Chapter 86: Demonic Lamps that Separate Heaven and Earth!
“Break through the seal?” Meng Hao’s eyes glittered as he glanced down at the seven oil lamps on the ground. He looked at them for a moment, then shot toward them.
He ignored the howls of Patriarch Reliance. After pillaging all the previous treasures, he was now certain that the Patriarch wouldn’t be coming out.
“What are you doing!?” In his subterranean chamber, Patriarch Reliance’s fury rose to new heights. However, seeing the look on Meng Hao’s face, fear blossomed in his heart. He was starting to regret having let Meng Hao go. The look in his eyes was even stronger than the look which had appeared when Meng Hao began to steal his treasures.
Ignoring Patriarch Reliance, who he now knew was completely unreliable, Meng Hao stared at the seven lamps. He walked slowly around them, looking contemplative.
Every step he took seemed to land directly onto Patriarch Reliance’s heart.
“It doesn’t matter,” Patriarch Reliance said in an attempt to comfort himself. “This little bastard is only at the ninth level of Qi Condensation. He can’t take any of the spiritual energy from the demonic lamps….” His eyes went wide when he saw Meng Hao, after making a few circles around the lamps, sit down cross-legged to meditate.
Meng Hao sat there, his eyes flashing. He seemed hesitant, but before long, determination filled his eyes.
“Patriarch Reliance deceived me. Taking a few of his precious treasures isn’t enough to calm me down. I’m going to take this spiritual energy as well. Then I will finally be able to relax.” Meng Hao gritted his teeth when he thought about the single low-grade Spirit Stone the Patriarch had given him. And then there was the matter of the poison. As far as Meng Hao was concerned, not dispelling the poison had shoved him onto a road of hopelessness.
“Treasured items can’t absorb the spiritual energy from the seven lamps, because they aren’t sentient…. Fine, I’ll absorb it myself!” He suddenly closed his eyes and rotated his Cultivation base, attempting to breath in the spiritual energy pouring out of the burning oil lamps.
But no matter how he tried to absorb the spiritual energy, as soon as it left the oil lamps, it was sucked into the ground. Deep in his subterranean chamber, Patriarch Reliance let out a great sigh of relief.
“Meng Hao, you little punk, whatever you try will be useless. Do you really dare to try to steal my spiritual power?” Patriarch Reliance let out a hearty, although somewhat bitter, laugh. When it reached Meng Hao’s ears, he frowned for a moment. Then his face became calm again.
“No need to get antsy, Patriarch,” he said coolly. “I’ve only just begun.”
Patriarch Reliance stared in shock.
Meng Hao’s eyes, which he had just closed, moved about as he recalled the image of his battle with Shangguan Xiu, and Little Tiger’s pearl which had enabled him to reach the tenth level of Qi Condensation.
This was the method he wished to employ. He would return to the tenth level of Qi Condensation. Even though the incredible power of the tenth level of Qi Condensation left him cut off from heaven and earth, Meng Hao wanted to see if it could enable him to absorb the spiritual power of the lamps.
The legendary tenth level of Qi Condensation had existed in ancient times, but was now prohibited by the Heavens, cut off. But Meng Hao… had reached the tenth level once before… he had walked the severed path.
As he gathered his thoughts and his breath, his body gradually seemed to grow withered. The slender strand of Spiritual Sense in his head seemed to fill his thoughts. He sank into a strange and unusual state as he focused his entire being on remembering what it had been like to enter the tenth level of Qi Condensation.
Time slipped by. A day, two days, then three. Patriarch Reliance was growing more nervous. He couldn’t quite tell what Meng Hao was doing, but could tell that his body was changing in a very strange way.
“Just what are you doing?” he asked hesitantly, as he came to realize that he was unable to discern what Meng Hao was up to.
On the night of the third day, a tremor shook Meng Hao. His eyes opened, and his body began to tremble violently. Once again he felt power filling his body; he now could employ force strong enough to topple a mountain. At the same time, the powerful gravitational force once again appeared within him, and he was cut off from heaven and earth!
At the moment, he couldn’t absorb any of the spiritual energy of heaven and earth. His eyes glowing, he slowly stood up, fighting to remain in this state. He knew that without Little Tiger’s pearl, he could only hold on for the space of about ten breaths, after which he would sink back down.
He took a deep breath and then took a step forward. As his foot fell, the spiritual power emanating from the lamps quivered. Then, one tiny strand, instead of being sucked into the ground, drifted toward Meng Hao and was absorbed into his body.
When he saw this, Meng Hao’s eyes shone even brighter. As for Patriarch Reliance, his body trembled and a look of astonishment appeared on his face.
