ISSTH – Book 2 – Chapter 196

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Chapter 196: Followed by All Eyes

Meng Hao was aware of all of this, of course. His expression was the same as ever and he ignored everyone else. He paused at each layer to absorb as much spiritual energy as possible, and then continued to climb upward.

Several meters behind him were all the other Cultivators. They eyed Meng Hao helplessly, waiting for him to move onward before doing so themselves.

Each and every pair of eyes inside this world was watching Meng Hao. He was the focus of all attention.

The Song Clan’s competition in search of a son-in-law had turned into Meng Hao’s stepping stone. Regardless of whether Meng Hao was the winner or not, he had already left a deep impression on Song Jia. That, coupled with the events which had happened before the banquet began, caused her to ignore everyone else and focus solely on Meng Hao.

Perhaps it was fate; after today, the five Clans and three Sects would know that Meng Hao was also Chosen!

Perhaps it was fate; after today, stories of scholar Meng Hao of the State of Zhao would spread throughout the entire Southern Domain. There was now one more amongst the ranks of the Chosen!

Also fated was that previously unknown Meng Hao would be the complete center of attention. More and more Cultivators would hear of him and especially… the matter of him and Chu Yuyan. Rumors would spread like wildfire throughout the entirety of the Southern Domain.

Meng Hao would become the object of jealousy of countless male Cultivators. Of course he would also attract the notice of many female Cultivators. He was now the subject of a huge scandal involving one of the four most beautiful women in the Southern Domain. Everyone was paying attention to him now.

At the same time, anyone who hadn’t heard about Meng Hao’s dealings with the Violet Fate Sect back in the State of Zhao, would surely know about it now. Meng Hao’s name would only become more and more well known.

In actuality, if people knew about the feud between the Black Sieve Sect and Meng Hao, or how he had taken the Blood Immortal Legacy, then he would instantly become the most famous Cultivator in all of the Southern Domain. After all, he could now sweep across Chosen and push down Dao Children.

Today was only the first sign of what was to come, though. This was Meng Hao cutting into the Southern Domain! 1

Time passed. Meng Hao, his expression the same as always, continued onward slowly. Behind him, many of the Cultivators were growing impatient. A young man from the Violet Fate Sect looked at Meng Hao slowly absorbing spiritual energy, and frowned. Unable to accept the situation any longer, he shot forward.

He slapped his bag of holding, and immediately, eight talismans appeared to circle around him. A bright glow appeared, some sort of protective spell. With a triumphant cry, he charged onward, passing Meng Hao and entering the next layer beyond.

The Violet Fate Sect Nascent Soul Cultivator coolly mentioned, “This is a Chosen of the Violet Fate Sect, Liu Gao. His Cultivation base is beyond ordinary. His eight talismans treasure can reduce any force of pressure by eighty percent.” Even as the words left his mouth, his face suddenly grew unsightly.

As soon as Liu Gao passed Meng Hao and entered the next area, his body began to shake. His face tightened, and blood sprayed from his mouth. His body trembled as if it were under attack. Everyone watched as he howled and tried to endure. Meng Hao cleared his throat. He stopped in his tracks for a moment, looking up and waiting.

After the space of a few breaths, the Violet Fate Sect disciple coughed up more blood. One by one, his eight talismans disintegrated. With a miserable scream, he fell down into the sea below. He emerged moments later, pale faced, and began to climb again. It didn’t take him long to rejoin the group of people below Meng Hao, where he stared upward with fear and respect.

Everyone looked thoughtfully at Meng Hao, who once again cleared his throat and moved upward, absorbing spiritual energy along the way.

No one dared to attempt to pass him. They could only follow helplessly. Time passed as Meng Hao proceeded through the layers. By now, his fifth Dao Pillar was about seventy percent complete.

The further he progressed, the more spiritual energy he needed. Before long, Meng Hao was roughly three thousand meters from the apex of the enormous tree.

Wang Tengfei’s eyes flashed, and though Wang Youcai said nothing, his eyes shined brightly. A look of anticipation covered Fatty’s face. He had no thoughts of trying to pass Meng Hao, but was very much looking forward to seeing what happened when Meng Hao reached the top.

It wasn’t just the Cultivators whose eyes glittered; up in the cloud layer, the eccentrics from the five Sects and three Clans, as well as all the Song Clan members, were all focused on Meng Hao. Although his participation in the Song Clan search for a son-in-law had been unexpected, a critical moment was approaching. Everyone watched on with keen anticipation.

