ISSTH – Book 2 – Chapter 173

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Chapter 173: Rejected by the Heavens? Plunder!

Meng Hao was focused on breaking through to form his fourth Dao Pillar. However, regarding what was happening on the outside, it was no surprise to him. He had anticipated that such circumstances would come about. The cascading moonlight had focused attention on his increase in level. Although it hadn’t attracted universal attention, it had certainly caused quite a disturbance.

Meng Hao was well aware that as more time passed, the situation would grow more volatile. The best method to bring matters to a conclusion was to finish breaking through as quickly as possible.

However…. a Perfect Foundation could not absorb the spiritual energy of heaven and earth. He was only able to rely on the Sieve Earth Pills, and despite their extraordinariness, the process was becoming more difficult. He could clearly sense that they were losing their efficacy.

Based on his current momentum, it didn’t seem they would be enough to complete the fourth Dao Pillar.

As Meng Hao silently continued to Cultivate, outside, Xiao Chang’en’s words echoed out amidst the moonlight. Everything was silent for a moment afterward, and then cold laughter rang out. Three figures shot forward.

Their features were indistinct within the darkness of night, but their Cultivation bases rippled, making it clear that one of their numbers was of the mid Foundation Establishment stage.

In the surrounding Cultivation Clans, even the mid Foundation Establishment stage was considered quite powerful. Were it not so, the Xiao Clan would not have been able to occupy the Spirit Lake for so long. It was only now that Xiao Chang’en was reaching the end of his longevity that the current situation had come to be.

The three figures whistled through the air toward Xiao Chang’en. A boom exploded out as the four people collided in battle. Xiao Chang’en coughed up a mouthful of blood. His face was pale as he flew backward like a kite with a broken string. The mid Foundation Establishment Cultivator laughed coldly and proceeded forward.

The other two shot toward Meng Hao’s shield, laughing.

It seemed to be a moment of crisis. Xiao Chang’en was torn; he knew that Meng Hao must be at a critical juncture; unfortunately, he was currently powerless to intervene. Even burning some of his life force to gain extra power would be useless.

The two early Foundation Establishment Cultivators reached the shield; as soon as they touched it, a rumbling sound emerged. Within the space of two breaths, the shield collapsed.

The shield had been created by Xiao Caifeng, who was only at the Qi Condensation stage; for it to hold up against the early Foundation Establishment stage for the space of three breaths testified to the outstanding latent talent of the one who had created the talisman.

Booming echoed out as the shield was destroyed. As the two early Foundation Establishment stage Cultivators slammed into the lightning mist, miserable screams echoed out. In an instant, their bodies were surrounding by lightning; cracking sounds could be heard as they were thrown backward, blood spewing from their mouths. Expressions of shock covered their faces as their Dao Pillars trembled on the verge of collapse.

The lightning mist roiled; its protection extended about thirty meters out from Meng Hao in all directions, creating a no-man’s land which no one could enter.

Xiao Chang’en heaved a sigh of relief. The mid Foundation Establishment Cultivator with whom he had been battling paused, looking over his shoulder at the lightning mist, astonishment filling his eyes.

Within the lightning mist, Meng Hao opened his eyes. They glowed brightly as he frowned and looked down at his last three Sieve Earth Pills. As for his fourth Dao Pillar, it was about ninety percent complete. These pills would be insufficient to complete the last ten percent.

“These Sieve Earth Pills are only so effective…. Perhaps I won’t be able to reach the mid Foundation Establishment stage after all….” A stubborn look shone within his eyes. He knew that his path of Cultivation was different from that of others; he had acquired incredible battle prowess, but the Cultivation he practiced was much more challenging. Even as he thought of these things, a racket could be heard coming from the outside.

“Fellow Daoists, this person’s Cultivation has stirred up such power, I’m afraid that once he emerges, all of our Cultivation Clans will be at his mercy. Let’s take advantage of this opportunity to destroy him now to prevent future troubles.”

“Correct. The Xiao Clan is weak. Their existence is meaningless. The extermination of such Clans is the natural order, it can’t be changed!”

“Let’s attack together. This lightning mist can’t hold up against all of us!”

The ten or more Foundation Establishment Cultivators outside began attacking the lightning mist in unison.

All of these people were from local Cultivator Clans; as they attacked, booming sounds lifted up to fill the sky. The lightning mist seethed violently.

“An evil heart, is a useless life.” Meng Hao’s eyes sparkled icily as he looked out through the lightning mist. He quickly gathered up the remaining three pills and popped them into his mouth.

