Chapter 123: Converging Sense into the Form
The killing intent was incredibly powerful, seemingly capable of causing the ocean to stir. The bridge dripped with blood, and massive waves rolled out across the ocean.
After he finished speaking, the young boy lifted his hand and formed a fist, which then began to descend toward Meng Hao. The ocean of blood roared as waves surged away from the young boy.
Meng Hao’s eyes narrowed. The boy’s Cultivation base was at the late Foundation Establishment stage. But Meng Hao also knew that having entered this place, he must fight. He strode forward, followed by the puppy, who continued to let out threatening yips. Wisps of blood floated around its hand-sized body. It and Meng Hao turned into two beams of prismatic light which shot toward the young boy.
Meng Hao slapped his bag of the Cosmos, and instantly, two wooden swords flew out. Next, he spat out the Lightning Flag, which surrounded him with mist. Like arrows loosed from a bow, he and the puppy slammed into the young boy.
An explosion sounded out. Meng Hao coughed up blood, and the wooden swords went spinning out of control. The Lightning Flag’s mist began to dissipate. Meng Hao and the puppy both shook as they flew backward, spraying blood from their mouths.
The young boy looked coolly at Meng Hao, then lifted his right hand. Behind him, the sea began to roil, and a second arch bridge appeared. The young boy disappeared. On the second bridge, a young man could be seen.
This young man’s appearance was very familiar. He looked just like the boy from the first bridge, except ten years older.
“You can come fight any time you wish,” he said, his voice cool. “If my fist doesn’t kill you, then you can pass to the third bridge.” With this, he closed his eyes and stood there, motionless.
Wiping the blood from his mouth, Meng Hao sat down cross-legged on the first bridge. The attack just now seemed to have been filled with the power of the late Flawless Foundation Establishment stage. Without the protection of the Lightning Flag just now, he surely would have perished.
“No wonder the seven others still haven’t broken through the second matrix in the last day. This Blood Immortal Legacy tournament is no joke. And this is only the second matrix….” After thinking about it for a moment, Meng Hao’s eyes filled with determination.
Taking a deep breath, he consumed a medicinal pill and adjusted his Cultivation base. He also placed a medicinal pill down in front of the puppy, who lapped it up immediately, then settled down in Meng Hao’s lap to recover.
Two days later, Meng Hao’s eyes snapped open. The puppy still lay in his lap, but its injuries seemed to be more than half recovered. It leaped up. Although he hadn’t grown any larger, his aura was different than before.
It seemed as if he had grown closer to Meng Hao, and more vicious toward the rest of the world. Were it not for the high quality of the Qi Condensation level medicinal pills that Meng Hao had given him, it most likely would have perished from his injuries.
“You’re just like I used to be,” said Meng Hao softly, looking at the puppy. “Simple and ordinary, but thrust into the Cultivation world. You have no choice but to change, no choice but to grow stronger and become cold-blooded. You must learn to kill.”
The puppy gazed up at Meng Hao as if he understand his words. It licked Meng Hao’s robe, ran around him in circles a few times, then lay down at his feet.
Meng Hao’s eyes filled with a resolute look. He slowly stood up and then looked toward the second bridge. He smacked the bag of the Cosmos, and a sword rain began to fly out.
One hundred, two hundred, three hundred… five hundred flying swords circled around him! They formed into the shape of a Flying Rain-Dragon. Power from the vibrating Demonic Core within Meng Hao filled his body. He waved both hands in front of him, and the wooden swords appeared, forming the Flying Rain-Dragon’s long fangs. All of this shot at high speed toward the young man on the second bridge.
The young man’s expression did not change. He slowly waved his right hand in a casual fist attack. No waves surged out on the ocean of blood, nor was there any roaring sound; it seemed extremely simplistic in nature. However, much the same as the first young boy’s fist, it did not wait for Meng Hao’s arrival. The vanguard of Meng Hao’s flying swords began to smash to pieces, as if they were colliding with an impenetrable stone wall.
They didn’t all shatter, only the ones in the very center of the lead position. An invisible line appeared, smashing through the flying swords toward Meng Hao. Sensing the imminent deadly threat, Meng Hao threw all the power of his Cultivation base into the lightning mist and sent the two wooden swords in front of him to block. Of his own volition, the puppy flew up toward Meng Hao’s chest, using his back to form a shield. Meng Hao immediately grabbed him and threw him to the side.
A boom rang out that seemed to last forever. Blood shot from Meng Hao’s mouth, and he tumbled backward, spinning like a kite with its string cut. He landed onto the first bridge, coughing up more blood, his face pale. It seemed as if his Dao Pillar would fall to pieces at any moment.
“That attack was many times more horrific than the first attack. And yet, from what I could sense, it only contained the power of the middle Flawless Foundation Establishment stage…. Also, did this dog just jump up to protect me…?” Wiping the blood away, he looked down at the puppy who he had thrown off to the side. It looked up at him worriedly. He rubbed its furry head, then looked back at the young man.
“You somehow managed to pass,” said the young man calmly. “However, given your level of power, unless there is some mishap, you will not be able to pass the third bridge.” He waved his right hand, and immediately a third bridge appeared behind him.
Along with the appearance of the bridge, he vanished. On the third bridge appeared a middle-aged man. He looked just like the young man from the second bridge, except ten years older. Based on the emanations from his Cultivation base, Meng Hao could surmise that the man was at the same level as himself: The early Foundation Establishment stage, with one Dao Pillar! What a shock!
