Chapter 370: Spirit Severing Pill
A voice transmitted into Meng Hao’s will. “Grandmaster Meng, this is Yan Song…. Fellow Daoist Meng, after we parted that day, I continued to think about everything that happened, and couldn’t help but feel that something was fishy about Zhou Dekun…. He’s already been sent to the Western Desert, though, so there’s nothing I can do to corroborate my theory. Fellow Daoist Meng, I actually came here today to look for you. This isn’t my actual body, it’s just a sliver of my will.
“Fellow Daoist, I very much admire your Dao of alchemy and, well… this is not the time for a long discussion. I’ll just say two more things. With your skill in the Dao of alchemy, we can talk about the Spirit Severing Pill! If you’re interested, then meet with me three days from now in the east of the city, and we can discuss it at length.”
Meng Hao’s eyes glittered as the voice suddenly disappeared. Outside the city, the miserable cries slowly began to fade away. Only a few Cultivators had managed to escape from the effects of the secret technique; most had been transformed into withered corpses.
Meng Hao slowly removed his will from the Thorn Rampart trunk, leaving behind only a tiny connection. He caused the rest of the thorns that filled the city to gradually shrink back. Now, the main trunk was even more prominently visible.
The wail of war bugles could be heard in the air; this particular Western Desert and Black Lands Palace attack group had no choice but to retreat. The war was not over. The forces of the Black Lands Palace and the Western Desert were reduced, however, off in the distance, the sky was filled with prismatic beams of light.
It was no longer night; morning was approaching. Everyone in the city was exhausted. Amidst the rare silence, Meng Hao rose to his feet as the four Grand Elders approached.
They looked haggard, and Third and Fourth Elders were injured. They stood in front of Meng Hao, looking him over with complex expressions.
After a long moment, First Elder slowly said, “The Thorn Rampart will live for one month. We should be safe during that time. The four of us will do the best we can to finish the Frigid Snow Larva.” He gave Meng Hao a deep look, then turned and left.
The other Elders looked at him without speaking and then walked off. The old woman looked back at Meng Hao as she departed, but held her tongue.
The surviving members of the Frigid Snow Clan dispersed to make repairs to the city and spell formations. They had a month of time in which there would be relative safety, but there were many things that needed to be repaired.
Everyone was exhausted. After injuries were tended to, there were still mental scars. Most of the Cultivators sat cross-legged in meditation, making the city very quiet.
The newly arrived force from the Western Desert bolstered the enemy forces into the thousands. However, they did not attack, but rather spread out, forming a complete blockade around Holy Snow City.
Meng Hao was also exhausted. As he walked through the city, the Cultivators he encountered all looked at him with expressions of awe. They would bow to him with lowered eyes, not even daring to meet his gaze.
The appearance of the Thorn Rampart caused everyone to view Meng Hao as a representation of terror. Despite his status as a Grandmaster, this fear was incapable of being dispelled.
The Frigid Snow Clan members also looked at him with looks of intense veneration. Essentially, Meng Hao had single-handedly secured victory in the battle. Without him there, Holy Snow City would be nothing but smoldering wreckage now.
Based on the various battle achievements secured in the fight against the Black Lands Palace, the Frigid Snow Clan distributed magical treasures to the forces within the city. Large amounts of Cultivators converged on a palace near the city center, where the records of battle achievements were kept and rewards distributed.
Meng Hao was tired, but seeing the palace on his way back to his courtyard, he changed course and headed over.
The area was quite bustling, with Cultivators coming in and out. The hundred or so people that Meng Hao saw made this place seem a lot more packed than the empty areas in the rest of the city.
As soon as Meng Hao entered, people spotted him, and soon everyone was looking at him, hearts trembling. Without even thinking about it, they bowed their heads and clasped hands, unable to cover up the awe on their faces.
“Greetings, Grandmaster Meng!”
Meng Hao nodded, walking past the groups of people until he stood before a pillar of light in the middle of the main hall. The pillar was illusory, and inside could be seen lists of names. Next to each name was a number.
These were the battle achievements accrued during the defense of the city. The rewards one could receive depended on how many enemies they had slain.
Next to the pillar of light sat two members of the Frigid Snow Clan. When they saw Meng Hao, they immediately rose to their feet, clasped hands, and bowed deeply.
Everyone in the area grew very quiet.
Meng Hao said nothing. He simply examined the pillar of light and the list of names.
“Grandmaster Meng. Battle achievement of 97,542!”
The battle achievement of the person in second place didn’t even exceed two thousand. Muttering to himself, Meng Hao glanced over the reward list.
There were technique manuals, magical items, medicinal elixirs and special materials for concocting medicinal pills and forging weapons. There were some items which caused Meng Hao’s heart to begin to thump after he saw them.
Most importantly, the battle achievements required to acquire these items were almost nothing compared to what Meng Hao had accrued.
Just when Meng Hao was trying to decide whether or not take them all, four new items suddenly popped up on the rewards list.
These four items caused the surrounding Cultivators to break into an uproar.
“Thorn Rampart seed. 100,000 battle achievements!”
“Frigid Snow Clan Secret Dragoneer technique. 20,000 battle achievements!”
“Five Planets Snow Formation. 50,000 battle achievements!”
“Demon Nurturing Pill formula. 100,000 battle achievements!”
Meng Hao’s eyes glittered, and the surrounding Cultivators were breathing heavily. They had no idea what the secret Dragoneer technique was, but they did recognize the Thorn Rampart seed. The fearsomeness of the Thorn Rampart in the previous battle was something they could never forget.
