Chapter 369: Thorn Rampart
Meng Hao’s eyes snapped open. “Give me the Thorn Rampart seed!”
A strange light gleamed in his eyes, as if Time itself were buried within. Gradually, it turned into an indescribable power, like some sort of magical technique that made it so a single glance from him could cause a person to never be able to forget him.
Hanxue Shan’s heart shook. She had seen a gaze like this before, back when the Spirit Severing Patriarch had awoken once. His eyes had contained deep abstruseness, as if they contained Time. A single glance from him was something she wouldn’t be able to forget for countless years.
As her mind reeled, she seemed to lose any ability to resist him. Without thinking about it, she reached her hand out and handed over her Clan’s sacred relic, the Thorn Rampart seed.
The instant the seed touched his hand, Meng Hao gasped. His Cultivation base rotated rapidly, and a golden light instantly spread out. His secret catalysis art, the magic of Time, and the newly acquired secret Dragoneer technique were all unleashed inside of him.
The ability to catalyze all plants. The magic to unleash the power of Time. The Dragoneer ability to control all the beasts under Heaven. These three mysterious arts melded together inside Meng Hao, and as his Cultivation base rotated, the Thorn Rampart seed in his hand suddenly began to expand. It was no longer withered, and in fact, within moments, a sprout appeared, which turned into vegetation. Within the blink of an eye, it had grown to cover Meng Hao’s entire arm.
Meng Hao’s body was no longer shining with a golden light. Shockingly, a thick plant-like aura emanated out from him. This aura instantly caught the attention of the attacking Western Desert Cultivators. When they laid eyes on Meng Hao, they weren’t sure why, but their hearts began to tremble. Immediately, they shot toward him.
The only person near Meng Hao was Hanxue Shan. Everyone else had long since fled. The city wall was falling, and up above, the four Grand Elders had looks of despair written on their faces.
How could they have imagined that after the three month period, the Black Lands Palace and the Western Desert would launch a full-scale assault? There was no way that Holy Snow City could stand up to it.
Hanxue Shan smiled sadly as she watched the eight Western Desert Cultivators closing in on Meng Hao. There was nothing she could do to fight back against them. In a moment, they were thirty meters away from Meng Hao.
Meng Hao sat there cross-legged, clutching the Thorn Rampart seed. Green vegetation and leaves covered his right arm, and continued to grow, covering the rest of his body.
Thirty meters. Twenty-five meters. Fifteen meters!
When they were fifteen meters away, Meng Hao’s closed eyes suddenly snapped open. They glowed brightly as he reached his right hand out and pushed it down onto the ground.
As he did, the plant material on his body burrowed down into the soil. Suddenly, shocking rumbling sounds could be heard as a three meter long thorn stabbed out from the ground next to the city wall. The speed with which it moved was hard to describe, and made it impossible for anyone to evade it. In the blink of an eye, it stabbed through one of the Western Desert Cultivators.
Next, more thorns burst up around Meng Hao. Miserable screams filled the air as the rest of the seven Western Desert Cultivators were stabbed through with long thorns and lifted up into the air.
Even more shocking was that after stabbing through the Cultivators, the thorns twitched and trembled, as if they were absorbing the Cultivators’ blood and Cultivation base. The eight men rapidly began to wither. Bloodcurdling shrieks filled the air that didn’t even sound human, echoing out, causing all of the other surrounding Cultivators to feel extreme shock.
“What is that?” they thought, panting.
Before they had time to react, masses of small thorns exploded out from the shriveled bodies of the eight Cultivators to shoot out in all directions.
Some stabbed into the ground and disappeared. They reappeared moments later, in locations not too distant, where they stabbed into the bodies of more Cultivators.
Others directly shot into nearby Cultivators. Even as they screamed out, their bodies withered, whereupon more thorns would explode out.
Meng Hao was the center of it all as thorns began to stab out from the city walls themselves. This, of course, caused a great commotion. The thorns actually didn’t distinguish between Holy Snow City Cultivators or those from the Black Lands Palace. They stabbed through all of them, absorbing their flesh, blood and life force, and then expanding. Within the space of a few breaths, the area surrounding Meng Hao for three thousand meters was a world filled with thorns.
This, of course, instantly affected the course of the battle. Vast numbers of Black Lands Palace Cultivators retreated backward in shock. Unfortunately, they were too slow and were still stabbed through by the thorns. Soon, the entire city was bristling with thorns, sharp, fierce and bright red. By this time, the thorns were already expanding outside the city as well.
Back inside the city, all of the Holy Snow City Cultivators stood with pale faces, not daring to move. Everything around them was surrounded by countless thorns. They looked out at the Black Lands Palace Cultivators and their beasts outside of the city. Howling in anguish, they retreated at top speed as thorns burst out from the ground around them.
The sky wasn’t safe either. The thorns shot up into the air, stabbing into any living thing that flew about up above.
By now, everything seemed to be covered with thorns. Outside the city, only a few hundred of the Black Lands Palace and Western Desert Cultivators managed to flee without being affected. They stared back at the scene behind them with shock and astonishment.