“Holy crap!” he cried. “This is impossible!! That’s… the tenth level of Qi Condensation! Dammit. Wasn’t the path to the tenth level severed by the current will of the Heavens? You, you, you…. You got to the tenth level of Qi Condensation?!?!”
Patriarch Reliance let out a miserable cry as he watched Meng Hao take three more steps forward. About ten percent of the spiritual energy from the lamps rushed toward him. As he absorbed it, Patriarch Reliance howled even louder. “How is it possible? The damned tenth level of Qi Condensation isn’t that awesome, but it was prohibited because it has the power to steal good fortune from the Heavens. If it’s strong enough to do that, then as for my spiritual energy… Dammit. And what about my Demon Sealing Jade? Back then, those old bastards said that it could only be taken and used by someone who had reached the thirteenth level of Qi Condensation. This, this….”
After three steps, Meng Hao’s body began to tremble, and he couldn’t go any further. Boundless spiritual energy from the lamps rushed into him. Panting, he sat down and began to meditate, absorbing tremendous amount of spiritual energy. Patriarch Reliance could only howl angrily.
The gravitational force inside him was astonishing, like a starving wolf who hadn’t eaten for years. Vast quantities of spiritual energy were sucked into him, and as it was, his body began to tremble more and more violently. He felt his physical body growing tougher and more powerful. It seemed as if even his bones were absorbing spiritual energy and becoming stronger.
The ancient tenth level of Qi Condensation was a stage of refinement for the physical body. Now here, in Patriarch Reliance’s Immortal’s Cave, he was seizing fortune for himself and entering this ancient state.
This level required lots of spiritual energy. Heaven and earth would not give it, but Patriarch Reliance had prepared a Nascent Soul and six Cores as fuel, and life force as flame. The spiritual energy pouring out of the demonic lamps was the nutrition that Meng Hao needed.
“Meng Hao!!! Stop! Stop! Let’s discuss things a bit. I need that spiritual energy. I really, really need it. DO NOT absorb it! Dammit, cut it out, Meng Hao. That’s my spiritual energy. I went to a lot of trouble killing all those people to get it. My seal! Meng Hao, if you don’t stop, then I will expel you from the Sect!!” Flustered and exasperated, Patriarch Reliance had already forgotten about the treasures Meng Hao had taken, as well as the Demon Sealing Jade. You could say that all the things taken by Meng Hao before couldn’t compare at all with this.
Meng Hao ignored him, continuing to absorb the spiritual energy like mad. His body continued to grow stronger. Soon, cracking sounds could be heard as his skin began to split and new flesh and blood grew.
More and more cracks spread out, and then the old flesh began to fall off. Meng Hao’s hair grew longer, and his eyes brighter. The tenth level of Qi Condensation was now completely solidified within his body!
He would never lose the tenth level again, it was there permanently. In addition to the power of the tenth level of Qi Condensation, Meng Hao realized he had a new ability; if he wished, he could at will return to the ninth level of Qi Condensation to absorb the spiritual energy of heaven and earth, and then return back to the tenth level.
Some time passed, and Meng Hao’s mind began to reel. The remnants of dried up flesh which remained on his body turned into ash and drifted away. His eyes glowed even brighter, and an incredible feeling of power filled Meng Hao. He was completely confident that with the power of the tenth level of Qi Condensation, he could use a single fist… to crush anyone of the ninth level of Qi Condensation.
This power was even stronger than what he had experienced when using Little Tiger’s pearl.
Meng Hao took a deep breath. He stood up, not to leave, but to take another step forward. He was now only five paces away from the seven oil lamps.
Panting furiously, Patriarch Reliance let loose a torrent of intense curses as he watched Meng Hao absorbing an even greater amount of spiritual energy. He had solidified his tenth level of Qi Condensation, but instead of leaving, he moved on. Patriarch Reliance’s heart pounded.
Now, thirteen percent of the spiritual energy emitted by the lamps was rushing toward Meng Hao. As the boundless amount of energy entered his body, a roaring sound filled him. His eyes were filled with determination. He took another step forward. He was now only four paces from the oil lamps.
The flames flickered as even more spiritual energy flew toward Meng Hao. As of now, he was taking sixteen percent!
“The gravitational force within me is not dispersing, it’s actually growing stronger. Is it possible that… after the tenth level of Qi Condensation, there’s an eleventh level?” Gritting his teeth, he called upon the power of the tenth level of Qi Condensation to take another step forward. He was now only three paces from the seven lamps. The flames within the lamps danced wildly as twenty percent of the spiritual energy they produced was sucked up by Meng Hao.
He took a deep breath, then sat down cross-legged to meditate.