ISSTH – Book 4 – Chapter 352

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Chapter 352: Chaos in the Black Lands!

It was dusk in the Black Lands. Meng Hao whistled through the air at high speed, like a green shooting star that disappeared over the horizon.

This was his seventh day of travel after leaving the city. He had followed the course laid out on the map in the jade slip, flying without rest the entire time. It was uncommon to find long-range teleportation portals within the Black Lands. If you wanted to travel somewhere, you needed to make the journey with your own power.

Throughout the seven days, lightning would occasionally fall, to be accompanied by the miserable shrieks of the Li Clan Patriarch. Meng Hao wasn’t harmed at all. At the moment, he was flying over the smoking ruins of what had once been a town home to a small-scale power. Amidst the smouldering wreckage, Meng hao could make out quite a few corpses.

This was the fifth such scene Meng Hao had encountered during the past seven days. He looked down at it for a moment, and was about to fly past when suddenly he gave out a cold snort. His eyes glittered with coldness and he waved his right hand. A flying sword had just shot out toward him; now it came to a halt about thirty meters away.

A sinister cry suddenly rang out from within the ruins. “Attack!”

Eight beams of light appeared, shooting up toward Meng Hao. Among the eight people was one late Core Formation Cultivator. Two were of the mid Core Formation stage, and the rest were of the early Core Formation stage. Eight men squads like this were nothing to take lightly in any location. As they flew out, they emanated shocking power.

However, other than the late Core Formation Cultivator, all of the men had listless expressions in their eyes. Their Cultivation bases were powerful, but their movements were rigid, like those of puppets.

They bore down on Meng Hao, employing blazingly colorful magical items and techniques. Flying swords and magical bottles filled the air, seemingly moments away from slamming into Meng Hao. Meng Hao frowned, then utilized the Bloodburst Flash. Instantly, his body flickered, and he disappeared. When he reappeared, he was some distance away.

This was not minor teleportation. However, to move such a distance in such a short time was completely shocking.

Booms filled the air as the position he had just occupied exploded into a pillar of light, the result of the combined attack.

Meng Hao’s expression grew dark. The attack just now had been filled with killing intent; however, he was certain that he had never met these people before.

“So, the chaos in the Black Lands has already reached this level,” he thought with a frown. It was at this moment that the group of eight men realized that Meng Hao had disappeared. They turned around and caught sight of him. The late Core Formation Cultivator gave a cold snort, and a vicious look appeared in his eyes.

“Trifling early Core Formation Cultivator. It looks like you have some nice magical techniques. However, now that you’ve run into me, you have no choice but to be a good boy and become my puppet. The more puppets I have, the safer I’ll be.” The man lifted his right hand, and immediately, the seven other Cultivators charged toward Meng Hao, their faces wooden.

Meng Hao blinked several times in succession, focusing the power of his Cultivation base into his right eye. Instantly, his view of the world changed. Using the Celestial vision technique, Meng Hao was able to see vast quantities of gossamer threads attached to the bodies of the seven Cultivators. The threads stretched back into the fist of the late Core Formation Cultivator.

It seemed these people really were all puppets under his control.

As they sped toward him, Meng Hao lifted his hand. He sliced his fingertip, causing blood to flow out. His face grim, he pointed forward, and everything in his field of view turned the color of blood. A rumbling filled the air, along with a Blood Qi that transformed into an attack that shot out toward the incoming seven Cultivators.

The rumbling increased in intensity as the Blood Qi shook the air with power like that of a dragon. The seven Cultivators coughed up blood, and their bodies tottered backward. The face of the Late Core Formation Cultivator flickered. Meng Hao shot forward once again using the Bloodburst Flash. In the blink of an eye, he was directly in front of his opponent. Without hesitation or mercy, he lifted his blood-soaked finger and pressed down onto the man’s forehead.

Blood Qi poured into the Cultivator’s body, causing him to tremble. Veins bulged out on his skin, and lines of red appeared in his eyes. He twitched a few times, and then exploded.

Meng Hao flicked his sleeve, preventing any of the blood and gore from touching him. He had slaughtered the late Core Formation Cultivator smoothly and efficiently. After the death of the late Core Formation Cultivator, the other seven people began to tremble. Blood oozed from their eyes, nose and mouth as they slowly died.

