Chapter 90: The Great Path of Demon Sealing, a Concept Like a Scripture
The old man put down the oar and looked back at Meng Hao. Laughing, he walked over, poured himself some alcohol, and then took a drink.
“Clear up what confusion?”
Meng Hao held his cup of alcohol and then softly said, “I’m confused about something I read. It said, ‘”Ancient Dao; Tenacious Desire to Seal the Heavens….’” Shock suddenly covered the face of the old man. The blood drained from the face of the young girl. Waves suddenly surged across the North Sea, causing the boat to rock back and forth violently.
“Stop!” cried the old man. The cup of alcohol in his hand suddenly disappeared into a dark mist and he stared at Meng Hao.
Meng Hao gaped.
“Don’t say that again. I can’t explain those words to you. Neither can anyone else in heaven or earth. If you truly seek enlightenment, then enter the heart of the sea.” He closed his mouth and looked at the young girl. Some time passed, and finally her countenance returned to normal. She gave a slight nod.
Meng Hao was silent for a while, before asking, “What do you mean by the heart of the sea?”
In a tone of voice which carried deep profundity, the old man said, “There are things which have been concealed at the bottom of the sea for a thousand years. That is the heart of the sea. If you seek an answer to your questions, perhaps you should also examine your own heart.”
Meng Hao found himself lost in thought for a long time. When he finally looked up, his eyes widened in shock. There was no trace of the old man or the young girl. He was alone on the lake. In fact, the boat had disappeared too.
He stared blankly for a while, until his vision came to focus on a spot some distance away. There, on the far bank, a group of people was lowering a brand new boat into the water. It slowly entered the lake, and then laughter rang out. The sounds of the peoples’ celebratory cheers surrounded the boat.
The boat slowly approached the center of the lake. Rowing it was a middle-aged man, accompanied by a woman and a child. Meng Hao watched as, day after day, year after year, he rowed back and forth across the lake. Many years passed, and the man grew old. The man’s son grew up, and took over rowing the boat. Years and years passed. Generations and generations.
The boat, once brand new, slowly began to crack and grow old. It began to age.
Eventually it grew so dilapidated that it couldn’t be repaired. Like a life that has reached its limit, it couldn’t be forced to go on any further. It slowly sank to the bottom of the lake.
It had lived its life on the surface, and died at the bottom. Its existence had been on the waters of the lake, accompanying generation after generation of mortals who had created it. Other than them, the lake was its entire life.
In its life, the lake was its companion. No one could hear the voice of the lake, but it could. When it sank to the bottom, it died, but was also reborn.
At that moment, it awoke.
The moment it awoke, it saw a young girl standing at the bottom of the lake, smiling at him.
“Will you… accompany me forever?”
“I don’t know how long forever is, but in my past life, I could hear your voice. Now that I’ve died… I want to accompany you. I want you to be part of my next life.” At this moment it came to understand that… it was the spirit of the boat. Listening to the voice of the lake over the countless years had caused the boat’s spirit to come into being.
Before dying, its life had been the waters of the lake. After death, its spirit would protect the lake forever, into eternity.
It was then that a boat once again appeared on the surface of the lake. Inside the boat was a young girl warming a bottle of alcohol. Together, they floated to and fro across the lake.
Meng Hao’s mind shook as he saw all of this transpire in front of him. Everything grew blurry for a moment, and then came back into focus. He was once again in the boat. The old man was there in front of him, grinning at him and holding his cup of alcohol. The girl looked up at him, smiling, her chin resting in her hands.
The old man took a drink. “This is my heart. Do you understand… successor of the Demon Sealing Sect?”
Meng Hao was silent for a moment. Frustration shined in his eyes. He… did not understand.
“Don’t search too hard for an answer. If you do, the answer you find might be false. At some point in your life, perhaps you will be able to find the answer. Don’t give up.” The old man looked at Meng Hao solemnly.
“Big Brother,” said the young girl, “its aura … is beneath your feet. Don’t provoke it. Remember… the great path of Demon Sealing…” Waves once again surged across the lake in all directions, great, tall waves that seemed to touch the sky. Everything turned dark amidst the thunderous roar. The boat sank into the water.
Meng Hao didn’t leap out of the boat. Instead, he closed his eyes. After some time passed, he opened them, and found himself sitting cross-legged on the lakeshore. The lake was still. There were no waves and no boat. What that had just happened had been an illusion.
The girl had not appeared, nor had the old man. Everything had occurred in a dream.
“Its aura is beneath my feet….” Meng Hao’s eyes shone with confusion. He looked down at his feet. He saw nothing but his shoes.
“The great path of Demon Sealing, a concept like a scripture.” Meng Hao frowned, still unable to comprehend the meaning of the words. He slowly got to his feet, then clasped his hands and bowed a third time to the lake.
He looked out at the waters. “I don’t understand today,” he said softly, “but I will achieve enlightenment one day.”
Waves suddenly rippled out upon the lake, seemingly in response to Meng Hao. Meng Hao was just about to leave, when suddenly his eyes flickered. Turning his head, he saw that off in the distance, several beams of light were flying toward him.
“So here you are. The Priest sent us searching for you!”
“Grab him, and then everything will be made clear!”