“This is strange,” said Meng Hao, his eyes narrowing. “Why would the third bridge have someone with a Cultivation base like this…? It seems like the order should be opposite….”
“To pass this bridge,” said the man coolly, “you must withstand one of my attacks without coughing up any blood. You have three chances. Each attack will consist of one fist strike. If you fail three times, then you will no longer be qualified to acquire the Legacy, and will be interred into the ocean of blood, and your spirit will become part of the altar.”
Meng Hao said nothing. He sat down cross-legged on the second bridge and took out some medicinal pills. He also gave several to the puppy. Watching the puppy consumed the pills, Meng Hao thought back to how it had leaped to protect him, and a warm feeling filled his heart.
After three days, Meng Hao had recovered quite a bit. The puppy once again opened its eyes, seemingly quite energetic.
Staring at the man on the third bridge, Meng Hao’s eyes filled with thought. In his mind, he reviewed his battles with the young boy from the first bridge and the young man from the second bridge, trying to piece together some clues about what was going on.
Time trickled by until another day had passed. Meng Hao’s heart stirred, and he slowly raised his head. He had thought of a possible solution.
“When the boy attacked, it was with the power of the late Foundation Establishment stage, and it caused the ocean of blood to seethe. That was because the power of the attack emanated outward. As for the young man, even though he was only of the middle Foundation Establishment stage, the power of the attack did not emanate outward. And of my five hundred flying swords, only about twenty were destroyed. It forced me to directly face the fist, head on.
“In these two battles, the Cultivation bases were not the same. Clearly, the most important thing is the technique with which the Cultivation base is utilized!” Meng Hao’s eyes shone with understanding. He was no idiot; he now clearly understood the answer to the problem.
“So, this man’s Cultivation base is the same as mine. But, what power will he put into play…?” Meng Hao looked at him as he slowly stood up. His eyes gleamed with a strange light. At this moment, he didn’t really care about the Legacy of the Blood Immortal. He had suddenly realized that within the nine matrixes…. there were invisible Legacies just about everywhere!
He did not attack immediately. Instead, he stood on the second bridge and experimented a bit. He slowly sent power emanating from this Cultivation base, then attempted to control how the power dissipated. It was very difficult, but Meng Hao was stubborn. That was a fundamental characteristic of his personality. He ignored the passage of time, and soon seven days were gone. He lifted his head. He hadn’t achieved complete control, yet, only about thirty percent or so.
“I can’t keep delaying. I need to check to see if my idea was correct.” His eyes gleaming brightly, he walked toward the old man.
After the space of about ten breaths, Meng Hao tumbled backward, blood spraying from his mouth and a splitting pain filling his head. He landed back on the second bridge, his body quivering, supporting himself with one hand on the greenish wood. He coughed out another mouthful of blood. Next to him, the puppy quivered. One of its legs was broken, and its aura was very weak. Meng Hao looked up slowly at the old man on the third bridge.
“First try. Failure.”
He took a deep breath and sat down cross-legged. He fed some medicinal pills to the puppy to help heal it. After all, it was just as hurt as he was. The puppy’s appearance had changed. Its fur did not look very healthy, and its eyes were dim, but its life force was powerful. Every time it recovered, it emanated more killing intent.
“That man is only at the early Foundation Establishment stage. However, his attack leaked almost no power whatsoever, plus it was filled with a very peculiar feeling…. It seemed as if the fist was not really a fist…. However, I could also tell my seven days of work paid off. I’m on the right track!” He lifted his hand and pushed down between his eyebrows, dissipating some of the pain which wracked his body.
He got to his feet and continued to attempt to exercise control over his power seepage from his Cultivation base. Seven more days passed, and Meng Hao felt that he had about fifty percent control. Although his Cultivation base had not grown, in terms of fighting strength, he had advanced by leaps and bounds.
Meng Hao looked up, his eyes glittering brightly. He and the puppy shot forward, man and dog together, charging the figure on the bridge.
Again, it took the space of ten breaths. Meng Hao flopped backward, spinning over and over, blood showering from his mouth to stain his clothes. However, his eyes were bright.
As for the puppy, it seemed to be changing as Meng Hao gained enlightenment. Its injuries were not as severe this time. It let out a fierce little howl.
“Spiritual Sense! He’s not just coalescing his Cultivation base, he’s adding Spiritual Sense into the fist attack! That makes the fist… capable of striking directly to the Cultivation base!”
Meng Hao took in a deep breath as the glow of enlightenment filled his eyes. He suddenly understood that although the Cultivation base is of critical importance to a Cultivator, when it came to spiritual power and the techniques with which to employ it, control is the key to true might in battle!
He sat down cross-legged and closed his eyes. This time, he spent about two weeks before he opened his eyes. He had been stuck in this matrix for around a month. He had no idea how things were going for the seven others, but as far as Meng Hao was concerned, even if he was in last pace, he had acquired something incredible.
He slowly stood up, flying forward. The puppy seemed to have been reborn in accord to Meng Hao’s enlightenment. It followed Meng Hao, charging directly toward the man on the bridge.
Meng Hao retreated backward eight steps. He slowly lifted his head. His Qi and blood roiled, but there was no trace of blood in his throat. The man pulled back his fist. Meng Hao bowed to him with clasped hands.
“You are enlightened regarding the concept of converging sense into the form; you have passed the second matrix!” The old man nodded and flicked his sleeve. The world around began to crumble.
This chapter was sponsored by Jonathan Aloof, Michelle Blanco, and William Mishak