Brow furrowed, Meng Hao collected their bags of holding. The entire battle had been a bit strange.

“It seems everyone in the Black Lands is living in fear. The weak wish to be strong, and will kill without compunction. Slaughtering opponents leads to increased strength.” He turned, disappearing off into the distance as he continued on toward Holy Snow City.

“I hope nothing too drastic has occurred to the Frigid Snow Clan of Holy Snow City. They are the only people who can raise Frigid Snow larvae, so if anything has changed, my plan will be ruined.” As of now, Meng Hao truly understood the level of chaos within the Black Lands. He continued forward at top speed.

Several days later, he was traveling through a chain of mountains when a boom suddenly echoed out. Meng Hao’s eyes glowed with killing intent as a dozen or so Cultivators closed in on him. He continued on, and heads flew. After enough time passed for an incense stick to burn, Meng Hao left, leaving only complete death in his wake.

The attack just now had stemmed from an incident a few days before when Meng Hao had consumed a medicinal pill to bolster his Cultivation base. The scene had been witnessed by a Cultivator, which led to an explosion of greed among other locals. Now, they were all dead.

Time passed by slowly. Half a month later, Meng Hao was still traveling along alone. He had faced quite a bit of dangerous situations along the way, but in the end, his grisly tactics left anyone who messed with him dead. Afterwards, he used a magical technique to cause their severed heads to float along behind him as he traveled. It was a road of death and severed heads.

In the end, the floating severed heads grew more and more numerous. There were dozens of them, most of them dried and withered, although some still dripped with blood.

This sight shocked the hearts of many local scoundrels, and enabled Meng Hao to travel a bit more safely. Fewer and fewer people were willing to provoke him.

Any Cultivator with brains who saw the macabre floating heads would immediately dispel any notions they had of messing with Meng Hao.

A few more days passed. More than a month had gone by since Meng Hao left the former Dongluo City. He had nearly crossed the entire Black Lands, and had personally witnessed the anarchy which reigned. There was no order. The forces of the Black Lands Palace and the armies of the United Nine engaged in countless battles which left the land swathed in the flames of war.

The pandemonium was like an even more explicit version of the law of the jungle. There was no need to conceal one’s actions, no need for misgivings. Only the strong survived. As for the weak, they were there to serve the strong.

Within a month’s time, of the nine cities that made up the United Nine, only four remained. The Clans in the other cities were either exterminated, seized by the Black Lands Palace, or forced to flee into hiding. It was simply too difficult for the United Nine to stand up to the combined forces of the Western Desert and the Black Lands Palace.

It was only the day before that Meng Hao heard that Holy Snow City had been besieged, which caused his heart to sink.

“I’d hoped there would be no obstructions on my way there,” he said, shaking his head. He shot forward as fast as possible. According to his estimation, his current rate of travel would get him to the vicinity of Holy Snow City in about two days.

Currently, he shot across the land underneath the evening sky. The ground below was no longer pitch black, but rather somewhat pale. It was not white soil, but rather, snow.

The air temperature was so low that Meng Hao could see his own breath.

The wind was bone-piercingly cold, and it had begun to snow.

It had been a very long time since he had seen snowfall. In fact, to his best recollection, the last time had been that snowy night in the State of Zhao when he’d shared the horse cart with the scholar and engaged in a lively discussion. 1

Snowflakes floated down from the sky, and Meng Hao’s eyes glittered as he saw the snow piling up on the ground. Down below was a forest, although there were no leaves on any of the trees. Instead, their withered branches were piled up with accumulations of snow.

Meng Hao looked off into the distance, and suddenly his expression flickered. He dropped down to the ground and ceased flying. His green robe whipped in the wind as he walked through the forest.

Deeper within the forest were two Cultivators, blood spattered and pale-faced, standing protectively in front of a young woman in her late teens. She wore a white gown and was spectacularly beautiful. However, she seemed to be in a very miserable situation. Her face was also pale, and filled with a miserable expression. In her right hand she held a larva that appeared to be made of crystal. It was currently spinning silk, which transformed into a bright light that surrounded the group of three people. Unfortunately, the larva appeared to be somewhat listless, as if it were on the verge of death.

