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“Master Da Jue.” Wuxin threw out a clasped-hands greeting to the master who was seated quietly ahead.
“Junior Wuxin, it has been a while.” Though he said that, Master Da Jue’s head remained lowered, and his eyes remained shut as he continued sitting in that meditative posture.
“If it has been that long since we last met, why don’t you open your eyes to have a look at your junior?” Wuxin smiled as he took a step forward.
Following those few soft steps, the rest of the six monks immediately took up a battle-ready stance.
“Even though the Nine Dragon Temple is the number one temple in the borderlands, they do not focus on the martial path. That is why they came up with the Arhat Array. It has been said that once this array takes form, even the mightiest expert in the land cannot hope to escape it.” Wuxin laughed before disappearing in a flash, reappearing beside that jovial monk. “And what about you, master, are you tired from all that smiling?”
“Tired, and yet not tired at the same time.” Master Da Pu answered while still maintaining that same smile on his face.
“No, you are, in fact, tired.” Wuxin smiled as he eyed Da Pu.
“Oh, and why does my junior say that?” asked Da Pu, face unchangingly jovial as before.
“In that previous battle, you were injured, and that’s why I choose you as my first point of escape.” Wuxin stated in a matter-of-fact manner.
Hearing that, the smile on Da Pu’s vanished in an instant to be replaced by a wide-eyed glare of fury, and a punch to Wuxin’s chest. However, Wuxin was already prepared for this. With a nimble twist of his body and a wave of his sleeves, he sent the monk flying with a single strike. This exact move was replicated not too long ago during the fight against Eunuch Jin Xian. Just like before, what looked like a soft, unassuming sleeve actually turned into a deadly weapon in his hands.
“What martial art is that?” Lei Wujie asked,
“That should be an art in the vein of the Sleeves Sword from Jiuhua Mountain but a lot more destructive.” Xiao Se frowned at that point, “Wuxin has taken the initiative by breaking this first point, but…”
It was at the moment that the other monks, barring Da Jue who was still sitting in a meditative state, launched a simultaneous attack at Wuxin.
“The Vajra Demon Subjugation Mace, Grand Buddha Palm, Flower Pinching Finger, Vajra Bowl, Heaven and Earth Bag Arts! Good, come at me then!” Faced with the onslaught of blows, Wuxin merely recited the names of each attack, and without a sense of danger of anxiety at all, leaped into the air and spun his sleeves around in a dance. The five monks merely saw a flash before Wuxin’s attack came bearing down on them.
Five monks… so there appeared five Wuxins to deal with them! That was the martial art he had used before in the Grand Sanskrit Temple: the Eight Cardinals Mara Dance.
“Vile fiend, how dare you lure me into depravity!” The wide-eyed, furious Da Huai yelled. However, the vague silhouette of Wuxin didn’t answer him and merely continued to wave his sleeves around in a manner most enchanting. Yet amidst all that dancing, Wuxin managed to dodge every blow sent his way.
It was then that Master Da Huai had the intention of killing him. Palm roaring through the air, he sent out a fully powered strike of the Grand Buddha Palm.
Yet, Wuxin also threw out a palm strike of his own, one that was exactly the same – the Grand Buddha Palm!
At the exact same moment, Master Da Wei’s Flower Pinching Finger was met with that exact same fate. He yelled in shock, “Wuxin, how do you know the Flower Pinching Finger!?”
The bowl in Da Mo’s hands came crashing down with the weight of a thousand jin, yet his Vajra Bowl was met with the exact same strike, forcing his blow back.
Da Wang furiously swung his Vajra Demon Subjugation Mace around, only to be met by his equal in Wuxin’s own Vajra Demon Subjugation Mace.
Da Guan danced around with his Heaven and Earth Bag Arts in an attempt to capture the monk Wuxin, but Wuxin suddenly reappeared behind him, and in his hands was…the exact same bag!
On the sidelines, Lei Wujie and Xiao Se were even more stunned by what they witnessed. Wuxin had already retreated over ten meters away as he continued waving his sleeves about in a dance, yet those monks seemed none the wiser as they flailed about, throwing strikes left and right at thin air while their bodies sweated profusely.
“They’ve been bewitched by the Dance of the Mara?” Lei Wujie turned to face Xiao Se.
Xiao Se shrugged, “looks like those monks from the Nine Dragon Temple aren’t really cut out for martial arts after all.”
“Those were the same not-really-cut-out-for-martial-arts monks that nearly killed me just now?” Lei Wujie scratched his head then. In his mind, he couldn’t help but wonder if he was the one who was actually ‘not cut out for martial arts’.
“What Wuxin is using can’t even be considered in terms of martial arts any longer, they can’t be compared to you.” Xiao Se actually chose not to rub salt in his wounds for once. “Besides, the Arhat Array hasn’t been broken yet.”