With a smile, Song Tian said, “At the top of the tree, there is a final test. Of the heroes of the various Sects and Clans, it’s hard to say which one… will be able to pass the final test.”

One of the Nascent Soul Cultivators laughed and said, “I had heard that part of the tradition of your Song Clan search for a son-in-law involves a difficult test. I’m very curious as to the nature of this test. Elder Song, would you mind explaining a bit about it?”

“That’s right,” said the Golden Frost Sect’s Nascent Soul Cultivator. “I’ve also heard such things. Elder Song, would you mind telling us some about it? We’re all very curious.”

Everyone seemed very interested in hearing about the final test.

Song Clan Patriarch Song Tian laughed loudly. Then, he looked at the middle-aged man who sat at his right hand. “Muqiu, we are searching for a husband for your daughter. Why don’t you explain the final test?”

The middle-aged man was handsome and dashing. Hearing the words of the Patriarch, he clasped his hands respectfully and then looked at the group of people, eyes flashing like lightning. Then he glanced at Song Jia, and a warm, loving expression filled his face.

His voice cool, Song Muqiu said, “The final test in our search for a son-in-law is a bit different than the tests in previous generations. This is a test of a Cultivator’s Dao Heart!”

The Nascent Soul Cultivators frowned.

Elder Fan from the Solitary Sword Sect frowned and took a drink of alcohol. “Matters of Dao Hearts aren’t even clear to us, let alone these Foundation Establishment pups.”

“That is why this test is special,” replied Song Muqiu. “Elder Fan is correct, Dao Hearts are mysterious and unfathomable. Actually, the Song Clan believes that one of the most important aspects of the Dao Heart is determined by personality and behavior. The combination of the two, as well as a person’s stubborness… that is the Dao Heart. Therefore, although today’s test is not conclusive, it will give us some inkling of what will be. Actually, as it relates to Dao Hearts, this test is actually a choice!” Having said this much, Song Muqiu closed his mouth and declined to comment further.

Everyone else sank into deep thought. As for Song Jia, she continued to watch Meng Hao within the cloud vortex, very curious as to what choice he would make during the final test….

Song Yunshu’s eyes flickered as he calmly watched the cloud vortex. He was Dao Child of the Song Clan, and yet, as he watched Meng Hao, an uneasy feeling welled up in his heart. He was used to concealing his emotions, though. His exterior was calm. But he was extremely curious to see what choice Meng Hao would make.

“As Dao Child of the Song Clan, I was able to take the test myself ahead of time. My choice….” Song Yunshu was lost in thought. He had only succeeded on his second try. Succeeding in such a fashion had earned him the praise of Patriarch Song Tian.

With a smile, Patriarch Song Tian said, “Muqiu makes it sound very complicated. The final test is a choice, and also a test of observation. I should make clear that the Dao Child of our Song Clan succeeded on his second attempt.” He glanced at Song Yuncai with a look of praise.

This caused everyone to grow even more curious. They all looked back down, waiting for Meng Hao to break through. They also peered at the group of Cultivators behind him, all of whom were waiting for their chance to spring forward.

Meng Hao began to move faster and faster. His fifth Dao Pillar was now eighty percent complete, and he now needed even more spiritual energy than before. Remembering the horrific scene that had accompanied the completion of his last Dao Pillar, Meng Hao wanted to be certain there was enough spiritual energy in this place before he reached the point of no return.

Otherwise, when the critical juncture arrived, then he would have no choice but to consume the other Cultivators. That was a path that Meng Hao refused to tread.

Cautiously, but quickly, he absorbed the spiritual energy. He proceeded, leaving behind some of the spiritual energy and moving on to the next layer. He was rapidly approaching the top of the tree. Because he had left behind some spiritual energy, the Cultivators behind him suddenly encountered the resisting pressure, and had no choice but to slow down.

They trudged on desperately. However, there was now more and more distance between them and Meng Hao. Wang Tengfei’s eyes were completely red. He pursued madly.

Meng Hao was now only fifteen hundred meters from the top of the tree.

One thousand meters. Five hundred meters. Two hundred fifty meters…. One hundred fifty. Fifty…. Meng Hao leaped up, surpassing the final gap to stand on top of the tree.

At this moment, all eyes were upon him!