They immediately dissolved, and the cascading moonlight grew stronger, as if a river were pouring down into Meng Hao’s body. Although their effectiveness was waning, his fourth Dao Pillar was now just a hair away from being complete.

Just as the Dao Pillar was about to appear in full, Meng Hao’s suddenly sensed an inexplicable roaring within his body. His expression flickered as he realized that his body was starting to wither, as if his flesh and blood and life force, even his Cultivation base, were being sucked into the fourth Dao Pillar.

He had just unlocked another of the secrets of the Perfect Foundation. It was with unbridled power that the fourth Dao Pillar began of its own will to suck in everything into it.

It seemed that the fourth Dao Pillar would form at any cost, even if it caused the death of Meng Hao!

His face flickered at this sudden turn of events. He had never imagined that something like this would happen. It was at this exact moment that the lightning mist finally collapsed under the attack of the ten Foundation Establishment Cultivators. They rushed in.

Meng Hao eyed them approaching, his face grim. His body was withering, and his life force was trickling away. The hair on his head had already begun turning white. His Cultivation base was still there, though. Suddenly, an early Foundation Establishment Cultivator appeared in front of him. Before the man could react, Meng Hao’s hand shot out and grabbed him by the throat. He squeezed, and the Cultivator’s eyes filled with disbelief. The man’s neck shattered.

Even as he died, Meng Hao’s body trembled, and his eyes filled with a strange light. The man’s corpse suddenly began to shrink and wither. Within the blink of an eye, it was a mere skeleton. The man’s Cultivation base rushed in through Meng Hao’s hand and entered the fourth Dao Pillar.

“So that’s how it is!” Meng Hao’s eyes grew brighter. “I have a perfect Foundation, but when my first three Dao Pillars formed within the Blood Immortal Legacy tournament, there was more than enough spiritual energy to absorb, so I couldn’t even sense the potency of the Dao Pillars. But now, things are clear. After reaching a certain point, the fourth Dao Pillar reaches a phase in which only death can stop its progress. When this happens, it will even consume my own life force. The reason is because it can’t absorb spiritual energy from the outside world, only from my flesh and blood!

“Perfection. Perfection is so potent! But such potency is also a weapon. I’ve been rejected by the Heavens. Therefore, I must plunder from the living! The bodies of Cultivators are filled with spiritual energy that does not belong to heaven and earth! Therefore, it can be pillaged away! Now I understand. It seems that in the future, it will be like this every time I form a new Dao Pillar!

“Today… my fourth Dao Pillar will appear!”

These thoughts ran through Meng Hao’s head in an instant. He loosened his grip, then looked around at the surrounding Cultivators, his eyes radiating icy cold. His body flashed as he shot toward them.

Miserable screams rang out. All of these people had Cultivation bases at the mid Foundation Establishment level at the highest; most were at the early Foundation Establishment stage. Could they possibly match up against Meng Hao? As Meng Hao passed each person, his hand would snake out, and with no effort on his part, the fourth Dao Pillar would feed, thirstily sucking in energy.

Body after body turned into bones. Before the death of each Cultivator, their Cultivation base would be sucked rapidly into Meng Hao, consumed by his Dao Pillar. Soon, Meng Hao was no longer withered, and his flesh and blood began to rebuild.

As Xiao Chang’en observed this happening, dread appeared on his face. The Cultivators who had moments ago been charging forward, suddenly began to retreat at high speed.

In their eyes, Meng Hao was no Cultivator; he had transformed into some type of evil demon. Wherever he passed, blood-curdling screams could be heard, and he left behind only ragged corpses. Their minds reeled, and expressions of unbridled horror appeared on their faces.

“What magic is this!?!?”

“What is he doing!?!?”

“This guy… he’s sucking up the life and Cultivation bases of all those dead Fellow Daoists!?!?”

The remaining twenty or so Cultivators were scared witless and retreated in chaos. Meng Hao caught up with one of them. As he placed his hand on the crown of the man’s head, a blood-curdling scream echoed out. His body began to shrivel, and then he died.

Meng Hao’s face was no longer pale and bloodless; it was now ruddy and filled with life. He took a deep breath, and in his mind he suddenly recalled the scene in Patriarch Reliance’s Immortal’s cave, when Patriarch Reliance had absorbed the Core Formation Cultivators 1.

