Chapter 163: Tender Killing
A roaring sound filled the world within the cauldron. The lightning in the region danced about, and the meat jelly seemed to have been frightened. Its attention now appeared to be fixed upon Meng Hao and the others.
Han Bei’s voice rang out. “I shall now employ my bloodline magic. Brother Meng and Xie, dear, please assist me with all your power.” She bit her tongue, spitting more blood out onto the strands that wound into the crack on the statue. It began to emit a red glow.
A droning roar sounded out, and the entire statue began to tremble. Vast quantities of dust poured off of it. Meng Hao suddenly felt as if the strand in his hand was pulling at his Cultivation base, as well as his Spiritual Sense.
His eyes flickered, but his face remained still. Next to him, Xie Jie’s eyes glittered brightly as he poured power from his Cultivation base, as well as Spiritual Sense, into the strand he held. He looked at Meng Hao, killing intent flickering within his eyes. Then his gaze shifted to Han Bei, and his gaze grew warm. It could be said that the two of them were a ‘green plum and a bamboo horse,’ childhood sweethearts. When they were young, there had been some conflict between them, but as of now, it seemed that Han Bei really had worked her way into his heart.
Suddenly, the roaring grew in intensity. Han Bei’s face grew pale. She was in control of the three threads; Xie Jie and Meng Hao were simply providing the assisting power with their Cultivation bases and Spiritual Sense. They had no way to do anything to cause the statue to do anything. They poured their power in, while Han Bei employed the power of her bloodline.
Using her bloodline to touch the spirit of the ancestor statue was magic that only she could perform. If anyone else tried to touch the statue’s spirit, their Cultivation base would wither up. It was something that neither Meng Hao nor Xie Jie could do.
About ten breaths worth of time passed. Booming sounds filled the sky. Suddenly the kneeling statue emitted a roar as… its eyes suddenly began to shine, as if it were alive. Its body… slowly began quiver, as if it were preparing to stand.
Han Bei’s face grew paler, her eyes brighter. She spat out more blood, causing her Blood Qi to enter into the statue. The whole statue trembled violently, as if an earthquake were shaking it. Then, the massive statue… stood up!
Its eyes emitted a dull glow, and a mysterious pressure filled the entire area. It slowly lowered its hands. As Meng Hao watched, the images were burned indelibly into his memory.
He took a deep breath, continuing to provide Cultivation base power and Spiritual Sense. Han Bei’s body shook. This was real trembling, not an act; her face was as pale as a corpse’s. But determination radiated out of her eyes, and she spat out more blood.
The statue slowly outstretched its right hand, pointing with its index finger. The finger seemed to be filled with an indescribable power; it descended toward the circular cauldron situated in the middle of the nine statues.
Meng Hao’s eyes narrowed and gleamed mysteriously.
“I need more power!” said Han Bei, her voice urgent. Without hesitation, Xie Jie poured more power into the strand he held.
Meng Hao’s eyes shined as he did the same. Some of the color returned to Han Bei’s face, but moments later she spat out more blood, filling the statue with more power. Its finger continued to approach the cauldron; it seemed the cauldron would open at any moment.
At this exact time, however, the descending finger suddenly changed directions. It no longer headed toward the circular cauldron, but toward Xie Jie. It moved with incredible speed, causing a look of complete shock to cover his face.
“Han Bei, what are you doing?!” cried Xie Jie, throwing the strand away from himself. His eyes filled with intense terror, and he shot backward. Meng Hao’s eyes flickered. He opened his mouth, and the lightning mist flew out, preventing Xie Jie from moving backward. His body stopped moving. His words were still echoing out by the time the massive finger reached him.
The finger barely touched him, and his entire body exploded with a bang, even his Dao Pillar. In an instant, everything disintegrated; his life was completely gone.
He didn’t let out a blood-curling scream, only a furious roar that lingered on after his death. An orange strand curled up where his body used to be, which then entered the statue’s finger.
His bag of holding rose up and flew over to Han Bei. She grabbed it and immediately produced a small black vial. She crushed it, and a phantom figure floated up that looked in every way exactly like Han Bei. She absorbed it in through her ears, mouth and nose.
All of this takes some time to describe, but actually happened in space of only a few breaths. Meng Hao watched everything with the same expression as always, as if he had been expecting it to happen. He was completely expressionless, although his eyes flickered.
