Chapter 124: Breaking Through the Matrix
As the world crumbled around him, Meng Hao felt a huge wave of spiritual energy sweeping out, encircling him and the puppy. He breathed in deeply, immediately circulating his Cultivation base and absorbing large quantities of spiritual energy.
The spiritual energy was thick here, even more so than in the first matrix. He had the feeling that if he could practice Cultivation in here for a while, he wouldn’t need any medicinal pills whatsoever to form his second Dao Pillar.
Unfortunately, after absorbing the spiritual energy, some of it seeped out through the crack in the Dao Pillar. If it didn’t, Meng Hao was certain that given a relatively short period of time, he would be able to condense the second Dao Pillar.
“The Perfect Foundation….” A gleam of anticipation appeared in his eyes.
He wasn’t the only excited one. The puppy began to absorb spiritual energy at a rapid rate. Its body slowly began to change. Its Qi grew stronger, although some of it dissipated out, just like Meng Hao’s.
It didn’t last very long, unfortunately. After only three days, the spiritual energy in the area was sucked dry. Meng Hao opened his eyes. He sat cross-legged on a huge platform. Joining him on the platform in various directions were four other figures, all sitting cross-legged in meditation.
At almost the same time that Meng Hao opened his eyes, they did too. All of their respective Blood Divinities were changed in some way.
Although, in terms of change, Meng Hao’s puppy had experienced the most of all. It was now about half the length of an arm. It had blood-red fur, sharp teeth, and glittering claws. It now had a somewhat fierce appearance.
Its eyes were not clear as they had been; a reddish glow was visible within them, as if it had transformed after the recent life-and-death situations it had experienced. Anyone who looked at it now would be able to sense its fierceness.
This was especially true of its Qi. It now carried the strength of Foundation Establishment!
For Cultivators, reaching Foundation Establishment is very difficult; but for the Blood Divinities, the Legacy zone was a special area. Here, they could experience rapid growth. After all, they were not Cultivators, but Legacy Blood Divinities.
“These Blood Divinities increase their level so quickly. Maybe it’s because of some special ability they have. Or maybe they existed in the past, then died, and these are their spirits.” Meng Hao was lost in thought for a while. Some time passed, and then he looked over his shoulder at the second matrix. There was no one inside. Up ahead in the third matrix, were three indistinct figures. Further ahead in the fourth matrix, there was one.
Those three people had obviously left the second matrix much earlier. Apparently, instead of taking a lot of time to absorb spiritual energy, they preferred to charge ahead to gain some distance.
Meng Hao breathed in deeply, and then slowly stood up. His eyes gleamed as he strode forward into the third matrix.
Meanwhile in the world outside of the Blood Immortal Legacy zone, nearly ten thousand Cultivators had gathered around to watch the scenes playing out on the blood screen. The sound of conversations began to rise.
“The news is already spreading. The identities of most of the people inside have already been discovered. Who would have imagined that the person in first place is Li Daoyi, Dao Child of the Li Clan!? It’s hard to say if he’ll be able to acquire the Legacy in the end, but he certainly seems to have the best chance.”
“How detestable! The great Clans and Sects are always lording it over the Legacies. They never give anyone else the slightest chance! If only I were the person who had discovered the location of the Blood Immortal’s eighth sacrificial altar. The very least benefit is that there wouldn’t have been anyone to fight over it with.”
“What’s the use of even thinking about it? All the people who enter the matrixes are Chosen from various Sects and Clans. Even if you didn’t have to fight over it, compared to those Chosen, you’re too weak. Look, that guy is obviously the one who opened the Blood Immortal’s eighth sacrificial altar, and yet see how much time he took in the second matrix. Based on that, there’s no way he can pass through the third.”
Most of the discussions that filled the areas surrounding the Southern Domain’s Blood Immortal Legacy zones went something like this.
Within the fourth matrix was Li Daoyi, looking dashing and handsome in his long, yellow robe. He peered calmly off into the distance. A desert stretched out as far as the eye could see.
“Long ago, the Patriarch left behind a decree and a prophecy. The Blood Immortal would emerge from the Li Clan. This Legacy belongs to me. As for the others… well, their lives will be under my control within the sixth matrix.” His expression calm, he stepped forward.
Back in the third matrix, Meng Hao’s brow furrowed slightly. Next to him, the dog let out a threatening howl as it stared at a massive tree which had appeared up ahead.
Underneath the tree was a Go board, upon which were a myriad of Go pieces, spread out like the stars in the sky. Black was clearly in the losing position. There was one white piece sitting next to the board, as if it were waiting for someone to pick it up and play it.
Surrounding the Go board were several hundred trees, each one about as tall as a person. The whole place seemed deserted. The presence of the huge tree made it seem even more bizarre.
The archaic voice filled the air: “In the Blood Immortal Legacy tournament, the character ‘blood’ emphasizes killing. If you desire to acquire the Legacy but have insufficient killing intent, then it will be very difficult for you. This matrix emphasises killing. However, the one who kills must have a cold heart and a calm spirit. Place the white Go piece onto the board, and you will win this game of death!
“You have one chance. If you wish to forfeit, you must sacrifice one hundred years of longevity, and lose your chance at acquiring the Legacy.” The instant the voice finished speaking, one of the trees up ahead suddenly exploded into pieces. From within emerged a phantom emanating the Qi of Foundation Establishment, the same as Meng Hao’s Cultivation base.
The phantom was blurry, except for a pair of blood-red eyes which emanated a fierce killing aura. It immediately raced toward Meng Hao.
