Chapter 155: The Last Person
Time passed slowly, about four hours. The gravitational power appeared again once, during which time Meng Hao continued to fly past mountain after mountain.
This place was very strange. The sun blazed brightly up above in the sky. If you looked closely, however, you could also see the vague shape of a moon within it. It seemed that within another two hours, they would split apart.
After about another hour’s travel, a vast plain appeared up ahead.
The plain was filled with tall grass, half the height of a person. It swayed in the wind, making the plain look almost like a sea. The only sound present was the whispering of the wind. Within the plain was one area devoid of grass. Three people sat there cross-legged.
Two were women and one was a man. The man was middle-aged and dressed in a gray robe. His face was expressionless, and his eyes were closed in meditation. An icy air drifted off of his body. He was of the late Foundation Establishment stage. He was one of the three late Foundation Establishment Cultivators that traveled to this place on the violet Feng Shui compass.
Of the two women, one was middle-aged and a bit overweight. Her features were ordinary, almost like those of a farm-girl. She was another from that group of three powerful late Foundation Establishment Cultivators.
An impatient expression filled her face as she looked at the last woman. This woman wore a veil which covered half of her face and obscured her features in a mysterious blur.
“Fellow Daoist, did you invite me here so that I can sit around waiting? I somehow don’t believe that our destination is really as dangerous as a dragon’s lair or a tiger’s den. Are Fellow Daoist Sima and myself really not enough?” She laughed coldly. The cold, middle-aged man opened his eyes from meditation. They glowed as he looked at the woman in the veil.
“Fellow Daoist Li, please wait just a bit longer,” said the veiled woman, her voice light. “I have invited five people in total. If they do not arrive, then we might as well not proceed. With just the three of us, our chances of success will be small.”
The Li woman snorted and seemed to be about to say more. In the end she didn’t.
“Be patient for just a bit longer,” said the veiled woman. “The sun and moon will cease to overlap in about two hours. If they haven’t arrived by then, then we might have no other choice than to make an attempt ourselves.”
An hour passed, at which point a beam of colorful light appeared. Within it was a streak of violet. Whoever was approaching wore a violet robe.
This person approached at top speed, arriving in the space of a few breaths. It was a young man with handsome features and a slight smile on his face. From his violet gown, it was obvious that he was no ordinary person. After landing, his eyes swept over the three others. He smiled at them and then cupped hands in greeting.
“I’m late,” said Xie Jie 1. “Please forgive me, Fellow Daoists. Sorry to keep you waiting, Junior Sister Han.” This was none other than Conclave disciple Xie Jie of the Black Sieve Sect. He looked at the veiled woman with a smirk as he revealed her identity.
His appearance caused the Li woman to frown slightly. She stood and returned his salute. The cold man, however, did little more than give him a slight nod.
The veiled woman frowned as the two others looked at her.
She laughed lightly, removing her veil. Her face was incredibly beautiful and delicate, her skin as lustrous as jade. Everything seemed to grow brighter because of her beauty.
“Han Bei 2 extends greetings to all you Fellow Daoists,” she said. “Originally I didn’t want to reveal my identity for personal reasons. However, it seems Elder Brother Xie took issue with that, so I will be more open with my identity for the sake of everyone’s comfort.” This woman was none other than Han Bei. Her enchanting features coupled with the beautiful smile on her face right now made it impossible to be irritated with her.
Xie Jie smiled. “I wasn’t aware that Junior Sister Han had matters she wished to keep to herself. I spoke hastily, please don’t take offense.”
“It doesn’t matter,” she replied with a smile. “Considering the Sect activity in this place, Junior Sister was worried that revealing her identity would cause a misunderstanding. But with Elder Brother Xie here, I have nothing to worry about. Our chances of success are now much greater.” The Li woman looked on pensively, and the gray-robed Cultivator frowned.
Her words were like a cotton ball with a needle inside. Xie Jie was just about to say something, but then stopped and turned his head. Everyone did the same, except for the gray-robed man.
A colorful beam of light approached, accompanied by a roaring wind that sent the grass whipping about. It transformed into an old man; this was none other than Xu Youdao.
He strode up to the group, his eyes flashing. He looked around for a moment, and then focused his gaze onto Han Bei.
“So, it turns out the invitation was from Fellow Daoist Han. I think you owe an explanation regarding what the Black Sieve Sect is doing in this place.”
Han Bei smiled. “With you and your special technique, Fellow Daoist Xu, our mission will be much easier to accomplish. As for an explanation, you can rest at ease, sir. I will provide a full explanation soon.”
