Chapter 266: The Faceless Azure Hero!
Seven days later, massive, figurative storm winds buffeted the Southern Domain. The hearts of each and every Southern Domain Cultivator in the western region was completely shaken.
All of this was because of one name.
The Faceless Azure Hero!
According to the rumors, he wore a long, azure-colored robe, and his face was nothing but a blur.
According to the rumors, he was only in the late Foundation Establishment stage, but his battle prowess was incredible, something rarely seen.
According to the rumors, whenever he attacked, he would only say one thing:
The rumors had begun to spread immediately after his first battle, seven days before. He had fought a Chosen of the Golden Frost Sect, who was of the great circle of late Foundation Establishment. They had met each other flying in mid air, and for no apparent reason, the words “fight” had been uttered, whereupon a boom filled the sky.
In an instant, the Golden Frost Sect Chosen was defeated. It happened in the blink of an eye, as if the man were dry weeds or rotten wood, just waiting to be crushed.
Many people saw the fight. It was incredibly shocking, but before they could even spread the news, they witnessed the Faceless Azure Hero’s second battle.
His opponent was a Chosen of the Blood Demon Sect. Again, the Chosen was defeated in an instant!
Their lives were spared. However, such decisive defeats were like massive floodwaters that could smash away one’s self-confidence, and left each opponent at a complete loss.
In the following days, the Li Clan, the Black Sieve Sect, the Song Clan, the Solitary Sword Sect, the Wang Clan… all the grand Sects and Clans saw similar fates befall their Chosen disciples. Anyone who met the man in the azure robe would never even have a chance to make two attacks. They were all instantly defeated.
The western region of the Southern Domain was in an uproar as everyone began to speculate regarding the identity of this faceless, azure-robed man. Opinions were widely varied.
On the eighth day, roughly fifteen hundred kilometers away from the Dao Geyser, where the Solitary Sword Sect disciples were gathered together, an azure-robed form flitted about in mid-air. Up ahead was a middle-aged man with a flushed face. His eyes shone brightly as he stared at the azure-robed man in front of him.
“Just who exactly are you?!”
The azure-robed man was naturally none other than Meng Hao.
For the past several days he had been constantly fighting, all in an attempt to gain battle enlightenment regarding his ninth Dao pillar. He had heard of the Dao Geyser, of course, as well as of the people who had reached Core Formation.
However, he didn’t immediately go to the Dao Geyser. Instead, he continued to issue challenges to the heroes of the Southern Domain. After days of facing off against multiple opponents, and achieving victory after victory, he now had his sights set on the Dao children of the various Sects and Clans.
The middle-aged man in front of him was none other than the First of the Seven Sons of the Solitary Sword Sect, Han Shandao, of the great circle of Foundation Establishment, half way to Core Formation!
“Fight? Or not?” asked Meng Hao, his voice cool.
Han Shandao’s eyes shone brightly. Lifting his head to the sky, he laughed heartily, then rose his right hand, sending his massive greatsword screaming out. The sword aura shone up to the heavens as it shot toward Meng Hao. A light smile touched the corners of Meng Hao’s lips, and he advanced forward a step.
A massive boom filled the air, and at the same time….
Blood sprayed from Han Shandao’s mouth as he tumbled backward through the air. Astonishment filled his face. His greatsword had begun to crumble into pieces. Hidden inside was a flying dagger which could unleash the power of Core Formation. However, it too was shaking and covered with cracks, and flew backward along with Han Shandao.
One moment, one move, utter defeat!
A long slash stretched from Han Shandao’s right shoulder all the way to his left armpit. Bone could be seen within the wound, and blood gurgled out from within. Han Shandao’s face was pale as one of the other Solitary Sword Sect disciples helped him to his feet.
He took a deep breath and stood there on wobbly legs. “Your excellency has gained enlightenment regarding the ancient battle incantation contained in the Dao Geyser. I concede defeat.”
Meng Hao didn’t respond. He simply turned and left. During these eight days, he had battled many people. Quite a few of them brought up the matter of the Dao Geyser, and the ancient battle incantation.
After Meng Hao took his leave, the blurriness on his face changed. A moment later, he once again looked like Fang Mu. However, he still wore the azure robe. An hour later, Meng Hao looked out over a massive lake.
It was a lake, but it would be more proper to call it a Dao Geyser!
The lake was surrounded by quite an assembly of Cultivators, over ten thousand of them. They all sat cross-legged, seemingly deep in meditation.
Meng Hao’s arrival didn’t attract any attention whatsoever.
He looked around at the crowds, and then selected a spot with fewer people, where he sat down cross-legged and began to silently observe the Dao Geyser.
Time passed. On the second day, Meng Hao noticed that more and more Cultivators were arriving, from all directions. By midday, there were now several tens of thousands of people present.
By evening, the entire area was packed. There appeared to be nearly one hundred thousand Cultivators!
Suddenly, water shot up and then glowing lights appeared above the Dao Geyser. The lights interlocked to form a screen in the sky. Within the screen was the indistinct image of a person, sitting cross-legged in meditation, both hands flashing an incantation. It was a Dao Projection!
“What exactly is the enlightenment contained in the Dao Geyser? What the hell? I’ve been here for nearly a year, but my Cultivation base hasn’t made the slightest bit of progress.”
The voices of the surrounding Cultivators filled the air. Meng Hao looked up to examine the screen. As he did, the blurry image began to glow clearer, as did the man’s two hands. Meng Hao suddenly realized that the illusory image of the man was emanating killing intent!
