Chapter 81: The Patriarch’s Immortal’s Cave
In Patriarch Reliance’s meditation zone, all of the Cultivators from the State of Zhao were staring at the stone stele which had been left behind by Chen Fan 1. With great enthusiasm, they copied the text onto jade slips.
“This stone stele is the Sublime Spirit Scripture!”
“I never imagined it would be so simple to get! Haha! Even though I’ve already established my Foundation, with this scripture, I can form a second Core sea. With this Qi Condensation manual, I can raise the Dao pillars of my Foundation from Fractured to Cracked. It might even be possible to form a Flawless Foundation!”
Lord Revelation approached, followed by the dignified old woman. “No,” she said, “only half of the scripture is here….” She could tell the truth of it from a single glance.
Lord Revelation continued forward a few steps, his eyes shining with a strange light.
Suddenly, the stele, as if it couldn’t withstand being the subject of so many gazes, began to fracture. Popping sounds could be heard as cracks spread out across it. Everyone watched on in shock.
As the cracks spread, the golden characters faded, to be replaced by another set of characters, these ones dim and barely readable. These characters were the second half of the Qi Condensation manual of the Sublime Spirit Scripture.
Before everyone could finish reading the text, a boom rang out and the stone stele exploded, fragmenting into eight pieces.
Eight multicolored beams of light could be seen as the pieces flew off in various directions.
The onlookers were shocked, but immediately scattered about. The seven Core Formation Eccentrics each shot after one of the pieces, as did Lord Revelation. The eighth piece was left to the ten or so Foundation Establishment experts to deal with.
Within an instant, everything was thrown into chaos. Upon scattering, the newcomers discovered that Patriarch Reliance’s meditation zone was filled with magical items, spirit stones and medicinal pills. This of course caused quite a sensation among them. Unfortunately, all of the items were protected with restrictive spells. Unless they could force the spells open, the items were untouchable.
Suddenly, roaring sounds erupted within the meditation zone. Within the gray light appeared multiple figures. With crazed appearances, they charged toward the intruders.
As for Meng Hao, as soon as the chaos broke out, he pulled out a Vorpal Jade Blood Crystal and stepped off to the side. He had used quite a few Blood Crystals the last time he was here, but in the end had two left over, which he’d stuffed into his bag of holding. After pulling one of them out, the crazed automatons which had suddenly appeared refused to approach him.
“I’ve brought everyone here. Now let’s see how Patriarch Reliance deals with them.” Meng Hao’s eyes glittered coldly. He didn’t have any good feelings whatsoever about these people. He watched as they went chasing after the fragments of the stone stele, a cold smile on his face. He couldn’t wait to see them dead.
Of course, the stone stele was a fake. He’d known that the instant it had appeared, a year ago. Exercising caution, he slowly walked forward, avoiding the other Cultivators. He wasn’t sure of the exact location where Patriarch Reliance sat in secluded meditation. But he knew that he couldn’t leave this place until the Patriarch helped him dispel the poison from his body.
Also, there was the reward that the Patriarch had spoken of.
Shortly afterwards, Meng Hao stopped and looked around. Booms filled the air and explosions shook the ground. Off in the distance, he could see the dignified old woman, her hair flying about in disarray as she used one magical art after another to batter a glowing shield in front of her.
Within the glow of the shield was one of the stone stele fragments.
The old woman was of the Core Formation stage. Her attacks caused everything around her to shake wildly. Her magical arts shot out one after another like a silver river, sending out bone-piercing coldness which caused everything around her to freeze into pieces of ice. Within the river, there could be heard what sounded like the shrieks of countless wailing souls from the yellow springs of the underworld. It was as if the river itself had sprung from the nine hells.
She flicked her sleeve, and the murky image of a mountain appeared, bearing down toward the glowing shield. The mountain, which seemed to be composed of stars, solidified into a burning point, which then became black. Despite being black in color, it radiated a bright light.
In a spectacular display, the river and mountain began to interlock with each other.
Meng Hao took a deep breath. The silver strands which surrounded the old woman made it seem as if she had the power to destroy heaven and earth. She could definitely slay him as easily as stepping on an ant. There wouldn’t even be a need for her to use the river from hell or mountain made from stars.
“So this is Core Formation….” Meng Hao watched closely, at the same time moving a bit further away. He didn’t dare to get any closer.
The woman let out a howl, and an explosion reverberated out. Despite being some distance away, Meng Hao’s body was shaken, and he spit up some blood. He moved back further, watching as the woman spit out a round pill from her mouth. The pill was composed of three intertwined colors. As soon as it appeared, Meng Hao felt a sensation as if everything in the world was about to crumble to pieces. In his eyes, this multicolored pill was the beginning and end of everything.
Shining brightly, the pill shot toward the shield, whereupon a massive explosion rang out. Meng Hao continued to retreat backward, his face pale.
“A Core Formation Cultivator could wipe me from existence in the blink of an eye!” As he moved backwards, he thought back to the Dao Protector Wang Xifan 2 from the Wang Clan.
“I’m at the ninth level of Qi Condensation. But even if I could get to the tenth… I would be so weak I couldn’t stand up to a single bit of battle magic from a Core Formation Cultivator!” He stared at the proceedings, continuing to retreat.