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  1. In case you forgot, this is the title of Book 2

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68 thoughts on “ISSTH – Book 2 – Chapter 196” - NO SPOILERS

  1. Otherwise, when the critical juncture arrived, then he would have no choice but to consume the
    other Cultivators.

    Wow if he had to do that again. Especially here at this point. I could only imagine the war that would start. Be pretty amusing that’s for sure, but I don’t think it will come to that though

    1. Especially considering that the cultivators he’d be consuming this time are all Chosen or other important people for their sects. And he’s in the middle of a sponsored marriage event. If he did that here, I doubt he’d get out alive. At least he’d lose a few layers of skin.

      1. Actually, I think he should be able to live even if he done that. He could teleport after all. Also, If he have to resort to that, then I think he probably choose to drain someone like Wang tenfei and his clan member or people from violet sect. Those guy already out for his blood anyway so it’s not like they will just leave him alone even if he didn’t kill all these poor sod. Though I don’t think he need to drain anyway since this place spiritual energy is absorbable unlike outside where it’s come from heaven.

    2. He could stop at 99% and break through when he gets the fruits. Ofc he does not know that the old man wants to give him at least one, but possibly 3 (1+2) from the two bets and may be unwilling to play it safe. On the other hand sucking all spirit force in the dimension, scaring everyone in the process would be fun too. Maybe he can suck vitality from the tree itself.

      Thx for the chapter. The climax approaches ^^.

      1. The problem here is Meng Hao can’t simply stop at 99%. A quirk of the perfect foundation is that when a pillar is about to be completed (the last few %, I think), it’ll start sucking up energy and even the life force of its cultivator all on its own in order to complete itself. That’s why Meng Hao was being so cautious until he was sure there was enough energy to absorb.

        (Explained in chapter 173, if you want to look back.)

          1. An exact % number wasn’t given, though it did say “a hair away”. So yeah, it might be 99% after all. 😮

            Still, it didn’t seem to give him any warning before it started sucking in energy on its own, so I doubt Meng Hao can (safely) absorb right up to the limit and stop exactly before the critical juncture. Could be wrong, though.

    3. I think having spiritual energy that he can absorb is enough. The spiritual energy is nourishing him anyway. The cultivators could be a supplement just in case he didn’t get enough spiritual energy after his 5th dao pillar is formed.

  2. Dao Heart… stubbornness… Hmm, where have I heard something like this before? 😛 😛

    (Chapter 87 excerpt)

    “You’re going to kill yourself….” Patriarch Reliance watched the scene, his breathing agitated. Meng Hao’s stubbornness left him reeling.

    “I will become powerful! There’s no reason. I must become powerful!” Meng Hao began to lose consciousness, but his stubbornness wouldn’t allow him. Despite his current condition, he wouldn’t even think of giving up. He continued to murmur to himself, that he, must, become, powerful!

    Meng Hao MUST break through to the thirteenth level of Qi Condensation.

    “This is his Dao…” Patriarch Reliance took a deep breath, finally understanding.

  3. Thanks for the chapter XD

    After getting his 5th pillar, he should just complete this damn goal and get over it.

    You think the Song clan would let Meng Hao get multiple wives? Or maybe if he passes the flower power test, he’d be able to create his harem.

    And I’m still feeling sorry for Chu Yuyan and Wang Tengfei.

    And does anyone think Meng Hao might find the rest of the spirit scriptures? And the rest of the special/forbidden versions of every form?

    And shouldn’t Meng Hao at least be a Dao child?

    1. Meng surpasses any Dao child, they have flawless foundations I think, and he has a perfect foundation.

      Don’t feel bad for Wang Tengfei, he called his fiancée a slut, although she should of explained what happened, he should believe in her. She has been extremely loyal to him and has on many occasions tried to kill Meng.

      1. meng hao is higher lvl than these dao children, but they have the power and resources of their sects backing them up. they have been cultivating since birth and were training with magic techniques and magical items for much longer. he is stronger than these dao children, but they have more experience, items and skills.

      2. Not just that, he is actually STRONGER than them.. so he should at least be a Dao child rather than chosen.

        And Wang Tangfei thinks she was having an affair… she wouldn’t say anything, and he found out through mocking and humiliation geared towards him. And then he finds out it is his enemy that was known to have slept with her….

        If she explained everything, at least he’d know the truth. Right now after all the humiliation and the fact that the rumors actually seem true (she wasn’t even denying them), can’t blame him for his bitterness…

    2. He is more powerful than Dao Childern, or at least will be when he makes his 5th pillar, but the other cultivators don’t know that (they can’t look into his cultivation base), so they only know that he has reached the rank of Chosen, and might not believe that he has reached the level of Dao Children who were unique among the five clans and three great sects. It actually says it in this chapter that if they knew of all his exploits then he’d instantly become the most famous Cultivator.