“The Great Art of Demonic Life?” thought Meng Hao, his eyes flickering. It seemed that what he was doing now was very similar indeed to the Great Art of Demonic Life that Patriarch Reliance had used. “Or perhaps this is some type of enlightenment that comes from being in a kill or be killed situation. The Great Art of Demonic Life. Demonic Life….” Meng Hao sighed inwardly as he suppressed his deeply-ingrained Confucian way of thinking. His body flickered with the power of the fourth Dao Pillar. He sighed as his hand clasped around the throat of another Cultivator. The fourth Dao Pillar sucked in the man’s Cultivation base. Soon, the fourth Dao Pillar would complete its circle and be complete.

“The path of my Perfect Foundation will be strewn with mountains of corpses and seas of blood. I… understand.” He sighed again, and yet continued forward without hesitation. His heart did not grow soft. Confucianism would always exist within him, and he would never be truly merciless. However, when the circumstances required, he could act without mercy.

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  1. To revisit the scene of Patriarch Reliance using the Great Art of Demonic Life, check out Chapter 82: The Great Art of Demonic Life

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65 thoughts on “ISSTH – Book 2 – Chapter 173” - NO SPOILERS

    1. Thx for the chapter, also, there is a really anoying redirect that sends me to a fake Facebook lottery and appears every time I go to a page, it’s really anoying and I don’t wanna use Adblock on this website.

  1. Whelp, between this and the blood cultivation Meng Hao will be doing quite a bit of killing to increase his power and that’s not even considering the guys who just get in his way on a normal basis.

    1. Have you seen the number of the guys that get in his way? He only needs to say that he’s gotten a treasure and all cultivators in a 10.000 mile radius will attack. Which is probably why the author said he isn’t completely merciless, with all those villain wannabes out there he can safely advance his cultivation without having to go out of his way to be merciless to those who don’t deserve it.

      1. True, but at the same time, I can’t help but wonder if killing people is REALLY the only way.
        The setting seems to be filled with infinite answers and methods, yet the only answer Meng Hao can come up with, is to kill people? Does that not sound a bit short-sighted and uncreative? Isn’t it odd that Meng Hao’s methods are all collectively “SUCK THEIR SOULS KILL THEM ALL”? How odd is his luck that almost all of his methods are stealing people’s souls?

        I wonder if the author truly is just as blood thirsty as any other Xianxia author, it seems like it just took him a while to get to the point he forces his MC to kill everything and everyone for some reason.

        1. Author has to be blood thirsty because readers demand blood, Without their supporting authors are nothing. But backing to the topic, is killing people the only way? Absolutely NOT, there are many ways to level up, High level spirit stones, Pills, Special location of qi, Magic item that has qi, Have high level masters transport qi, Even have sex with others… Yet for this MC who has so many enemies, absorb others is quick way yet there should be backfire to level up by such a quick and evil way.

    1. Bear in mind he reached the 13th level of ki condensation whereas they only reached the 9th.

      It takes a lot more spiritual energy for him, but then he’s all the more powerful.

      1. I also think forming the dao pillar requires a shitload of more energy than a cultivator has in his body at any one time, otherwise there’s no way he, or anyone else, would require such enormous amounts. It simply takes a lot to build them.

        Also, I love this new development, great art of demonic life(fake) for the win! I giggled like hell when I read this.

  2. having trouble finding energy for your dao piller? rejected by the heavens? dont worry! the idiotic cannon fodder is here for you. plunder away meng hao. plunder away

  3. Mhm, I expected something like this. Stealing the life and cultivation bases of others makes the most sense when you can’t absorb natural energy and even potent pills quickly lose their efficacy. I like how Meng Hao was a little conflicted about it though, that was a nice touch. 🙂

    Meng Hao probably still has spare pills effective for qi condensation stage cultivators along with a few foundation establishment pills tucked away in his Cosmos Bag. I hope he donates them to Xiao Caifeng before he leaves. She’s interesting. 🙂 I’d like to learn more about the sort of cultivators who produce all the talismans and magical items in the ISSTH world.

    (Btw, that teaser has me a bit nervous. I’ll be sad if the lightning flag is actually beyond repair 🙁 )

    1. i agree…been expecting this development for a while, even more after acquiring the legacy of the blood immortal and the mentions of “stealing fortune from the heavens” and “plunder”

    1. Meng Hao… Chu Feng will waste more money on cultivation, Meng Hao wastes more money on items.

      Chu Feng kills like a badass for vengeance and self-defense, but Meng Hao needs to kill to level up, for vengence, and self-defense.

      1. Nah. Yun Che’s cultivation hasn’t gotten that expensive yet, and he doesn’t kill for vengeance, only in defence. Unless his past-life actions count, his current kill tally is one bandit group. So far.