The group was currently surrounded by a pack of one hundred wolves, all of whom emanated black auras, and had bright red eyes. Behind the wolves was a Western Desert Cultivator, his body festooned with totem tattoos, who was staring greedily at the white-robed young woman.

The Cultivators protecting the young woman consisted of a man and a woman. The man gruffly cried out, “You despicable Western Desert Cultivator! Don’t you fear the power of our Frigid Snow Clan’s Spirit Severing Patriarch?!”

“There’s no need to discuss whether your Spirit Severing Patriarch is alive or not,” replied the Western Desert Cultivator in a hoarse voice. “If he’s alive, he’ll be paying attention to the battle of Holy Snow City. Right now… you’re just a regular old Frigid Snow Clan member. Your life or death won’t mean anything to him.”

The man waved his right arm, and the hundred black wolves pounced, slamming into the shield weaved by the larva. Booms rang out, and the Western Desert Cultivator’s eyes brimmed with avarice.

“Your Frigid Snow Clan switched out the character ‘blood’ in your name with the character ‘snow.’ But did you really think that would make the Western Desert forget about you?” The man laughed as he stared at the girl. 2

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  1. Meng Hao shared the horse cart with the scholar way back in chapter 58
  2. In Chinese, the character for “snow” and “blood” are pronounced the same. Well, the character for blood actually has a few pronunciation variations, and one of them is exactly the same as snow

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82 thoughts on “ISSTH – Book 4 – Chapter 352” - NO SPOILERS

  1. First! Thanks for the chapter Lord Fif- I mean Deathblade senpai!! *Phew almost blew my cover, we wouldn’t want Deathblade to know about the rebellion just yet*

  2. He had faced quite a bit of dangerous situations along the way, but in the end, his grisly tactics left anyone who messed with him dead. Afterwards, he used a magical technique to cause their severed heads to float along behind him as he traveled. It was a road of death and severed heads.
    ~He’s advancing. An entirely new group of followers.

    The air temperature was so low that Meng Hao could see his own breath.
    The wind was bone-piercingly cold, and it had begun to snow.
    It had been a very long time since he had seen snowfall. In fact, to his best recollection, the last time had been that snowy night in the State of Zhao when he’d shared the horse cart with the scholar and engaged in a lively discussion.
    ~The moment I saw snow, I thought of the carriage ride night. Not even joking. I hope he meets that guy again someday. Fun guy.

    1. I learned previously that the author of ISSTH also wrote another novel I read, Xian Ni. But with this chapter I totally see the similarity, the Xian Ni MC do something similar at a moment (maybe more bloody). And I seriously love how he transform a normal MC into a bloody badass monster.

      1. There’s a difference between them doing this though. If I remember correctly, Wang Lin did it mostly to show off his power. The guy basically went on a killing spree b/c he could. While Meng did it to remove unnecessary annoyances so he could move faster and safer to Holy Snow City as drastic changes to it from war might ruin his plan.

          1. lol, sorry, my reply was more to Langsteur. I agree with you that Meng’s a sociopath, most Cultivators are. But the difference here also, is that Meng has a bottom line. He’ll do what’s needed, but he won’t bend his Confucian principles too much, only with necessary killings (so far).

          2. Psychopath and Sociopath define the same thing, it’s only the society that tries to differentiate the two and make them into two separate categories based on certain traits of the person in question. Usually a sociopath is seen as less dangerous than a psychopath, but really… there is no very notable difference in the term. Both describe the same disorders, but then some people took it upon themselves to define sociopaths as a milder version of psychopath. Both words actually mean exactly the same thing. Both are broad terms that include just about all antisocial personality disorders that can cause the person to commit amoral or violent acts without feeling much guilt or any at all.