Meng Hao’s eyes glittered sharply. Next to him, the puppy let out sharp yapping sounds as it charged forward with him.
A booming sounded out. A moment later, Meng Hao watched as the Foundation Establishment phantom dispersed into strands of spiritual energy, which then shot toward Meng Hao. As this happened, popping sounds rang out as three more trees began to split apart.
After enough time passed for an incense stick to burn, blood seeped out of the corners of Meng Hao’s mouth. The puppy was injured and bleeding, although its appearance was as fierce as ever as it looked around. Five Foundation Establishment phantoms had appeared.
More time passed. It was hard to tell exactly how long. Meng Hao coughed up some more blood. He had fought his way through the trees to a position not quite six thousand meters away from the Go board and the large tree. His eyes were bloodshot as he raced through the world of the third matrix. He was currently surrounded by twelve Foundation Establishment phantoms, each of whom emitted killing intent which billowed into the sky.
The puppy yipped next to him, and then a blood-colored beam flashed. Its sharp teeth crunched into the neck of one of the Foundation Establishment phantoms. Together, the two of them had slaughtered their way forward, at the same time trying to absorb as much spiritual energy as possible from this place. By now, the puppy had already reached the middle Foundation Establishment stage, and was continuing to grow. Its fierceness was now even more apparent.
Several hours later, Meng Hao staggered along, coughing up some blood. Up ahead, a Foundation Establishment phantom was on its last legs, panting. It seemed to use all the power it could possibly muster to dash forward. As it did, Meng Hao’s killing intent flared. His right hand formed into a fist and, ignoring the incoming sword aura, punched his fist toward the phantom’s chest. His fist suddenly opened, and a Wind Blade shot out with a boom. Meng Hao coughed up more blood. At the same time, the Foundation Establishment phantom trembled and then exploded.
Not too far away, the puppy was an unstoppable blood-red glow. It used its sharp claws and teeth to rip the Foundation Establishment phantoms to shreds. Then, it rapidly absorbed their spiritual energy and returned to Meng Hao’s side.
Its body was covered with wounds which oozed blood. Its Qi was weak, but its ferocity was a strong as ever; it seemed to have been baptized in blood.
Meng Hao swallowed some medicinal pills, and then tossed some down to the puppy. His clothes were torn and ripped, but his eyes gleamed. Lifting his head, he saw that the distance between himself and the tree was now less than six thousand meters. It was at this time that a roaring sound filled the air. Twenty Foundation Establishment phantoms appeared, racing at full speed toward Meng Hao.
He took in a deep breath, fatigue covering his face, but his eyes flashing. He lifted his hand and the lightning mist appeared. Electricity surrounded him as he charged forward to battle the phantoms.
Wounds led to wounds, battles led to battles. Four hours passed. Meng Hao’s face was white. He was now twenty-five hundred meters from the large tree. He raced backward with the puppy, away from the Foundation Establishment phantoms. One by one, they stopped, transforming back into trees.
Some distance away from them, Meng Hao sat down cross-legged and ate some medicinal pills to heal his wounds. Next to him, the puppy consumed quite a few as well, and began to recover quickly. Four days passed before Meng Hao suddenly opened his eyes. The puppy looked even more ferocious as the two of them once again charged into battle.
This time, they fought to within fifteen hundred meters of the tree, until they could proceed no further, whereupon they fell back.
In the following days, Meng Hao and the puppy continued to fight and rest. Meng Hao’s eyes grew more and more ruthless, his attacks, more and more decisive. At this point, he had roughly seventy percent control over his Cultivation base. Furthermore, regardless of which technique he used, he imbued it with Spiritual Sense.
As for the puppy, its body was now as long as an arm. It appeared even more ferocious; its claws were fully grown out, as had its sharp teeth. It appeared as if it could rip anything to shreds. Its eyes glowed bright red, making it look even more savage.
Fifteen hundred meters, nine hundred meters, three hundred meters…. Meng Hao had been stuck in this matrix for more than a month. Soon, he reached a position sixty meters away from the large tree. The puppy let loose a howl and latched onto the corner of Meng Hao’s robe with its teeth, dragging him forward. Meng Hao didn’t mind at all. He let the puppy drag him, and the two of them shot forward, blasting through the defending Foundation Establishment phantoms, passing over the sixty meter mark.
As they approached the tree, the puppy loosened its mouth, then spun and charged back into the Foundation Establishment phantoms. Meng Hao didn’t hesitate; he snatched up the white Go piece. His gaze swept across the Go board, and then he placed the piece down.
As soon as it touched the board, this entire world grew quiet. Everything in front of Meng Hao looked like a mirror that was shattering. Boundless spiritual energy surged into him.
He knew that he had passed through the third matrix.
When this happened, the Cultivators outside of the seven Blood Immortal Legacy zones around the Southern Domain flew into an uproar:
“The Li Clan Dao Child, Li Daoyi, broke through the fourth matrix. It took him a month…”
“That’s Wang Wu’de of the Blood Demon Sect. He’s right behind Li Daoyi. He was the second to enter the fourth matrix. Everyone else is stuck in the third matrix. I wonder who will be the third person to….”
“It’s got to be Wang Lihai. After all, he’s a Dao Child. The Wang Clan really isn’t holding anything back. They sent a Dao Child… ahh??”
“Three people just came out at the same time! That’s Wang Lihai and Song Jia, and that other person is… wow, it’s him?!”