“Many thanks for your assistance, Fellow Daoist Meng,” said Han Bei with a sweet smile. She bowed slightly toward him.
“Fellow Daoist Han, it was a clever move to exterminate your dear Xie,” he said coolly. He was not surprised, because the violet Feng Shui compass she had given him now was not just unbranded, it also contained a message.
In the message, she had directly told him that she planned to kill Xie Jie, and when it happened, he shouldn’t be alarmed.
“When the Black Sieve Sect captured me and my clansmen, it seemed as if they would treat us well. But in actuality, we were nothing more than animals in a cage. Xie Jie was the worst; he treated me horribly since childhood. After we grew up, he had further desires…. It’s only natural for me to slay him. If I hadn’t, then everything we acquired today would belong to the Black Sieve Sect. Now, we can share everything between the two of us.”
She smiled at him and said, “Brother Meng is surpassingly astute, I don’t dare to attempt to deceive you. That is why I left the message on the Feng Shui compass. I always accomplish what I set out to do. Today, the Time refinement technique will become ours. From now on, you don’t need to do anything more.”
Her expression was sincere, although she sighed inwardly. Of the six people who had begun the mission, all had their own thoughts and plans. Only Meng Hao had seen through everything and come through it all.
People had fallen around him, but he remained unscathed. This caused fear to grow in Han Bei’s heart, as well as admiration. Had any mistakes been made along the way, Meng Hao would have been dead.
Because of this, she was subconsciously afraid of provoking him. Therefore, her words were actually true, and revealed her true intentions.
Meng Hao’s expression was the same as ever. He said nothing, just simply nodded. However, the lightning mist surrounded him. If Han Bei did anything threatening, he would call down the lightning; death would be assured.
Han Bei took a deep breath and looked at him. She abandoned any last bit of scheming. The journey here had been difficult, and she had used up all her tricks. She really did not want to meet any more mishaps. Her hand flickered an incantation, and the massive statue shook, then began to reach back toward the circular cauldron.
When it touched it, the entire world within the square cauldron shook. The lid of the circular cauldron slowly tilted up, and a violet Qi began to pour out of it. Inside, Meng Hao caught a glimpse of three jade pages floating up. Their appearance seemed to coincide with that of the violet Qi, and they hadn’t completely emerged from the cauldron, as if they might sink back in at any time.
Han Bei’s eyes filled with a bright glow, and she gasped. Her right hand slapped her bag of holding, and a small clay jar appeared, about the size of a person’s head.
It flew up into the air, transforming into a beam of light that shot toward the circular cauldron. As it neared, cracks spread out across its surface and it exploded, sending the ash that had been inside shooting forward.
Within the ash were what appeared to be ten phantom images. There were men and women, and their ages varied, but they all resembled each other; these must be Clan members of the same bloodline.
This was not just random ash; it was ash collected upon the cremation of various Han Clan members, and contained life force. The figures spread out, and then bowed respectfully toward the circular cauldron.
“Bloodline of Patriarch Han, according to the ancient agreement, the bloodline remains, Patriarch, please return….” As the phantoms spoke, they entered the violet Qi.
At the same time, the statue of the Han Clan Patriarch stretched out its palm and pressed it against the cauldron.
The instant the figures entered the violet Qi and the statue pressed on the cauldron, it vibrated, emitting a droning sound that shook everything. Amidst the roaring, the phantom figures began to burn. As for the statue, it trembled violently. Starting at its feet, cracks spread across its entire body. Suddenly, it began to collapse into pieces.
From this day forward, there would no longer be nine statues in this place, but eight!
Han Bei shook as if some invisible power were rocking her. She took a few steps back and then spit up some blood. At the same time, a violet glow flew out from the crumbling statue. Meng Hao could clearly see the excitement which appeared in her eyes. Within the violet glow appeared to be a small, sleeping person. It suddenly shot toward Han Bei, hitting her between the eyebrows and merging into her.
“That’s what she came for!” thought Meng Hao, his eyes narrowing.
At the same time, because of the sacrifice of the ten Han Clan phantoms, the three jade pages within the violet Qi freed themselves from the circular cauldron and flew out. As they did, a sound like a sigh could be heard from the circular cauldron.
As the sigh sounded out, one of the flying jade pages suddenly stopped and then spun backward toward the cauldron. The other two continued to fly forward.