            Taken from a dictionary:
            Psychopath
            (Psychiatry) a person afflicted with a personality disorder characterized by a tendency to commit antisocial and sometimes violent acts and a failure to feel guilt for such acts. Also called: sociopath

            I wouldn’t really say he’s a sociopath/psychopath, he’s not antisocial at all, this is not our own modern day world where this is seen as psychopathic behavior(it’s not that amoral to kill people here actually, it’s even normal), it’s a kill or be killed world, almost all his acts are born out of necessity and not of a failure to feel emotions. He does feel emotions, a lot of them, he does interact with people, he even loves at least one and think of others as family, he actually spares people that he knew meant no harm or just acted because they were forced to, if it’s possible. He doesn’t really like the killing, it’s just that he is becoming numb to it(like most other people), he HAS to kill, otherwise it will all come back to bite him in the ass, people will spread rumors or gather more people to kill him, they will look down on him, he would’ve been dead thousands of times over already if he didn’t get rid of loose ends, something we got explained to us in the first 70-80 or so chapters.

            You guys really need to understand what a sociopath/psychopath actually is. Killing people ruthlessly/mercilessly does NOT automatically make you a sociopath, no matter what all those hollywood movies taught you. If that was the case, everyone participating in war would be psychopaths, because they killed people out of necessity and because of their beliefs. Our world would be freaking full of psychopaths roaming the streets, the so-called “war heroes” would be the biggest sociopaths and psychopaths of them all, clearly needing to be put down like rabid dogs instead of being praised. It’s all about circumstances, necessity, reasons.

            It’s honestly baffling and amusing how people twist terms they don’t really understand and apply them to others without thinking. I do agree that Meng Hao is merciless and ruthless though, he is clearly being excessive sometimes, the the floating heads made me crack up a little bit, haha. Maybe I’m also a psychopath, right? Well, no matter. I understand why he did it, it’s reasonable even if it’s somewhat cruel. At least he didn’t kill them for no reason, they first tried to kill him, he defended himself and counterattacked, he rarely attacks without a solid reason. Why not make use of their heads, it’s not like they’re going to miss them, hahahaha. Perhaps we will soon be introduced to headless horsemen coming for meng hao while searching for their heads 😀

          3. seregosa
            also he “saved” the people he scare with the heads by making them not attack him (and receiving an insta-kill in response)

        1. Nah, the situation was similar for Wang Lin, even worst. He had a bloodmark hovering over his head that broadcast for thousands of miles for everyone to see and come kill him.

          1. Oh right… kind of forgot why he went on a killing spree. But didn’t the guy warned Wang Lin that killing him would make bloodmark hover over his head? I know he had to do it, but it felt like he’d wanted it as an excuse to go killing. idk… I guess the difference in their situation being that Wang Lin also killed “innocent bystanders” just to warn people off, while here, Meng’s just minding his own business but people still attacked him.

        2. In Xian Ni, Wang Lin just make a breakthrough and started slaughtering all his enemies and impaled them on dragon tendons and proceed to drag them toward enemy HQ and killing and impaled all he came across while holding a beautiful babe on his side. That was kinda macabre.
          Here, Meng Hao is using those severed heads as scarecrows. Different motive.

          1. Ah thanks. that’s what I was trying to say. Just couldn’t find the word :O . They both use their kills as scarecrows I think, since Wang got the bloodmark hovering over his head. But yea, Wang Lin was wayy aggressive in his killings (even “innocent bystanders”?) while Meng was passive and only killed those who attacked him, like what he’d always done after killing Ding Xin.

    2. Well, I’ve always thought he’s a full sociopath long ago. He’s just displaying warnings so he could travel safer and faster since drastic changes to Holy Snow City due to war might ruin his plan.

    3. Nope. Being a sociopath doesn’t mean that you’re scary. It kind of means that you don’t really feel empathy, shame, guilt, and don’t really care about other people. That clearly doesn’t describe Meng Hao. He feels guilt, he has friends that he cares a lot about, and he actually gives more to his friends than they give to him. Meng Hao has nothing to do with a sociopath. If you want a sociopath I’d probably look at Li Xuan from Martial Emperor Reborn.

  3. “Well, the character for blood actually has a few pronunciation variations, and one of them is exactly the same as blood” I think one of those “blood”s is meant to be “snow”

    1. I hazard it must be pronunciation of “Xue” for snow and blood.
      So there is relationship between Western Tribes and Snow Clan, perhaps the Frigid Snow are formerly Western Desert clan as well. Seeing Western tendencies to use animal as motifs for totem and Frigid Snow able to tame the Larva are similar.