Up above, the four Grand Elders and the Nascent Soul Cultivators from the Black Lands Palace and the Western Desert were no longer capable of fighting. They had split apart, and were constantly blocking the shooting thorns.
As of now, all eyes on the battlefield were fixed on Meng Hao. In front of him was a ferocious, gigantic thorn, rising straight up into the sky. It emanated a Blood Qi, and was covered by countless smaller thorns. It was thoroughly sinister.
Meng Hao seemed to be the very center of it all, and the only place that didn’t have any thorns. He seemed to be the source of all the thorns, and as he slowly rose to his feet, countless gasps filled the air.
Around his right hand swirled innumerable leaves, each one of which was covered with thorns. Not a single person would disbelieve that Meng Hao was the source of all the thorns everywhere.
He took a deep breath. He’d never imagined that the Thorn Rampart seed would be so astonishing. The fact that it couldn’t tell the difference between friend and foe was something he couldn’t do anything about. It required his power of catalysis to grow, but when it came to sucking the life and blood out of Cultivators, Meng Hao could do nothing to control it, although he could sense it.
“Grandmaster Meng….” said a nearby Holy Snow City Cultivator. His left leg had been stabbed by a thorn. As soon as the word left his mouth, a thorn suddenly flew over, and he closed his mouth. The thorn stopped only an inch from his forehead, where it hovered like a snake for a moment before moving away.
Everything was quiet. All of the Cultivators in the area who had been stabbed by thorns, be they from the Western Desert or the Black Lands, stood stock still, not daring to utter a peep.
Up in mid-air, the faces of the Nascent Soul Cultivators flickered, and they also stopped moving, not daring to fly or speak. The reason for this was that they were surrounded by tens of thousands of thorns. From the looks of things, if they made even the slightest move, the thorns would instantly stab through them and kill them.
Meng Hao took a deep breath, and his eyes shone brightly.
On the city wall, and outside the city, were countless Cultivators and beasts who had been stabbed by thorns. Their faces were pale and filled with dread as they gazed over at Meng Hao.
The few hundred people who had managed to escape the danger looked at Meng Hao, as quiet as cicadas during the winter. At the moment, everyone on the battlefield suddenly realized that the outcome of the entire battle now lay in one person’s hand.
That person was none other than Meng Hao.
Meng Hao was the only person among them who knew that the decision actually wasn’t his to make. This Thorn Rampart was actually not responding to any of his commands….
He thought silently as he looked around. The thorns were still stabbed through the surrounding Cultivators, who could only stand there with looks of despair on their faces.
It was at this moment that suddenly, a voice entered Meng Hao’s ears that no one else could hear. It was an ancient voice, as weak as if it came from the mouth of someone about to die.
“The destructive Thorn Rampart can exterminate anything under the Spirit Severing stage. Once it takes root, it can’t be moved, and will live for one month…. It doesn’t matter how you woke it. Right now, you need to still your mind and extract a drop of blood from yourself that contains some of your will. Place it onto the Thorn Rampart trunk in front of you. Remember…. The drop of blood must contain your will. That will allow you to issue an order to the thorns.” The voice seemed to have come out from nowhere, but as soon as Meng Hao heard it, he suddenly recalled the voice he had heard three months ago when Zhou Dekun was taken.
The voice was one and the same.
Meng Hao’s eyes glittered as he thought. According to the method just described to him, he sliced a cut onto his forehead. A drop of blood appeared, which contained some of Meng Hao’s Cultivation base and will. As it flew forward, Meng Hao felt a wave of weakness flow through him. He knew that in his entire life, he could produce no more than five such drops of blood!
Anything more than five would be far too much of a loss.
Surrounded by silence, Meng Hao clenched his jaw. The blood was extremely precious, but, for the sake of the Frigid Snow Larva… he caused the drop to fly forward and enter into the Thorn Rampart trunk. His eyes flashed.
Nothing obstructed its way; it merged into the Thorn Rampart trunk, which then began to tremble.
Instantly, the thorns stabbed into the Holy Snow City Cultivators faded from sight, and their wounds closed up. The thorns actually remained in their bodies, fuel with which to heal their wounds.
As the thorns disappeared, the Black Lands Palace and Western Desert Cultivators outside of the city let out bloodcurdling screams. Their bodies instantly began to wither completely. The sounds of explosions filled the air as some of the dying Cultivators chose to self-detonate.
The explosions caused Meng Hao’s mind to feel as if it were shattering. It seemed as if he had become one with the Thorn Rampart trunk, and that all of the thorns spread about were extensions of his will.
With a mere thought, he could kill everyone.
At the same time, his Spiritual Sense felt as if it were wasting away. Meng Hao’s Spiritual Sense was second only to that of a Nascent Soul Cultivator, far above that of anyone in the same stage as him. Were it not, then the strain would have completely dried it up.
Suddenly, Meng Hao’s will sensed something new. Outside of the city, in a location stabbed through with a handful of thorns, someone spoke in a low voice.
“Grandmaster Meng, is that you?”
This chapter was sponsored by Zoe-Chelsea Okungbowa