Seeing Xu Youdao, the Li woman quickly greeted him with clasped hands. Xie Jie smiled and did the same. The gray-robed man simply nodded to him. So far, he had paid almost no heed to anyone.
“Is everyone here?” asked Xie Jie with a smile.
“I heard there’s one more,” said the Li woman, smiling ingratiatingly at Xie Jie.
“Oh?” said Xie Jie, his eyes narrowing. These three were late Foundation Establishment stage Cultivators, and as far as he could remember there hadn’t been any others amongst the rogue Cultivators. “Could it be that Han Bei invited some other Black Sieve Sect disciple?” he thought. “Who might it be…?” He eyed Han Bei. “Who is this last person we’re waiting for?” he asked with a smile. “Would Junior Sister Han mind explaining?”
“That’s right,” chimed in the Li woman. “I’m very interested as to who this final Fellow Daoist could possibly be. If he’s important, I’ll be sure to make friends. If he’s not important, then I must ask, why are we sitting around waiting?”
The gray-robed Cultivator closed his eyes, ignoring them. Xu Youdao stood there thoughtfully, his eyes flickering.
Han Bei was silent for a moment and then said, “I don’t know who it is either, much the same as how I didn’t know any of your identities at first. My guess is that while he isn’t an important figure now, if we don’t have him in our group, we may very well wind up empty-handed in our endeavor today. With this person, our chances of success will be increased by thirty percent.” Her words were spoken calmly, but with iron-like resoluteness.
“Oh?” said Xie Jie. His interest was now piqued. “And why does Junior Sister Han attach such importance to this person?”
The Li woman laughed coldly, her face filled with disdain, clearly feeling that Han Bei was exaggerating. She didn’t believe that a Foundation Establishment Cultivator could possibly be so useful. A Core Formation stage Cultivator would have been a different matter, but it was fundamentally impossible for such a person to join them.
“Could this person be a Pseudo Core Cultivator?” asked the Li woman with a sneer. “Fellow Daoist Han, you should really be careful. There are many people in the world who fish for fame and compliments.” It wasn’t that she specifically didn’t like Han Bei; actually, she hated all beautiful women.”
“I’m truly not sure if this person is at the Pseudo Core stage or not,” Han Bei replied calmly, giving the Li woman a level look. “In any case, his is definitely extraordinary. Of that, you can be certain.”
The Li woman said nothing more. Suddenly, Xie Jie lifted his head and looked toward the horizon, as did Xu Youdao. Soon everyone’s eyes were fixed on the beam of light which shot toward them.
This was Meng Hao, of course. He whistled through the air, his eyes sweeping the land. Soon, he spotted the blank area on the plain, upon which the overlapping sun and moon shined, as well as the five people there.
He looked them over as he landed onto the ground. His expression was the same as usual as he walked over.
When he saw Meng Hao, Xu Youdao expression flickered. A bright glow appeared in Han Bei’s eyes, and her lips spread into a smile. As for Xie Jie, a cold look covered his face as he looked Meng Hao over.
“Greetings, Fellow Daoists,” he said coolly. “I was delayed on the way, and am a bit late.” He glanced over the group, his gaze lingering for a moment on Han Bei.
“Early Foundation Establishment stage?” said the Li woman, frowning. A haughty look of disdain appeared on her face. She couldn’t wait to rudely say, “This is the person Fellow Daoist Han claims is essential? She thinks a trifling early Foundation Establishment is so important? Laughable. Or could it be that this junior generation infant just happened to accidentally stumble upon this area?”
Meng Hao looked at her without a word.
“I’m also very curious about this,” said Xie Jie with a smile. An almost imperceptible flicker appeared in his eyes.
Hearing Xie Jie’s words caused the Li Woman’s arrogance to grow even greater. “For an early Foundation Establishment Cultivator to be in our midst is demeaning. Han Bei may have recommended him, but I, Li, shall test him out myself and see what skills he has.” She began to walk toward Meng Hao. “Produce every scrap of power from your Cultivation base,” she said. “If you can live through one strike from me, then I’ll agree that you’re qualified to join us. If you’re not qualified, then you’ll be killed by the Black Sieve Sect any way. It seems death will end all your troubles!”
By the time she finished speaking, she had reached Meng Hao. She lifted her right hand and a blinding orange light appeared, which transformed into a pink colored whip. It flipped about, emitting cracking sounds.