“All these people are over one hundred years of age each. In terms of wisdom and experience, I can’t match up to them…. It’s a good thing my schemes just now all worked, otherwise….” When he thought about this, his heart twitched with fear.
“After the Core Formation stage is the Nascent Soul stage. I wonder how truly powerful a Nascent Soul Cultivator is….” When he thought of this, his heart began to thump, and he thought about Eccentric Song, whom he still had never met.
“What is the level of Patriarch Reliance’s Cultivation base again? I remember the Sect Leader talked about it before. He’s at the Spirit Severing stage… That’s even beyond the Nascent Soul stage!” Meng Hao began to pant, and a look of envy appeared in his eyes. Stubbornness filled his heart. He desired to be powerful. He knew that only by being powerful could he avoid being an insect that others could trample upon and crush. Only by being powerful could he achieve his desires and fulfil his dreams.
On a more practical level, only by being powerful would he be able to survive in the Cultivation world!
Meng Hao watched in awe as the power of a Core Formation Cultivator was unleashed. Massive explosions filled Patriarch Reliance’s meditation zones. The explosions did not sound out from one location, but from seven. The entire area filled with thunderous roars, and the various protective spells appeared to be rippling.
The explosions caused by the seven Core Formation Eccentrics seemed as if they would cause the entire place to collapse.
“The Patriarch just said to bring the State of Zhao experts here. He never said what to do after that….” Meng Hao hesitated, and he considered making an escape. But then, a massive roaring sound could be heard, and far off in the distance a beam of light shot up.
From this distance it didn’t look very thick. However, Meng Hao could tell that it must be approximately thirty meters in diameter. It filled the sky of the Immortal’s Cave with its power.
A laugh echoed out from the same direction as the beam of light, and Meng Hao recognized Lord Revelation’s voice. He had obviously broken the shield and acquired one of the fragments of the stone stele.
Just then, another boom rang out, and another beam of light ascended up. This beam shot up from the direction of the dignified old woman. Her hair flew about wildly as the shield shattered. She stepped forward and took the stone stele fragment.
Meanwhile, within the secluded meditation zone, Patriarch Reliance’s eyes shined and he breathed rapidly. His body was gaunt and wizened, and he stared fixedly at seven oil lamps which were spread out in front of him. At first glance, they seemed to be scattered about randomly, but upon closer inspection it was clear that they had been organized in a mystical pattern.
Just now, two of the lamps had been extinguished. The other five flickered weakly.
“The kid was a few months late. I was starting to get more and more nervous. But in the end, he brought the people here!” Excitement filled his eyes as he looked at the oil lamps.
“Extinguish, dammit! These people are so weak. After all this time, they’ve only managed to extinguish two sealing lamps. I’m expending power from my own Cultivation base to weaken them so that the Core Formation level people can handle them. But they still haven’t succeeded. Dammit! Without my training these State of Zhao brats don’t know how to practice Cultivation. Back in the day, I would go beat them up every once in a while. Those people had much better Cultivation bases.” Thinking back to the old days, Patriarch Reliance let out a sigh. His desire to break out of the secluded meditation zone was even stronger than before.
“After I absorb these peoples’ Cultivation bases and scour their memories, I should be able to achieve enlightenment and succeed in my second severing. Then I can carry out my master plan! Dammit! For every severing, I need to achieve Dao enlightenment. Upon success, the severing can proceed. But afterwards, I will be incredibly weak. Without a bit of good fortune to help me recover, the severing can lead to death, and becoming one with the Dao.” Patriarch Reliance ground his teeth. But as he thought of his master plan, a look of hope gleamed in his eyes. It was a look that had existed there for many, many years.
About this time, an explosion thundered out, and another of the lamps in front of him went out. The look of anticipation in his eyes grew stronger.
As for Meng Hao, he stood outside in the meditation zone, trembling with fear. He wasn’t walking around any more. Instead, he had concealed himself in a distant corner, a look of vigilance on his face.
He was waiting for Patriarch Reliance to appear, put an end to these people, then dispel the poison in his body and give him his reward.
A short time later, another thunderous roar could be heard. Lord Revelation and the dignified old woman had joined the others in their struggles. The remaining shields soon broke. The third, fourth, and fifth shields broke…. In the time it takes an incense stick to burn, thunderous explosions rang out constantly. Soon, seven pillars of light shot up into the air.
Finally, the seven Core Formation Cultivators transformed into beams of light as they converged on the final shield, which was currently surrounded by the Foundation Establishment Cultivators.
They combined their powers, and within the space of about ten breaths, a boom shook everything, and an eighth pillar of light climbed upwards. The whole Immortal’s Cave seemed on the verge of collapse.
At this exact moment, amidst the roaring and shaking, massive cracks appeared in the ground. The roaring grew even more intense. The ground seemed to ripple, as if it were going to collapse into nothing.
The experts from the State of Zhao looked shocked at this sudden event. They flew up into the air and looked down at the collapsing earth. Within a moment, the shaking ceased. It was then that they noticed that all of the rubble and cracks had formed into… a massive face!
The face belonged to none other than Patriarch Reliance!
This chapter was sponsored by Patrick Laplante, Zameel Mejia, and Jago Spencer