Chapter 346: Who The Hell Are You?!
Meng Hao gazed at the Lotus Sword Formation. It came from the three-page booklet he’d acquired when conning the hundreds of Cultivators who were chasing him. As for who it had originally belonged to, he had no idea.
However, the small booklet had given Meng Hao a sense of great enlightenment. Before, he’d never realized that swords… could be organized into formations!
His research in recent days hadn’t been limited to totems and the small jar that was a legacy from the Fourth Mountain. He’d also spent significant time studying sword formations. The three-page booklet had no text, only illustrations; if you understood it, you understood it. If you didn’t, you never would.
Meng Hao didn’t understand very much, but based on what he did, he could form the lotus that he had just now. Even still, the sword formation was able to emanate shocking, explosive power.
Creating a formation like a lotus enabled him to unleash the deadly power of Time!
He paid little attention to the surrounding thousand Cultivators, but they had no choice other than to pay close attention to him. Meng Hao was their Patriarch, the soul of the Church of Golden Light. The name of Patriarch Golden Light had long since been placed in the highest position in the area.
Everyone’s hearts shook as they observed Meng Hao, the spinning lotus, and the decaying buildings in the basin. Big-head’s face was pale and his breathing ragged. His eyes filled with intense fear. Before, he had assumed Meng Hao had used all the power he possessed to chase him; however, the sight of this sword formation caused him to tremble in terror.
“Who in the Core Formation stage could possibly stand up against a sword formation like that?” he thought, his heart and mind trembling uncontrollably.
The lotus spun and Time danced. Heaven and Earth were shaken, and everything in the area crumbled. It was impossible for Meng Hao not to be the center of attention.
The parrot looked on in shock, its eyes filled with an expression that rarely existed there. It stared fixedly at the Lotus Sword Formation, panting. Next to it, the meat jelly gaped with equally wide eyes.
The two of them hadn’t noticed the booklet, and had been focused on managing the thousand Cultivators. They hadn’t paid attention to Meng Hao and his research of sword formations. Without thinking about it, they exchanged a glance, whereupon they noticed the mutual look of shock in each other’s eyes.
“I’ve never heard of this Lotus Sword Formation,” said the parrot, blinking. “However… looking at it gives me the chills….”
“It’s too wicked,” said the meat jelly solemnly. “An evil sword formation like this is too domineering. The aura is too bizarre. It should be destroyed! Such a thing should not even exist!”
“Lord Fifth feels a certain lack of understanding regarding this particular Master….” murmured the parrot.
Meanwhile, a group of a few dozen Cultivators hovered in the air at the edge of the basin, looking at the Lotus Sword Formation. One of their number was an old man. He watched on with a look of concentration, his eyes shining with a brilliant light.
This was one of the three Nascent Soul Patriarchs of the Dongluo Clan who had infuriated the parrot back in Dongluo City. Behind him were none other than Dongluo Ling and Dongluo Han, as well as other Dongluo Clan Cultivators.
All of them watched on in silence. The Cultivators who were under the Nascent Soul stage saw the ripples emanating out from the sword formation, and were shaken. They saw the decaying power contained within; the mountains grew old and even the ground itself was becoming ancient.
It was at this moment that Meng Hao’s eyes suddenly opened. They gleamed brightly as he waved his right hand. The Lotus Sword Formation streaked through the air toward the Dongluo Clan Cultivators.
The Nascent Soul Cultivator who floated in the lead position immediately waved his hand. A glowing shield appeared directly behind him and in front of the other Dongluo Clan members.
Meng Hao’s expression never changed. His right hand flickered in an incantation gesture, and then he waved a finger toward the sword formation. A buzzing sound filled the air. The lotus no longer rotated; the ten Wooden Time Swords transformed into ten beams of light that shot toward the old Nascent Soul Cultivator.
The man’s eyes glittered as he raised his right fist up into the air. Then, he slowly opened it and said, “Stabilize!”
As soon as the word left his mouth, the air seemed to collapse. A boom resonated out, and the land shook. The ten Time Swords suddenly stopped moving; they seemed incapable of flying forward even a teeny bit. However, the Nascent Soul Cultivator’s face suddenly fell.
The shield behind him began to fall into pieces, as if it had been in existence for a very long time. As it collapsed, the man’s face suddenly seemed to grow older.
It was as if his longevity were being sucked away. Even as his expression flickered, Meng Hao waved his right hand. The ten swords immediately flew back toward him and then disappeared.
Meng Hao rose to his feet. His black hair floated in the wind, and his long green robe gave him an elegant, erudite appearance. His refined features contained both the dignity of a scholar and the loftiness of a Cultivator. “I was working on my spell formations just now,” he said coolly, “and was a bit careless. Senior, I hope you can forgive me.”
It was only at this moment that the surrounding thousand Cultivators realized that dozens of Dongluo Clan Cultivators had appeared on the nearby mountain ridges. The eyes of the thousand Cultivators began to glow, and their power merged together to form a crushing weight that emanated out in all directions.
