Chapter 25: Sovereign of the Sky
“This treasure must have a special history.” Meng Hao swung the wooden sword, then stabbed it into the ground. It went in easily. Smiling, Meng Hao pulled it out, even happier than before.
Suddenly, he lifted his head, looking surprised. He sensed that the spiritual energy in the Immortal’s Cave was suddenly thinner than before. Actually, it seemed to have completely disappeared.
Even though there wasn’t originally a huge amount of spiritual energy, for all of it to disappear should not be possible. Spiritual energy was the Qi of heaven and earth, which pulsed through various mountains like great arteries. The Reliance Sect was just such a place. It should be impossible for the spiritual energy to suddenly dry up for no reason.
Curious, Meng Hao stabilized his aura and concentrated, casting his senses about. Suddenly, he looked back at the wooden sword, disbelief covering his face. He had just discovered that all the spiritual energy in the room had been absorbed by the wooden sword.
“The sword… it can absorb spiritual energy?” Meng Hao was shocked. After a moment, he slapped his bag of holding and produced a Spirit Stone. After placing it next to the sword, he watched as the Spirit Stone slowly grew dark over the space of about ten breaths .
He picked the Spirit Stone back up, feeling a bit sad at the loss of a Spirit Stone, but excited at the same time.
“This sword… it truly is a great treasure.” He gazed at the sword with a look of determination, then slowly drew it across one of his fingers. With ease, it sliced open a cut. Meng Hao focused on his Cultivation base. Sure enough, he felt the spiritual energy in his body being sucked out continuously through the cut.
He covered his finger, excitement clear in his eyes. Within moments, the wound had healed, and Meng Hao gazed at the sword, laughing foolishly.
“If I used this sword when battling a magic-user, all I would need to do is cut them, and their spiritual energy would be drained away and I could trample over them. Too bad I only have one. If I had two, or ten, or a hundred, then I could drain my opponent’s spiritual energy even faster. How astonishing would that be…?” An image appeared in his mind of himself wielding a hundred wooden swords, all stabbing into Wang Tengfei’s body.
His journey into the black mountain, and spending all those Spirit Stones, had definitely been worth it.
With that thought, he suddenly took a deep breath and pulled out the copper mirror.
“I wonder how many Spirit Stones…” He hesitated for a moment, but couldn’t stop thinking about how amazing the sword was. He placed it down onto the mirror. As soon as it touched the surface, the mirror flashed, and the sword was sucked inside. Meng Hao had never seen this happen before, and it caused him quite a shock. He tried to grab the mirror to stop it, but was too slow. The wooden sword was gone.
“What’s going on? Dammit, mirror, I went through a lot of painful hardships to get that sword, you, you, you… okay, calm down, calm down.” Panting a bit, he forced himself to grow calm. After considering for some time, he took out a Spirit Stone and placed it onto the mirror. It disappeared.
“Hmm. Has it already started the duplication process?” Meng Hao’s heart thumped, and with an anxious expression, he put in another Spirit Stone. One, two, three… A disheartened expression appeared on his face. The mirror was like a bottomless hole. Before much time had passed, Meng Hao had already put two hundred Spirit Stones into it.
“Dammit, dammit…” He wanted to stop, but refused to get to this point and have nothing to show for it. Also, he knew that if he gave up now, it would essentially mean giving up the mirror’s duplication ability.
He could only endure his frustration and put more Spirit Stones in. Three hundred, four hundred, all the way to one thousand. His face grew pale. His hand shook as he held out another Spirit Stone.
“When will this end, mirror? Are you stealing all the Spirit Stones I just got?” He gritted his teeth. He’d already dropped in one thousand Spirit Stones. He couldn’t give up now. With eyes as bloodshot as a gambling addict, he threw in more Spirit Stones. Finally, when he threw in the two thousandth stone, the mirror began to shine with bright, multicolored light, indicating that the duplication had begun. By this point, Meng Hao was a bit numb. He stared mutely at the multicolored light, which slowly dissipated over a few seconds.
When the light was gone, there were two identical wooden swords on the mirror.
When he saw them, some of the color returned to his face. He picked them up, feeling a mix of emotions from sadness to anger to pain. All he could do was comfort himself.
“It’s okay, no problem,” he muttered to himself through clenched teeth. “What are a couple thousand Spirit Stones worth anyway? Just a trifle. You can’t get something new without giving up something old. It’s worth it to have two of these wooden swords.” He spoke the word “trifle” with a bit of bitterness. He quickly put the copper mirror away and looked again at the two wooden swords. He sat there for a while thinking about their power. Slowly, he began to calm down.
Determination once again filled his eyes. After a while, he put the two treasured wooden swords away. As for the second sword, it was worth two thousand Spirit Stones as far as Meng Hao was concerned.