      The funny thing about the relationship between Chu Yuyan and Wang Tengfei is that even though there was some friction because of Meng Hao (although Meng Hao wasn’t really to blame as he was a gentleman with Chu Yuyan and only foiled her schemes without going overboard with his revenge), Wang Tengfei will probably destroy this relationship. Because although Chu Yuyan might feel a bit guilty for causing him grief with all the rumours, she actually never betrayed him so I can’t see how him participating in a wedding selection for another bride won’t ruin things (even though we can all guess he’ll lose here).

    3. I felt pity for Wang Tengfei too. But think about when he was in Reliance Sect. He was excessively arrogant and he wouldnt consider Meng Hao even as an ant. Even though he had no grudge for Meng Hao, his excessive arrogance became his doom in the end. I bet he wants Chu Yuyan for the sake of his perfect appearence too. He deserves all of this.

      I am not sure about Meng Hao being a dao child. After reading up the this chapter, i didnt like that so called dao childs. They view themselves peerless and perfect. In addition everytime author was comparing him to dao childs. So in my eyes it became like Meng Hao vs Dao childs. It would be weird if he becomes one.

      But i wish he would stay in the Song Clan for a while. He can absorb spiritual energy here and its like the Blood Legacy tournament so it would be good for him to stay there i think. There are absolutely some secrets in this place.

      1. Yes, he’s arrogant, and needs to be put in his place, but I think humiliation and loss would be enough for that.

        Him thinking he’s better than Meng Hao, cure that with Meng Hao crushing him.

        Him being arrogant, allow him to be humiliated.

        But he should at least know the truth.. and at least have his relationship with his fiancee work out… for Chu Yuyan and his sake (I actually like Chu Yuyan with Meng Hao, but considering how hard she worked for Tengfei, I’d like it if they worked their things out and had a good relation).

        Even though he goes through a lot of sh*t, Wang Tengfei doesn’t give up. In the end, he is a lot like Meng Hao…. just more arrogant, talented (cause his talent is better) and unluckier(and Meng Hao’s luck more than makes up for his lesser talent).

        1. Yeah, i agree that he should know the truth. I wonder why Chu Yuyan doesnt tell him. Maybe her pride as a beautiful girl broken when Meng Hao didnt even attempt to take advantage of her? Because i am almost certain that except for Meng Hao, every other male was all-smiles while interacting her.

          So she cant say to Wang Tenfei that Meng Hao wasnt interested in her and even used her. Maybe she even wants rumours to be spread, so that others will think that she is being chased by 2 men. Then she will become the center of attention and restore her pride. Chu Yuyan is #1 guilty there. I hate that kind of woman most:/.

          You are right. I too want Chu Yuyan x Wang Tenfei work out. They are fit to each other i think:). I dont want her with Meng Hao anyway.

          Yeah, Wang Tengfei became stubborn because of Meng Hao. Maybe after facing defeat after defeat from Meng Hao, he will get rid of his arrogance too. He can be a good man after all:D.

        2. You say unluckier, when you are born in Wang Clan with a silver spoon and heaven defying rain dragon legacy…compared to an orphan whose only possession was a gourd which he threw. Are you really ..really serious?

    4. he is THE strongest within foundation establishment but only he knows that not the other people who only think he is a chosen cause he beat wang tengfei who is a chosen but not a dao child

    5. You think the Song clan would let Meng Hao get multiple wives?
      The Song mountain range just shortened their average heights by 4 inches. I think Meng Hao can get away with a lot of stuff in that clan.

      does anyone think Meng Hao might find the rest of the spirit scriptures? And the rest of the special/forbidden versions of every form?
      Are you referring to the Demon Sealing Hexes, or something else entirely? 🙂

  4. I imagine Meng Hao will test to see if the cubic pearl works, if not I can imagine him passing it on to who ever wants it. Or if any of his friends want to marry in to the song clan he will make a exchange.

    1. It’s to help us cultivate our imagination.

      My top three guesses:
      1) Stop coming here! (to a now famous meat jelly/green hat)
      2) Sect wide massacre! (it seems he didn’t find enough energy to form his fifth pillar peacefully, a pity)
      3) Steal heaven’s treasure! (he’s always doing something like that)

  5. Heh. And people are pissed enough at him just for the shit they actually know about.

    Man, I wish he could have kept the Nascient Soul Lamp. But that probably would have been enough spiritual energy for him to form all his pillars which doesn’t make for a very good story.