  4. Thanks for the chapter!!!

    “It had been a very long time since he had seen snowfall. In fact, to his best recollection, the last time had been that snowy night in the State of Zhao when he’d shared the horse cart with the scholar and engaged in a lively discussion”

    …pretty sure the last time he’d seen snowfall was after he’d killed Ding Xin and walked off into the falling snow. Guess stuff was on his mind then. Or it’s better to remember the nicer times.

    1. Wasn’t that discussion with the scholar after he killed Ding Xin? Cause i seem to remember him thinking about his “rebirth” at that lake amidst his monologue of life and snow.

      1. No. Meng’s discussion with Scholar Zheng about life was in ch58. He killed Ding Xin in ch67. Here’s the memorable imagery from ch67:

        “Meng Hao turned and walked away.

        It was evening, and as he walked off into the distance, snow began to fall from the sky. It covered him, his footprints, and the reek of blood. The snow accompanied him as he walked further and further away.

        “I am the snow during winter. If I get too close to summer, then… summer will melt me. That is not the world of snow, nor is it my world.” Meng Hao disappeared into the distance. He looked like a scholar, but deep down, he was as cold as snow.”

    2. The idea that he hasn’t seen any snowfall in like 15 years seems absurd to me to start with. I think that the author is just making it so that if he doesn’t mention it in writing then it didn’t happen. Even if there doesn’t seem to be seasons in this story how many mountains has Meng Hao been on? He should have seen some snowfall.

      1. yea, I thought it was a little absurd too, and also b/c author got it wrong. I guess that’s why he wrote “to [Meng’s] best recollection”… as if Meng got poor memory :O . I thought Southern Domain has a warm climate year round, but I could be wrong. Also for the mountains, most are protected by defensive spells, like those in Black Sieve Sect. And Meng mostly stayed in his Immortal’s cave…. I guess it was more to say that he hadn’t been in a snowfall since then.

  5. Thanks for your hard work.

    It’s kinda weird: “Well, the character for blood actually has a few pronunciation variations, and one of them is exactly the same as blood”

    do you mean “as snow”?

  6. Thanks for the chapter Deathblade, Madam Deathblade, John Rogers, anonpuffs, Lingson, Meeboo, Yascob, and Er Gen! Dear WuxiaWorld, many thanks to the Author, Translator(s), (Editors), (Donors) for the awesome chapter! Thanks to peacefuloutrage senpai for the comment. With lots of love, Jack ❤

  7. “Trifling early Core Formation Cultivator. It looks like you have some nice magical techniques. However, now that you’ve run into me, you have no choice but to be a good boy and become my puppet. The more puppets I have, the safer I’ll be.” The man lifted his right hand, and immediately, the seven other Cultivators charged toward Meng Hao, their faces wooden.

    Uh, early? I thought meng hao is middle…? @_@

    Thanks for the chapter, deathblade and crew!

    1. Meng Hao always hide his true power, if he allow his Perfect Core to be shown openly will be a very bad thing.
      1. Lesser level or even supposedly same level (even late Core) will be suppressed in present of Perfect Core, lower stage like Foundation may find their Pillars start cracking like crazy then keel over and died, it happen when he has Perfect 10 Pillars! He may not want to be disturb but he do not want kill people for no reason other than passing thru.
      2. It get people to lower their guards against him. Especially his now infamous shy scholar play!
      3. Other old Wang that want to rob his body (Meng Hao still unaware of this yet), there may have people that want to refine perfect body!
      4. Higher stage people will pursue him for his knowledge of Perfect cultivation!

  8. “Your Frigid Snow Clan switched out the character ‘blood’ in your name with the character ‘snow.’ But did you really think that would make the Western Desert forget about you?”

    ——-

    Seems Snow Clan also are of barbarian origin

  9. “It was at this moment that the group of eight men realized that Meng Hao had disappeared.”
    No, no, it should be like this:
    “It was at this moment that the group of eight men realized that they had f*cked up.”

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