With a bitter laugh, he sat there cross-legged in meditation, waiting for the spiritual energy in the Immortal’s Cave to return. Suddenly, his eyes opened, and he retrieved the Demonic Core from his bag of holding.
“Even though I just broke through to the fifth level of Qi Condensation, who knows how much progress my Cultivation base will make if I take this pill…”
With a determined look, he swallowed the Demonic Core and closed his eyes. His body began to vibrate. The Demonic Core dissolved into an incredibly dense flood of spiritual energy which instantly inundated Meng Hao.
The density of this spiritual energy was beyond any medicinal pill Meng Hao had ever consumed. In fact, there was no way to even compare it to anything. The Core exploded with a white brightness, sweeping over Meng Hao’s body. Blood sprayed out of his mouth and his body shook. But he held on, and the Core lake grew larger and larger. Moments later, Meng Hao experienced a feeling of boundlessness.
With each pulsing expansion, he felt a severe pain and his body shook even harder. His face grew pale, and he gritted his teeth as hard as he could.
Then, the Core lake began to churn and roil, and an astonishing level of spiritual power began to form. Despite the pain, Meng Hao could sense his Cultivation base expanding from the initial stage of the fifth level to the middle stage. Time passed, although he wasn’t sure how much. Accompanied by the thundering of the Core lake, his Cultivation base climbed even higher to the peak of the fifth level.
Then, his head buzzed, and his Cultivation base suddenly broke through the fifth level and entered… the sixth level of Qi Condensation!
And not just the initial stage of the sixth level, it continued to climb to the middle stage of the sixth level. Then it slowly began to stop. The clothes on Meng Hao’s body had been reduced to ash. Only the bags of holding remained at his side. Black filth completely covered him, but if you looked closely, you would see that his skin sparkled translucently, as if rays of morning sun emanated from it.
His hair was longer, reaching down to his shoulders, and he was a bit taller. His body no longer seemed frail and weak, but rather tall and slender.
His features were still somewhat swarthy, but his countenance shone with a strength too difficult to describe. It was otherworldly.
His Core lake seethed and churned, filling his entire body. Deep in its recesses, the Demonic Core settled down. For some reason, it didn’t dissolve, but rather sat there, unmoving.
If it only just sat there, it would not be anything to think about. But when his Cultivation base reached the sixth level, his head buzzed, and within the buzzing, he felt the indistinct pull of some sort of Legacy. It seemed to be emanating from the Demonic Core, settling onto his mind like a branding iron.
It must be some sort of Blood Legacy from the Flying Rain-Dragon, left for its weak, young offspring. As it had approached death, it fused the Legacy into its Demonic Core. The Demonic python must have intended to consume it after shedding its skin. And of course, Wang Tengfei, possessing a Blood connection to the Legacy, had lusted for the same thing. Sadly… Meng Hao got it first.
Meng Hao suddenly found himself dreaming. He was flying in the middle of the sky, rebuking the highest heavens, rocking the earth, surrounded by churning winds and clouds. He was the Lord of the heavens, and when the other flying beasts looked at him, they trembled as if they had lost the qualification to fly, and would let him slaughter them.
He was the a sovereign of the sky, Chosen, worshiped by all creatures. It seemed as if it were an ancient age, very long ago.
That feeling of flying in the heavens left Meng Hao feeling almost crazy, almost in love with the feeling. He flew for a long time, and the entire time, a multitude of fierce beasts retreated from him in fear, and countless people on the ground prostrated themselves in worship.
With the wind and earth beneath him, only the heavens could match up to him, but he was their equal.
Then, he reached a lake, and he lowered his head to look at himself. He was a dragon, several tens of thousands of meters long, with two, massive wings, each one also several tens of thousands of meters long. He possessed an indescribable power which could shape the world.
His head was fierce and savage, and he had an incredibly long tail. All of it merged together to form a boundless nobility which created an electric buzz in Meng Hao’s mind. His mind seemed to rip open, and a voice rang out.
“I am the Flying Rain-Dragon of ancient times!” It filled his mind, filled the world, and left everything trembling. All the living creatures roared. The ancient Flying Rain-Dragon’s Qi and blood vessels had long since vanished from the earth, but some of its descendants still existed. Although they might be weak, the Legacy still existed.
At that exact moment, on the East Mountain of the Reliance Sect, in his Immortal’s Cave, Wang Tengfei’s face grew dark. The fury in his heart nearly made him go mad. He had tasted failure, and was having a hard time accepting it. No matter how many times he tried to use the Blood Drop to sense the Legacy or his opponent, nothing happened. He didn’t know what was happening.
“Did you find it?” said Wang Tengfei, suppressing the fury in his heart as he lifted his head to look at the young man standing in front of him. It was the other young man who had accompanied him that day in addition to Shangguan Song.
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