    And it’s funny how even though the Reliance Sect is gone; the former members of it are all so involved in major matters of the domain. Most anyway.

    1. I want Eccentric Song to collect his new winnings, and then someone proposes another contest with 3 fruits to see who actually gets the antidote treasure 😛 (I nominate Wang dude just coz he thinks Tengfei will win lol)

  6. So he can only absorb spiritual energy other than the one who come naturally from heaven.
    Sounds like a difficult places to be to find those from the story so far.

    Thank you for the revelation!

  7. This is the first time I write here after lurking for a couple of months. I really want to tank you mr deathblade. Thank you, your team and the donors for letting me read this fantastic novel. Thank you again man!

  8. I think there are several factors that play into the things people have mentioned.

    1. Meng Hao is likened to a Dao child but he’s really his own category. His latent talent seems to have relatively nothing to do with his cultivation ability anymore due to him having perfect dao pillars now that form rapidly. That and being able to duplicate pills to help him through the earlier formation of the pillar.

    2. He will likely have to teleport out. Once he shines that golden light again at the formation of his pillar, I’m guessing things will clear up enough for the Nascent Soul guys to see what he has. At that time, who wouldn’t want to take hold of Meng Hao and get the secrets from his body? Whoever tried to keep him would likely start a war between the clans/sects. This story is all about keeping chase of the main character, so he’ll escape and some of the other clans will focus on finding him instead of killing one another. I guess it could go the other route and they kill each other for a while, then decide Meng Hao is the main problem and life gets even worse for Meng Hao.

    3. Meng Hao is all about breaking boundaries. For some reason I think he’ll get the pearl but he will break the rules of the test to do it. His ability is more around thinking outside the box and ridiculous luck.

    4. When considering all of that, I just hope he teleports somewhere relatively safe like he did last time. For all we know, he’ll get teleported into the middle of some clan or sect that has core formation+ people there that could immediately attack him.

  9. Well no one else noticed so…

    I should make clear that the Dao Child of our Song Clan succeeded on his second attempt.” He glanced at Song Yuncai with a look of praise.

    FUUUUUUU-SIOOOON HA!!!!

    Song Yunshu and Wang Youcai have fused to become Song Yuncai the legendary…wait..?

    P.S Wow people hate Wang Tengfei. In the state of zhao he had every right to be arrogant, even if arrogance lacks virtue, his upbringing and background alone gave him good reason to be.

    Meng Hao the defiant, has been stealing luck and items since X BCultivators. He’s successfully stolen luck from Wang Tengfei, that old guy who had the perfect foundation recipe, patriarch reliance, Li clan dao child and the black sieve sect. He’ll probably steal luck from this resurrection lily next.

    Wang Tengfei has learnt from Meng Hao, he’s seen Meng Hao steal his luck and what he viewed as his destiny and the man wants it back. Even if he never loses his arrogance his perseverance is praiseworthy in and of itself. At his lowest, he has chosen to stand up. I can hate many things, but I can’t hate that.

    1. No no, I’m serious there is a typo!

      I should make clear that the Dao Child of our Song Clan succeeded on his second attempt.” He glanced at Song Yuncai with a look of praise.

      I should make clear that the Dao Child of our Song Clan succeeded on his second attempt.” He glanced at Song Yunshu with a look of praise.

  10. When the Violet Fate guy says ” His eight talismans treasure can reduce any force of pressure by twenty percent.” The raw says 可散威压八分, doesn’t that mean reduce it by 80%? (Or divide by 8) – can’t figure out which since either makes sense (it’s 8 talismans.)

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

  12. Hi. First time reading this series since it came out. Don’t know if this was already pointed out but I spotted an error.
    With a smile, Patriarch Song Tian said, “Muqiu makes it sound very complicated. The final test is a choice, and also a test of observation. I should make clear that the Dao Child of our Song Clan succeeded on his second attempt.” He glanced at Song Yuncai with a look of praise.

    Should be Yunshu.

    Thanks for the chapters. Keep it up!

  13. Hm Hm. *Claps* Here’s to hoping we don’t see him using the Demon Technique of Life Absorption again. Not because its not badass but because lots of people would be very upset with him haha.

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