“And then there’s the Five Planets Snow Formation. That’s a special spell formation of the Frigid Snow Clan. You can create a Five Planets Magical Shield….”
As the Cultivators discussed the new items, Meng Hao stood there thoughtfully. The Thorn Rampart seed was an expendable item, but was incredibly powerful. The seed he had used before had been given to him by Hanxue Shan. If he wanted to use another one in the future, it most likely would not be very easy to acquire.
Even more eye-catching, though, was the Five Planets Snow Formation.
“Is that what those flying Five Planets items above the city were?” he thought. Then he glanced at the Demon Nurturing Pill formula.
“What pill is that?” Meng Hao smiled. It was obvious that these items had been intentionally put up by the Frigid Snow Clan to attract his attention. “It seems the Frigid Snow Clan really values me because of that battle,” he thought. Instead of taking any of the items, he looked at one of the Frigid Snow Clan members standing next to the pillar of light.
“Is it possible to acquire items on credit?” he asked, smiling. The surrounding Cultivators stared in shock at Meng Hao. They had never thought of doing such a thing.
The very concept of it seemed to cross the bottom line, especially considering the danger that Holy Snow City was in now. The surrounding Cultivators’ eyes began to gleam with a strange light.
The Frigid Snow Clan member who Meng Hao had directed his question to was a middle-aged woman. She gaped at him, somewhat at a loss. It was at this exact moment that suddenly, the battle achievement number next to Meng Hao’s name suddenly increased by one hundred thousand. Now his total was roughly 190,000.
Meng Hao’s eyes glittered as he pointed out the items he wanted. The pillar of light sparkled, and two jade slips flew out. One was the Five Planets spell formation method and the other was the formula for the Demon Nurturing Pill.
After this, Meng Hao’s name was no longer in the first place position in the pillar of light, but rather, last. In fact, now his number was in the negative, to the amount of nearly 50,000.
Jade slips in hand, Meng Hao left the palace, under the envious gazes of the surrounding Cultivators. He walked back through the city to his courtyard.
He sat down cross-legged amidst the lotuses, then looked down at the jade slips. Time passed by. It was evening when he looked up again, and his eyes were gleaming.
“This spell formation seems pretty amazing. Too bad I don’t understand spell formations very well. If I meet someone who does, though, perhaps I can get some help in using it.
“This Demon Nurturing Pill is really interesting. It’s not for consumption by Cultivators, but rather, neo-demons and beasts.” Meng Hao put the jade slips away and then closed his eyes in meditation to restore energy.
A few days later, the late night was still and the moon shone brightly up above. The Thorn Rampart had become the final line of defense for the city. On multiple occasions, Black Lands Palace Cultivators had tried to break through but were thoroughly obstructed. Not many were killed or injured, but the effectiveness of the thorns was clear.
In his courtyard, Meng Hao sat cross-legged, meditating. Suddenly, his eyes opened and he pointed his right index finger toward the ground. Immediately, Demonic Qi began to congeal. It only took a moment for a figure to appear in front of him that resembled him in every aspect. After it turned into Meng Hao, it flickered and flew into the air.
In the east section of the city, there was a relatively remote street. It was completely deserted at the moment, until a figure appeared. It was of course none other than Meng Hao.
He strode down the winding street for the time it takes an incense stick to burn, until he reached an even more remote corner, where he stopped. He looked over his shoulder and said, “You’ve been following me for a while. How much longer?”
A grating voice could be heard. “Fellow Daoist Meng, you’re not only a Grandmaster of the Dao of alchemy, I think your Spiritual Sense is the most powerful I’ve seen in any Core Formation Cultivator. It’s almost comparable to my own.” One of the shadows behind Meng Hao twisted, turning into Yan Song. He looked at Meng Hao with a smile.
“I’ll give you three sentences to explain yourself,” said Meng Hao lightly. As he spoke, thorns suddenly emerged from the ground.
Without hesitation, Yan Song replied, “I happened upon a manual once that contained information regarding the method to concoct an ancient medicinal pill called the Spirit Severing Pill, which, if consumed when breaking through to the Spirit Severing Stage, can ensure success. After years of searching, I was able to discover the resting place of this legacy of the Dao of alchemy; it is located in the Western Desert, in a place I visited once. I can’t acquire the pill alone; however, with your skill in the Dao of alchemy, Fellow Daoist Meng, I’m sure we can succeed, whereupon we can share the pill formula.”
“Considering the level of my Cultivation base, such a pill doesn’t interest me very much,” replied Meng Hao lightly.
“Fellow Daoist Meng, please reconsider. Considering your skill in the Dao of alchemy, it won’t be difficult for you to break into the Nascent Soul stage. If you don’t begin to make preparations for the Spirit Severing stage now, the First of your Severings will be difficult. You can’t rely on simple enlightenment alone. Besides, the place I intend to go to contains not only the formula, but also a completed Spirit Severing Pill!” Yan Song waved his right hand, causing a wood slip to fly out. “This wood slip is one of the sections of the manual. Fellow Daoist Meng, feel free to confirm for yourself whether I’m telling the truth or not. If you change your mind, you can use the wood slip to contact me. The location in the Western Desert is located close to several Tribes. Without my help, you won’t be able to conceal your Cultivator’s Qi, and will be unable to enter the area.” With that, Yan Song gave Meng Hao a final look, then gradually faded and disappeared.