White Tower Temple to have such powerful Psyche Power of dhyana, and started to worry about Ning Que.
Ning Que floated backward for several steps.
The lone grave from afar became clearer in his eyes.
The grave was made up of ordinary bluestones and clay without any peculiarities. However, there was no trace left on where he chopped down on the grave.
A thousand miles away, your lone grave lies; my deep sorrows, in whom I can confide?
Looking at the lone grave, Ning Que felt depression and a chill creeping up on him, as if the heat in his body was escaping in strands into the air.
While in the spiritual world, how could there be a physical body?
Ning Que looked at the lone grave a thousand miles away, and he knew that the cold and loneliness he felt from the grave were actually the attacks of Psyche Power of the middle-aged monk in the spiritual world.
This tactic of the Buddhism Sect was brilliant or even magical.
The Psyche Power of the middle-aged monk permeated in like the spring breeze—the gentler it was, the more dangerous it became. Once it came to the extreme point, at the point of no return, the person in it would either sing and dance, or sit and meditate, or get stuck their emotions and never extricate themselves.
Even someone with a purer and more powerful mental state than Ning Que would still find it hard to face or even got lost in the attacks to the psyche of the Buddhism Sect.
Ning Que was an exception, for he had once connected with Master Lotus in the spiritual world.
Master Lotus had a thorough knowledge of Buddhism, Taoism, and diabolism, as well as a shocking level of cultivation, together with the experience of chanting sutras at Xuankong Temple and acting as the guardian of the front gate of the Buddhism Sect. Though he was dying when he connected with Ning Que in the spiritual world, and his residual psyche power was far beneath that of the middle-aged monk from the White Tower Temple, he had a much higher level spirit and realm and the methodical and patient guidance of his psyche power of dhyana was more charming.
A sailor who had once fought violent storms at sea would find it hard to get trapped in a little rivulet. The same was true for Ning Que, who had once witnessed the 70 lotus petals, each of which carried the fragrance of an entirely different world. How could he be moved by a mere grave?
Ning Que remained motionless, with no expression on his face, in front of the coldness and desolation of the grave.
He held on with his heart, concentrated his mind, abandoned the chopper in his hand, and created a horrific spiritual blade larger than a mountain through his Psyche Power, then chopped again towards the grave.
Tough as it was, the grave was crushed immediately.
Not smashed by the small chopper, but crushed by the mountain-like blade!
The hot steam from the stuffed bun house was swept out with the breeze that came in from the crowds rus.h.i.+ng out to the street holding their buns.
The white steam covered the middle-aged monk and Ning Que.
It was as if they were among the clouds, not in the mortal world.
When Ning Que released his right hand, the chopper fell to the ground with a light sound.
He closed his eyes and silently stood in the middle of the crowd.
The middle-aged monk suddenly turned pale, his body s.h.i.+vering fiercely as if he were about to lie down in the clouds and never wake up again.
His palms were brought together slowly but firmly.
The steam clouds gradually became quiet.
The middle-aged monk regained his composure at a snail's pace, refusing to fall.
The grave was crushed by Ning Que into countless fragments of gravel that were sent flying all over the sky.
After the stone rain dissipated, there appeared a giant stone Buddha a dozen feet above the ground.
The stone Buddha looked amiable and benevolent. His opened eyes showed an unspeakable indifference and stateliness, as if thunder and lightning were brewing within them, and were filled with both mercy and rage towards the man in front of it.
Mercy and rage were seemingly two incompatible sentiments.
However, there was a perfect demonstration of both at the same time on the face of the stone Buddha.
Pity for his misfortunes, wrath for his transgressions.
The lips of the stone Buddha compressed into a line—a shallow line carved with a knife as if it had not opened its mouth for thousands of years.
Ning Que looked at the line and recalled the beautiful thin lips of the girl dressed in white.
The stone Buddha did not utter a word.
There was a Buddhist maxim spreading out between heaven and earth. The maxim was of two monosyllables, its meaning was inexplicit, yet it was vigorous and far-reaching.
Gravel was falling to the ground like torrential rain.
Ning Que looked up at the sky and saw the soil and stones coming at him, but he did not know what to do.
The skyful of gravel was like rain, falling upon his body and his face.
When the actual pain of the body was transmitted to his sense of perception, he realized that every inch of his body and his entrails were being struck by the attacks from the Qi of Heaven and Earth.
At that moment, he recalled the scene where old Lyu Qingchen killed the scholar at the crossroads of the Northern Mountain Road.
The scholar had joined the Devil and died.
Ning Que had also joined the Devil, but he had completely merged with it.
How could the invasion of the Qi of Heaven and Earth kill him?
He felt nothing but pain.
The steam from the stuffed bun house still drifted through the street.
The middle-aged monk stood within the cloud and mist, his eyes deep and serene, with a burning spark in their deepest recesses wherefrom originated shock, rage and the l.u.s.t to kill.
He had never expected Ning Que, the youngest and weakest of the Academy, to have such a vigorous Psyche Power that could easily defuse the chilly attack of the gravestone a thousand miles away when his sense of perception was under attack.
What shocked him even more was his failure to injure Ning Que when he controlled the Qi of Heaven and Earth with his Psyche Power to make a direct attack on the body of the cultivator in the form of a skyful of stone rain within the spiritual world!
This horrific body strength was obviously not the defense formed by the safeguarding genuine Qi of an expert at the Peak state of Martial Arts. Then there could be only one reason—a possibility that caused the middle-aged monk's shock and his l.u.s.t to kill.
The palms of the middle-aged monk that were formerly closed together separated from each other right now.
He used his left index finger to dig up a hole from his right palm.
Then he tore off a piece of b.l.o.o.d.y flesh expressionlessly.
After this move, his darkish face grew paler, his eyebrows were showing unmistakable signs of senility, while his face was dried up and filled with layered wrinkles like the waste piles brushed with rainwater.
He wiped the blood and flesh from his right palm on the dried up face.
This was not the evil b.l.o.o.d.y Emblematic Gesture of the Devil's Doctrine.
Rather, it was the most powerful and most resolute Blood Sacrifice to Buddha of the Buddhism Sect.
Disciples of the Buddhism Sect using this tactic would later die, even if they had a deep cultivation realm.
Unless it was for a moment of a crisis happening to the sect or encountering bitter enemies whose hate spanned over generations, no disciple would ever use this skill, which went against the tenets of compa.s.sion of the Buddhism Sect.
When Chen Pipi saw the middle-aged man dig up his palm and wipe his face, he immediately realized what was going on. He was shocked at the resolution of the monk to kill younger brother Ning Que!
At this dangerous moment, he could not help intervening to rescue his younger brother.
His large and wide academy clothes drifted and vibrated like a flag even though there was no breeze.
He slightly bent his index finger in the posture of the Natural Stream Magical Finger, then attacked the middle-aged monk along with the No-Boundary Spirit of the Academy.
Just then, he witnessed something extraordinary.
Something shocking enough to leave him stunned for a moment.
However, victory and defeat in a battle in the spiritual world usually needed just one moment.