  4. So we learn of a new power of the Perfect Foundation… stealing the life and spirit energies of others to strengthen oneself… He should call it “Life Steal” to be unoriginal…

    Hope he gives Xiao Caifeng a Foundation Establishment pill and a Moon pill… she’d probably be a good ally… and a good “ally”…

    He should give his senior sister one a few of those moon pills too… she’d be easier to protect if she’s stronger.

    Thanks for the translation XD

    Ps. next chapter has a slight typo (uses “to day” rather than “today”)

  5. Thanks for the chapter, Deathblade, Madam Deathblade, John Rogers, Lingson, MeeBoo and Yascob! Dear WuxiaWorld, many thanks to the Author, Translator, Editor, Donor!

  6. Maybe the Longevity Excalibur, sorry, Meat Jelly Green Hat isn’t wrong, there is issue with Meng Hao cultivation practice. Meng Hao cultivation is already beyond the norm, now it require him not only to consume shit load of drugs but also sucking other people life forces and their cultivation qi as well, or else death. Too bad, that thing talks way too much that is really hard to understand it…
    Surprisingly Sang Luo haven’t kill off himself!

  7. Thanks for the chapter Deathblade, Madam Deathblade, John Rogers, Lingson, MeeBoo, Yascob, and Er Gen!

    Also ISSTH is getting more and more interesting!!

    Also i really like those referrals for those that might forget . Those are really nice , Thanks!

  8. Thanks for the chapter!

    When Meng Hao achieved the Blood Immortal Legacy, wasn’t there also something about being able to wrest away latent talent as well? Was that specifically for the use of that blood clone, or for his own purposes? If he could use it for himself, look out Dao child of the Blood Demon sect.

    Then Meng Hao could achieve better latent talent and maybe he’d need to kill less cultivators per Dao Pillar. Even if his Dao Pillars are perfect and he reached the 13th level of qi condensation, it seems like killing this many for his 4th pillar is excessive. He’s even killed mid-stage cultivators and didn’t fill up that last 10% very quickly. Seems like he’s not actually able to absorb ALL of their cultivation at this point.

    1. Just realized that he wasn’t even trying to fill 10%, it was like the last 1-3% and he had to kill all of those people. Makes even less sense unless he’s limited in what he can actually absorb.

      1. I think it makes sense if you take some past information into account.

        The Blood Immortal legacy zone had 9 spell matrices, each of which were like own little worlds. But when they voluntarily dissolved into a flood of energy and were absorbed by Meng Hao, it was somehow only enough to form 2 perfect dao pillars. And now with this latest chapter, Meng Hao is stealing the cultivation bases of several people just to finish off the last few % of his new pillar.

        So it seems pretty consistent so far. The initial formation/crystallization of a perfect dao pillar requires an ungodly amount of energy, but most of it isn’t accessible to the cultivator afterward. It’s either consumed during the formation or it’s permanently tied up by the pillar itself. Sorta like how a phone might claim to have 16 gb of storage space, but 4+ gb of that is permanently reserved by the OS and other things. 😛

    2. Here are a couple excerpts from chapter 137:

      “My technique can be used to wrest away latent talent (….) Refine the body, make the latent talent yours.”
      “Wrest away bloodline, achieve success (….) Wrested latent talent of the bloodline, can be refined into a body of blood… a body refined outside the body…”

      It kind of sounds like he could do either (improve his own latent talent OR his blood clone’s), but I think that would be too OP. And it would also diminish the uniqueness of completing the Great Circle of Qi Condensation (reaching the 13th level and “stealing luck from the Heavens”). Remember that Meng Hao’s latent talent was “average” and it only increased to “above-average but still below the Chosen” after he hit the 13th level… it was only a modest one-time improvement, but Patriarch Reliance was raving about how extraordinary it was. If the Spirit Devouring Scripture could be used to continuously improve someone’s latent talent just by eating people, that would be crazy!

      Because of this, I’m thinking that maybe the scripture can only be used to improve the blood clone’s talent while it’s still being formed. So an incomplete clone made from only 1-2 disciples might have fairly low/average talent, but add a couple dao children and it will rise dramatically. Something like that.

  9. bahaha, every xianxia and wuxia heroes, one way or another, will go on killing rampage. chu feng is the most ruthless by killing babies and elderly people, and wang lin from xian ni is the coolest by stringing 1000 heads behind him.

  10. I’m rather impressed with him. Even in this kind of life or death situation he still thinks of the ramifications of his actions. Again very impressive. Oh and Demon life steal technique is neat too.

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