There were three flashing beams, and three Cultivators. One of them was at the ninth level of Qi Condensation, the others were at the eighth. All three of them rode massive jade flutes. The two eighth-level Cultivators were known to Meng Hao. They were Zhou and Tu of the Winding Stream Sect, who had attempted to chase and kill Meng Hao before.
The person of the ninth level of Qi Condensation was a young man of about thirty years of age. A cold, indifferent look covered his face as he stared at Meng Hao.
They were being followed by five more people who sped along on foot.
Meng Hao’s expression was calm. He gave the people a glance, then ignored them, bowing once again to the North Sea. As he did, the eyes of Zhou and Tu flashed. Their hands flickered with incantation signs, and dark clouds began to accumulate in the sky, accompanied by the rumble of thunder.
The young man of the ninth level slapped his bag of holding, and an enormous drum appeared. He beat the drum once. It emitted a thunderous boom which caused surrounding rocks and dirt to leap up into the air and fly toward Meng Hao.
At the same time, a lightning bolt shot toward Meng Hao. As it approached, he calmly made a fist and punched the lightning.
A boom echoed out as the it shattered, transforming into a multitude of sparks which then dissipated into the air. Meng Hao’s eyes flashed.
“Are you looking to die?!” he shouted. He leaped forward, and a whistling flying sword appeared beneath his feet. He transformed into a multicolored beam of light as he shot toward the three people flying above him. At this moment, the mass of flying dirt and rocks was almost upon him. He punched a fist toward it.
The power of the thirteenth level of Qi Condensation, the great circle of Qi Condensation, erupted within Meng Hao’s body. He was now cut off from the spiritual energy of heaven and earth. However, the approaching cloud of sand and stones was smashed into nothing by the power of his fist. A massive wind rose up. His three opponent’s faces filled with shock as they felt a force like that of a mountain pushing against them.
They spat up blood, especially Zhou and Tu. Their jade flutes shattered, and they retreated, their faces filled with astonishment. Even as they moved backwards, two sword auras shot past them. Their heads flew into the sky, showering blood everywhere. Two Cultivators of the eighth level of Qi Condensation, dead in an instant.
Meng Hao turned and looked at the ninth-level Winding Stream Sect disciple. His face was pale and his body trembled as he retreated. The people on the ground had stopped moving, astonished expressions on their faces.
“What… what is the level of your Cultivation base!?” said the ninth-level Winding Stream Sect disciple, his heart trembling, disbelief covering his face. In his mind, someone of the ninth level of Qi Condensation couldn’t simply kill two eighth-level Cultivators in one instant. Perhaps he was… Foundation Establishment?
However, although Meng Hao emanated an enigmatic air, it was not the power of Foundation Establishment. Therefore, the Winding Stream Sect disciple was incredibly surprised and bewildered.
Even as the words came out of the man’s mouth, Meng Hao moved forward, his face tranquil. Seeing this, the Winding Stream Sect disciple’s heart began to race. He turned and fled.
Unfortunately for him, he was only of the ninth level of Qi Condensation. Even if he could go a bit faster, his speed could never come close to matching Meng Hao, who was of the great circle of Qi Condensation. He had barely begun to flee before Meng Hao was next to him. Meng Hao’s fist descended.
The ninth-level disciple’s pupils constricted, and a profound sense of life-and-death danger encompassed him. With a low shout, he slapped his bag of holding. Several flying swords appeared, as well as a drum and a jade slip covered with mystical carvings.
Meng Hao’s expression did not change in the least bit. His fist continued to descend. The flying swords shattered into pieces. The drum made a crashing sound as it exploded. Next was… the jade slip.
This jade slip could withstand an attack from someone of the ninth level of Qi Condensation. But Meng Hao was of the great circle of Qi Condensation. The jade slip was incapable of blocking him. It was shattered into tiny pieces.
None of these things were even slightly capable of providing a defense. The Winding Stream Sect disciple was now out of magical items. He watched wide-eyed as Meng Hao’s fist came closer and closer, until it landed onto his chest.
A bang rang out. This Winding Stream Sect disciple was famous in his Sect, and was even known throughout the State of Zhao. But now, his chest sank in, and a fountain of blood shot out of his mouth. Like a kite whose string has been severed, he tumbled backwards twenty or thirty meters, dead.
From beginning to end, it took the space of a few breaths for Meng Hao to kill three people!
The rest of the Winding Stream Sect disciples on the ground had looks of profound fear written on their pale faces. It was hard to tell who fled first, because they scattered almost immediately. The only thought in their minds was: run!
Meng Hao’s expression was the same as ever, but inside he sighed. Because of the incident with Yan Ziguo, Meng Hao had learned the importance of leaving behind no witnesses. He knew that killing must be done resolutely. Even though he didn’t want to, attacking… was a necessity.
The old Meng Hao would never have made a move against the fleeing people. But today was different. Meng Hao’s eyes flashed. Ten flying swords flew out, infused with the power of the great circle of Qi Condensation. The quality of the swords was poor, and incapable of containing such power, so they exploded, transforming into countless fragments, which continued to fly forward.
Blood-curdling screams rang out one after another. Each and every one of the fleeing Winding Stream Sect disciples dropped dead.