This land was their Sect, a place that outsiders were not permitted to enter without permission. Any visitor should announce themselves and make a formal request to pay a visit. However, the Dongluo Clan had showed up without any of the formalities.
Clearly, they came with ill intentions. This was even more apparent… because of the presence of the Nascent Soul Cultivator leading the group.
“Don’t worry about it,” said the Nascent Soul Cultivator with a laugh. “There’s no need to blame yourself, lad.” He advanced forward into the basin, followed by the dozens of Clan members. As he moved forward, his expression was normal, but his heart was filled with shock. The thousand Cultivators present all had different Cultivation bases, and yet the feeling they gave off was that they were integrated into a whole.
The feeling caused the heart of the Nascent Soul Cultivator to fill with amazement. Then he saw the decayed buildings in the area, and suddenly began to feel a bit of hesitation.
What caused him to hesitate was not Meng Hao’s Cultivation base, but rather the sword formation that he had just employed.
“This sword formation can absorb longevity….” The Nascent Soul Cultivator couldn’t shake the feeling that this place was completely bizarre. The two things that Nascent Soul Cultivators valued most were their lives and their longevity.
They had long lifespans, and because of that, any reduction to their longevity was very bothersome.
The original plan had been to travel to this place and force Meng Hao and his followers to join the Dongluo Clan. Should he refuse, the Dongluo Clan would resort to certain methods of force.
Meng Hao had grown a bit too powerful in the area, leading the Dongluo Clan to their current course of action.
However, it only took a moment for hesitation to fill the heart of the Nascent Soul Cultivator. He had just barely made contact with Meng Hao’s Lotus Sword Formation, but could tell that he had lost several months of longevity.
The next thing that happened was that he saw the parrot flying through the air. Suddenly, he sighed inwardly. At this point, he was quite certain that the parrot was the same as the muscular man he had encountered back in Dongluo City, transformed via some unknown technique.
All of these things, however, merely made him hesitate. They by no means made him abandon the plan laid out by the Dongluo Clan. He continued to advance until he was a bit more than thirty meters away from Meng Hao, whereupon he stopped. His eyes suddenly blazed with an aggressive aura as he stared at Meng Hao.
Hands clasped behind his back, he slowly said, “Unfortunately, lad, if word of your inadvertent actions spread, then it would have an adverse effect on my reputation.” He gave Meng Hao a meaningful look. “I assume you know why I’ve come here today. Please provide your response. What happens here today all depends on you.” His words were filled with an air of authority. Behind him, the dozens of Dongluo Clan members glared out in all directions.
It was only Dongluo Han who had an apologetic aura to him. Next to him, Dongluo Ling was the picture of loftiness; her expression was one of scorn as she stared at the hated Meng Hao, just waiting for him to bow his head in acquiescence.
As the old man’s words rang out, one figure after another suddenly appeared in the region surrounding the basin. They simply stood there, not entering the basin, but slowly emanating crushing pressure which descended upon the thousand local Cultivators.
The parrot looked around proudly, even scornfully. The meat jelly was currently perched atop the head of Huang Daxian, who was trembling in fear. A look of dignity covered its face as it attempted to count how many people were surrounding them.
However, no matter how it counted, there only seemed to be three….
As for the thousand Cultivators, their faces were filled with anxiety. It was only Big-head who set his jaw and then muttered to himself, “These Dongluo City people can mess with anyone they want, and they choose to mess with this inhuman villain….”
Meng Hao looked calmly at the Nascent Soul Cultivator in front of him. His Cultivation base was at the early Nascent Soul stage. He stood there like some kind of mountain, exerting powerful pressure. He held himself like the Lord of this area, as if he were in charge of the thousand Cultivators, as if their lives or deaths could be determined by a mere thought on his part.
His expression the same as ever, Meng Hao asked, “How will joining the Dongluo Clan benefit me?” It was as if he hadn’t even noticed the people standing on the surrounding mountain ridges.
“By becoming an auxiliary branch of the Dongluo Clan, you will have the right to occupy this position,” said the Nascent Soul Cultivator, his voice calm. “You can also receive financial support from the Dongluo Clan. Of course, you will need to consume the Clan’s medicinal supplements. When the appropriate time comes, we will of course dispel them.” He was convinced that Meng Hao would capitulate; there was really only one option available. Meng Hao wasn’t powerful enough to make any other choice.
Actually, considering the current crisis in the Black Lands, the Dongluo Clan had little other choice than to do things in this way. Because of the chaos everywhere, few people would willingly join them. The results of their recruiting efforts lately had been abysmal. Meng Hao and his thousand followers looked like meek lambs. Furthermore, Meng Hao’s Cultivation base was not high enough to cause them any concern. Even if his military might was strong at the moment, exterminating him wouldn’t be very difficult.
“I shall give you three breaths of time to consider,” said the old man with the flick of a sleeve. “You’re a smart fellow, you should be able to figure out what the right decision is. Even if you don’t want to concede, you will!”
“Who the hell are you again?” replied Meng Hao coolly, his expression the same as ever. “Is the Dongluo Clan looking for a new boss?”