Lei Wujie turned to face the meditating Master Da Jue. “All the other monks have already made their move, yet that golden frocked monk still seems extremely nonchalant about it.”
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“He’s Master Da Jue, the abbot of Nine Dragon Temple; he’s Wuchan’s martial arts teacher.” Xiao Se’s brows were slightly raised as he continued, “just his Vajra Demon Subjugation Divine Skill alone is enough to triumph over all six of those monks, I’m afraid he isn’t as simple as you think…”
“Master Da Jue, if you still won’t open your eyes, I’m afraid your junior brothers might just end up dying.” Wuxin suddenly cut in with a clarion laugh.
“And what if this old monk doesn’t open his eyes, junior Wuxin?” Master Da Jue asked in a deep voice.
“Then those in the array will definitely die.” Wuxin answered firmly as he continued dancing.
“Why must you force this matter, this old monk has been close friends with Wangyou for over thirty years…” Da Jue sighed.
“You seem to be full of rubbish today, Master Da Jue. If you don’t open your eyes now, do you think those junior brothers of yours will survive past a joss stick’s worth of time?”
“Sigh.” Master Da Jue lightly sighed and finally opened his eyes slowly.
In that instant, all manners of demons vanished!
Da Hua, Da Wei, Da Guan, Da Mo, and Da Wang were all exhausted at this point. For every strike they threw out, the Wuxin in front of them threw out an exact copy. At times, Wuxin even struck before they could execute their moves. After ten rounds or so of such abuse, not only were their bodies spent, their heads were spinning as well, bordering on the verge of collapse.
Yet the moment Master Da Jue opened his eyes, it was as if an illuminating light was lit in their brains. The fiendish Wuxin in front of them began to fade. Master Da Huai managed to throw out another Grand Buddha Palm, missing in the process, before realizing that there was no more Wuxin in front of him.
All there was was a Wuxin, standing a good ten meters away from them, with his sleeves folded and a smile on his face as he addressed Master Da Jue, “A heart that is clear like a mirror brooks no evil. Who would have thought that you, Master Da Jue, has already cultivated the Bodhi Internal Arts to such an extent.”
“Vile fiend!” Master Da Huai howled.
“It’s not this humble monk who is a fiend, it’s you, master, who has lost your Buddhist heart. It was said that when the Gautama became a Buddha, the Mara quaked in terror. Fearing the Buddha, the Mara dispatched all the demonesses under him, of all shapes and forms, every one more bewitching than the other, to tempt the Buddha. Yet to the Buddha, these women might as well have been skeletons with meat thrown on, their temptations easily broken.” Wuxin shook his head. Whenever he spoke of such Buddhist parables, his mouth always had a grin on it, though his tone was grave.
Da Huai was stunned for a second before answering, “This junior’s demonic nature is too overwhelming for this old monk’s Buddhist Heart, if he wishes for this old monk to fall to depravity, this old monk has no choice either.”
“That’s just really…” Wuxin frowned slightly as he gave the following sentence a little thought, “shameless!”
It was then that Lei Wujie burst out laughing, paying no heed to the time or place at all. At the side, Xiao Se couldn’t help but roll his eyes.
Master Da Huai was furious, but he dared not approach out of fear of Wuxin’s arts.
“Wuxin, when was the first time this old monk crossed paths with you?” Master Da Jue finally stood up. In actuality, his figure was the smallest of the monks present, but his body radiated an indescribable sense of aloofness. It was an aloofness born not of decades of Buddhist cultivation, but rather from true understanding of one’s path.
“Naturally, he remembers. Back then, your junior, Wuxin, had just entered the Snowy Peak Temple four months prior. Master Da Jue debated theology with teacher for over seven days then, before finally leaving with junior martial brother Wuchan.” Wuxin answered.
“In that case, Wuxin, do you know what this old monk’s first thought when he saw you for the first time?” Master Da Jue walked up to him, step by step.
“Buddhism speaks of five abstinences, the abstinence of killing, of stealing, of debauchery, of slandering, and of drinking. By this humble monk’s guess, Master Da Jue must have broken the first abstinence when he met this humble monk.” Wuxin answered, smiling as always.
Master Da Jue nodded his head, his benevolent face suddenly turning to fury as he yelled, “THAT’S RIGHT! From the first moment I met you, I wanted to kill you!”
Suddenly, Master Da Jue’s figure grew by over an inch and his practically exploded in size!
“What manner of martial art is that?!” Lei Wujie yelled. He had never seen such a skill before, one that could change a human’s body in an instant like that.
“Unshakeable, impenetrable, unbreakable and invincible.” Xiao Se’s face had on a rare expression of graveness right now. “That’s one of the ten ultimate arts of Buddhism, the Unbreakable Vajra Body Art.”
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