Chapter 105: Poison Blossoms in the Right Eye
There is a wide plain on the border of the State of Eastern Emergence, in the center of the Southern Domain. There, the glow of a teleportation spell appeared, then faded. Outside of the teleportation portal, seven or eight Cultivators of the Qi Condensation stage sat cross-legged. They stood up as Meng Hao appeared, saluting him with clasped hands.
These Cultivators were posted here to defend the teleportation portal and to receive visitors to the village. When Meng Hao appeared and they sensed the deepness of his Cultivation base, their respect for him grew even greater.
Meng Hao walked out of the teleportation portal. His eyes swept over the Cultivators, then flickered up to the sky above the wide plain. Everything looked unfamiliar. He glanced back at the portal spell, marveling at the range of its teleportation.
Ignoring the surrounding Cultivators, Meng Hao shot up into the sky. He did not use a flying sword or the enormous green leaf or the treasured fan, but rather his Cultivation base. His body transformed into a prismatic beam of light as he disappeared into the distance.
The seven or eight Cultivators watched as he left, their veneration for him growing.
“I wonder if I’ll ever be able to become a powerful Foundation Establishment expert….”
“Stop dreaming. Even if you did reach Foundation Establishment, at the very best you would have a Fractured Foundation. People like us can only imagine what it would be like. Only people groomed by the great Sects have a chance to get a Foundation Establishment Pill. And even amongst the great Sects, the numbers who do are few. Most people go their whole lives without even touching one.”
“Even with a Foundation Establishment Pill, people with latent talent like ours would only have a tiny chance of succeeding. Ah, the Foundation Establishment stage… that is true power!” The Cultivators sighed. Being assigned to guard duty in this location, they rarely had a chance to see Foundation Establishment Cultivators. Seeing Meng Hao had filled their hearts with admiration and envy.
Days passed, and the entire time, Meng Hao did not use any flight-bestowing treasures, even though it forced him to waste a bit of spiritual power. He was as cautious as ever; this was the center of the Southern Domain, and he knew he had to be especially careful.
He had offended too many people from here; the Violet Fate Sect, obviously, as well as Eccentric Song and Wang Tengfei. Time passed, and soon he neared the State of Eastern Emergence. The closer he got, the more cautious he grew.
During the past months, he had attempted to use the Eighth Demon Sealing Hex almost every day. However, no matter what he did, he wasn’t able to gain the enlightenment he needed. Everything seemed a blur.
Ten days after leaving the teleportation portal, Meng Hao was flying along, when suddenly his expression changed. His body trembled, and he fell out of the sky, his face pale. He hit the ground running, making a beeline for a nearby forest. He waved his hand toward a tree up ahead that was large enough for three people to encircle with their arms. The tree cracked open, sending splinters of wood out into the air. Meng Hao leaped into the fissure, immediately sitting down cross-legged. His face was turning a deep purple color, and his body was trembling. He spat out the Lightning Flag, which immediately transformed into a protective lightning mist.
He coughed up a mouthful of blood as he attempted to take control of the poison that was flaring up within him.
This time, the flareup lasted for three days. The entire time, Meng Hao sat there, his jaw clenched tight. The pain of the poison within his body felt like insects ripping his insides apart. His eyes were blood red and savage, and would have shocked anyone who could see it. Suddenly, in the pupil of his right eye appeared a demonic face that seemed to be laughing and crying at the same time. Somehow, it also had the appearance of a blossoming flower.
Meng Hao was aware of this. More than ever, he desired to dispel the poison.
On evening of the third day, a vicious wolf wandered into the area and caught the scent of blood. It eyed the cavity in the tree where Meng Hao sat, and then shot forward. Just as it was about to reach the tree, a hand shot out from within, latching onto the wolf’s neck. It squeezed.
A cracking sound could be heard. The wolf didn’t even have a chance to cry out before it died. It twitched for a moment and then went still. His face pale, Meng Hao emerged from the tree. His eyes glittered, shining with an intense killing aura. Every time the poison flared up, he had a stronger desire to kill. The flickering, laughing-crying demonic face in his eye seemed to be having a strange effect on all of the Qi in his body.
Meng Hao looked down at the dead wolf he held. He flicked his hand, and the body was consumed with flames. Ash drifted out from Meng Hao’s hand. The fire flickered on his face. He looked much less a scholar now, and much more a vicious Cultivator.
“In the past two years, the poison has flared up nine times. But this time was different. Why did a demonic face appear within my right eye….?” He reached up and felt his right eye. The demonic face slowly faded away. Meng Hao experimentally circulated his Cultivation base. When he did, the demonic face appeared again. His body transformed into a shining beam of light as he continued on toward the State of Eastern Emergence.
It was a large nation, about ten times larger than the State of Zhao, filled with Cultivators and Sects. The largest of the Sects was the Violet Fate Sect, which acted as the leader of the other Sects.
You could definitely say that the State of Eastern Emergence was the base of operations for the Violet Fate Sect.
Meng Hao knew this, but had no other options. Going around the nation would involve traveling a huge distance. He wanted to get the State of Blue Clouds, where the Black Sieve Sect was, a location actually closer to where the State of Zhao had been, but which was on the other side of the State of Eastern Emergence.