The killing intent was faint, but Meng Hao was sure it was there, and that he was not the only person to notice it.
Murmuring to himself, he calmed his heart and forced himself into a state of tranquility. He stared at the figure on the screen, and gradually began to zone out everything else. He was in this state for an entire night. Early the next morning, he frowned. He had made no progress whatsoever.
Even as he sat there thoughtfully, an eager voice came to him from off to the side. “Hey, Fellow Daoist, check this out.” It was a middle-aged man, gaunt, but with bright eyes. His entire person seemed to radiate shrewdness.
Meng Hao had noticed him earlier. He had been making his way through the crowds surrounding the Dao Geyser, peddling books from out of his bag of holding. Few people seemed interested in buying, though, and the vast majority seemed to find him extremely annoying.
The man was discreet, though, and as soon as he sensed he wasn’t wanted, would smile and take his leave.
He stood next to Meng Hao, his expression one of eagerness. With an ingratiating bow toward Meng Hao, he bowed from the waist and hurriedly began to speak.
“Fellow Daoist, are you worried because you haven’t gained the enlightenment of the Dao Geyser?” His voice was filled with infectious enthusiasm. “Have you encountered a mountain of treasure, but aren’t really sure what to do with it?”
Meng Hao stared at the man, taken aback.
“Don’t worry a bit,” continued the man, his eyes shining brightly. “You are about to gaze upon the Exalted Lord’s Limitless Ancient Dao Geyser Enlightenment primer!” He slapped his bag of holding and immediately a faded pamphlet appeared in his hand.
“In this Exalted Lord’s Limitless Ancient Dao Geyser Enlightenment primer, I have humbly recorded the enlightenment of countless Fellow Daoists. In fact, at no small cost, I even went to pay my respects to Celestial Goddess Xu Qing of the Black Sieve Sect, Celestial Goddess of the Blood Demon Sect Li Shiqi, as well as Dao Child of the Wang Clan, Wang Lihai. All of their enlightenment is contained therein. It also contains the knowledge of more than one hundred Chosen from various Sects. It was with copious blood, sweat and tears that I produced this Exalted Lord’s Limitless Enlightenment primer!” The man spoke very quickly, holding the book in one hand and making various gestures with the other. Meng Hao stared in shock.
“Fellow Daoist, I know what you’re thinking. The value of a book such as the Exalted Lord’s Limitless Ancient Enlightenment primer is impossible to determine. It’s priceless, right?” He slapped his thigh, as if forcing himself to make a decision.
“Fellow Daoist, you can rest assured. The cost to acquire this Exalted Lord’s Limitless Enlightenment primer is not one hundred thousand Spirit Stones. It is not ten thousand Spirit Stones. Nor is it one thousand Spirit Stones. This book, which contains the enlightenment of over one hundred Chosen, as well as several Dao Children, which was compiled at the cost of countless blood, sweat and tears, this Exalted Lord’s Limitless Enlightenment primer can be yours for only ninety-nine Spirit Stones!”
Meng Hao cleared his throat and was about to say something.
“Fellow Daoist, don’t lose out on this opportunity! You have a chance now that will never return again. Listen, I’ll tell you a secret.” He looked around, then lowered his voice. “Have you heard of the Faceless Azure Hero? That’s the famous, ruthless wanderer who has defeated countless Chosen, all in the blink of an eye. In fact, you might not have heard that just a few days ago, he fought with Han Shandao of the Solitary Sword Sect, and Han Shandao was defeated decisively!
“Fellow Daoist, listen. Just half a month ago, the Faceless Azure Hero purchased one of my Exalted Lord’s Limitless Enlightenment primers!”
Meng Hao frowned as he took another look at the middle-aged man.
“Okay, okay. How about ten Spirit Stones? I’ll sell you a copy for ten Spirit Stones. You’re my first customer of the day, which makes us friends. I’m Xu Liushan, disciple of the Blood Demon Sect.”
Meng Hao hesitated for a moment, and then said, “I only have three Spirit Stones.” He promptly pulled out his final three Spirit Stones from his robe.
“Deal!” replied the middle-aged man, without a moment’s hesitation. He immediately placed the Exalted Lord’s Limitless Enlightenment primer into Meng Hao’s hand, apparently fearing that Meng Hao might change his mind.
Meng Hao looked at the pamphlet with a wry smile. A sudden breeze passed by, flipping open the pamphlet. Meng Hao’s eyes suddenly narrowed, and he handed the three Spirit Stones to Xu Liushan.
Xu Liushan quickly left, sighing and muttering to himself about how difficult it was to do business these days. Actually, the images in the booklet had been drawn by himself. He had been in the area of the ancient Dao Geyser for quite some time. Each time the screen appeared, he would draw an image of it. After some time, he came up with the idea of selling it.
Meng Hao ignored Xu Liushan and began to leaf through the pamphlet. Each drawing seemed to be almost exactly the same. However, it wasn’t long before a strange light began to gleam within Meng Hao’s eyes. He lifted his head to look up at the image on the screen which hovered in the middle of the Dao Geyser.
“The images in this booklet all appear to be the same, but actually there is something different about each one….” Meng Hao studied the screen for some time, until finally it began to fade. The instant it was about to fade completely, a tremor ran through Meng Hao’s body. He had seen what the difference was. Within the figure on the screen was… a strand of Qi!
The strand of Qi was constantly in motion. Therefore, each of the drawings was slightly different. The differences were so minute, however, that even Xu Liushan hadn’t noticed.