Fortunately, the State of Eastern Emergence was huge, so if he was careful, it shouldn’t be difficult to hide. It wasn’t like the State of Zhao, which was small enough to make searching for people easy. Furthermore, he was no longer of the Qi Condensation stage. Now that he was of the Foundation Establishment stage, he could protect himself much more easily. His decision made, he entered the State of Eastern Emergence.
“If I keep going on in this direction, there is a city of Cultivators.” Meng Hao flew through the air, passing through the border. He wore a long, black robe and a wide bamboo hat. His eyes flickered about as he surveyed the lands of the State of Eastern Emergence. There were few mountains, mostly wide plains. There were cities of mortals scattered about everywhere, connected by trade routes that were filled with horse carts.
The hustle and bustle was far greater than that in the State of Zhao. As he flew through they air, other Foundation Establishment Cultivators flew past him, going in different directions. That was something which would be a rare sight in the State of Zhao.
There were also many Qi Condensation Cultivators. You could say that the spiritual energy throughout the State of Eastern Emergence was greater than that of some of the famous mountains within the State of Zhao. In fact, there were some places where the spiritual energy was so dense that it made Meng Hao apprehensive.
Several days later, Meng Hao finally saw a majestic city rising up in front of him on the horizon!
It would take a mortal many hours to travel fifty kilometers, but Meng Hao arrived at the city gate in less time than it takes an incense stick to burn.
It was currently dusk, and as the sun set over the city, it looked like a gigantic coiling dragon, its head lifted up to look at the heavens.
As he approached the city, he felt a pressure pushing him down from the sky. He landed on the ground and proceeded forward on foot, lifting his head up to gaze at the city. Even though he had seen cities before, this sight moved him. There were other Cultivators around him, some alone, some in groups of four or five.
Above, the sky was completely clear. There was a restrictive spell in place overhead that prevented flight, and the only thing that could be seen was its colorful glow. It made everything seem celestial in nature.
The gate was guarded by Cultivators of the eighth level of Qi Condensation. There were also guards on top of the city walls, and Meng Hao could see that they were of the ninth level of Qi Condensation, on the threshold of reaching Foundation Establishment.
“This is a great city of Cultivators of the Southern Domain…” As he contemplated, Meng Hao began to more fully understand the power the Violet Fate Sect wielded in this great nation.
Meng Hao looked ahead and noticed that as people entered the city gates, they paid a tax of Spirit Stones. Just as he was about to do the same, a whistling scream could be heard approaching in the air.
The sound was very sudden, causing all the Cultivators in the area to lift their heads. Off in the distance, a beam of light shot toward the city.
It was violet-colored, and roughly thirty meters wide. It approached like a screaming, shooting star. In its midst was a middle-aged man wearing a splendid garment. His face was expressionless, and he flew toward the city center as if the restrictive spell emanating from within meant nothing to him.
The pressure exuded by his body sent looks of shock to appear on the faces of the Cultivators on the ground. A wind kicked up, turning into a whirlwind, which swept across the land.
“A Core Formation eccentric. Only people like that can ignore the city’s restrictive spell and fly.”
“Keep your voice down. That’s Reverend Bi Hong of the Violet Fate Sect. They say that years ago, someone from the Cloud Resemblance Sect was disrespectful to him, so he slaughtered the entire Sect. He’s cruel and ruthless.”
The buzz of conversation slowly died out. Meng Hao looked off into the distance, his expression calm, but his heart pounding. Lowering his head, he entered the city.
The largest city of Cultivators he’d ever been in before was Milky Way City in the State of Zhao. Entering this great city in the State of Eastern Emergence, he felt as if his world-view had suddenly expanded. Items used in Cultivation were available everywhere, and tall buildings rose up as far as the eye could see. Qi Condensation and Foundation Establishment Cultivators bustled about, and Meng Hao even caught sight of two Core Formation Cultivators like the Reverend Bi Hong from moments ago.
Meng Hao was the only person wearing a wide bamboo hat, which actually caused many people to turn and look at him. He hesitated a moment before ducking into a random shop. When he came out, the hat was gone. His expression was calm as he walked past several more shops, and then began to walk through some snaking alleys. Suddenly, his body shot backward thirty meters, and his hand shot out like lightning. It came to rest on the neck of a boy of about fifteen or sixteen years of age. Meng Hao lifted him up and pressed him against the wall.
The boy’s Cultivation base was not very high, it was at about the sixth level of Qi Condensation. His body was bony, but his eyes seemed to be filled with wit and cunning. His face twisted as Meng Hao lifted him up. The boy knew that by exerting just a bit of spiritual power, Meng Hao could turn him into ash.
“Why are you following me? I’ll give you one sentence to explain yourself.” Meng Hao’s expression was the same as ever as he held the trembling youth. The young man looked at his black robe and loose, long hair, and it seemed as if death itself were hovering in front of him.
This chapter was sponsored by Metazone, Ralf Hack, Deep Bhattacharya, Chris Sherman, Bernardo Jr. Nemil and Xue Yuyanyuan