Chapter 388: Breaking Out of The Cocoon
Meanwhile, the Frigid Snow Clan had long since teleported onto a high mountain peak in the Violet Fate Sect of the Southern Domain. The Violet Fate Sect had arranged for this mountain to be the new home for the Clan.
Because of her beauty, Hanxue Shan had already attracted quite a bit of attention from the alchemist Cultivators of the Violet Fate Sect. The Clan assimilated into the Violet Fate Sect, and Hanxue Shan chose to join the East Pill Division, and follow her dream of becoming an alchemist.
After arriving, she finally learned the news that Grandmaster Pill Cauldron had forsaken the Sect. It was difficult to describe how she felt about that. There was some amount of loss, but also tranquility.
If she hadn’t met Meng Hao, perhaps she would have felt more loss. Now, though, whether or not she got to see Grandmaster Pill Cauldron wasn’t very important.
Hanxue Shan stood atop the mountain, looking off toward the Black Lands, when suddenly, a voice interrupted her thoughts. “Little sis Shan, I heard from your fellow Clan members that you met a certain Grandmaster Meng back in Holy Snow City.”
Hanxue Shan looked back to see an incredibly beautiful woman standing behind her, wearing a long blue gown. Her features were bright and alluring, so delicate it seemed like the slightest breeze could break them. It was as if Heaven and Earth had taken all favor and placed it upon her, as if she were something stepped out from a painting into the mortal world.
“Greetings, Senior Chu,” said Hanxue Shan, lowering her head and then bowing from the waist. Standing in front of her was none other than Chu Yuyan, the most beautiful woman she had seen since arriving at the Violet Fate Sect. Her beauty was such that Hanxue Shan sometimes found it somewhat distracting to look at her.
She had also heard some of the gossip about past events regarding Senior Chu and Grandmaster Pill Cauldron.
“Perhaps someone like her is really worthy of Grandmaster Pill Cauldron,” she thought. Seeing Chu Yuyan just now made Hanxue Shan’s thoughts suddenly shift to that of her own relationship with Meng Hao. His face suddenly appeared in her mind.
“Shan?” said Chu Yuyan softly, walking a bit closer.
Hanxue Shan’s face reddened, and she immediately bowed her head. Deep in her heart, she felt somewhat embarrassed, wondering why she was thinking about Meng Hao in this way. He was the kind of person who couldn’t take a hint at all when it came to love.
“Yes, I did meet Grandmaster Meng,” she replied quietly. “He is good at concocting pills. Without him, the Frigid Snow Clan would have been wiped out, and I wouldn’t be here.”
“Is this Grandmaster Meng a Black Lands Cultivator?” asked Chu Yuyan, gazing at Hanxue Shan.
“Yes, he’s a local Black Lands Cultivator known as Patriarch Golden Light.” As she spoke, her face continued to grow redder. “His Cultivation base is unfathomable. He was even able to catalyze our Thorn Rampart. The Dao Child of the Black Lands Palace was afraid of him…. Even Grandmaster Zhou couldn’t measure up to him when it came to pill concoction. Senior Chu, why is it that you ask about him?”
Chu Yuyan laughed. She looked at Hanxue Shan and could tell based on her own experience that this young girl had clearly fallen in love. Obviously, her heart was entangled with this Black Lands Cultivator, Grandmaster Meng.
“Oh nothing,” she responded with a slight smile, shaking her head. “It’s just that I’ve heard him mentioned quite often by your Fellow Clan members, and I’m interested in his Dao of alchemy. I’m curious what realm he has achieved. Unfortunately, he’s not here, so I figured I would ask around a bit.” Considering this Grandmaster Meng was a Black Lands Cultivator, he must not be the person she’d assumed. She was just about to turn and leave when Hanxue Shan continued speaking.
“Well, Grandmaster Meng isn’t too fond of the Southern Domain. However, I happen to have a medicinal pill he gave me. Senior Chu, do you think you could tell the level of his Dao of alchemy by looking at it?” Hope suddenly lit up her face. After arriving in the Violet Fate Sect and joining the East Pill Division, she now had a much better understanding of the ranking system for alchemists. Her curiosity regarding Meng Hao’s skill in alchemy had been piqued.
“Yes, I can help,” replied Chu Yuyan with a smile and a nod. “Let’s see what realm this Grandmaster Meng that you like so much is in.” Considering her status, she would normally never do something like this. However, Hanxue Shan reminded her of herself all those years ago. She sighed inwardly.
Hearing Chu Yuyan’s words caused Hanxue Shan to feel even more embarrassed. Head bowed, she immediately produced the medicinal pill given to her by Meng Hao. As soon as she handed it over to Chu Yuyan, she felt regret.
She recalled what Meng Hao had said regarding showing the pill to Grandmaster Pill Demon. “He was probably just bragging. To expose him in this way really isn’t the right thing to do….”
At the moment, she hadn’t noticed the incredible change in Chu Yuyan’s facial expression when she laid eyes on the medicinal pill. She began to breathe heavily, causing Hanxue Shan to raise her head in astonishment. Chu Yuyan staggered back slightly, a blank look on her face.
Chu Yuyan closed her eyes for a long moment before opening them again. She looked at the character “snow” scratched onto the side of the pill, and then back up at Hanxue Shan. For some reason, a wave of irritation rose up in her heart.
“What is his name?” she asked, gritting her beautiful teeth.
Hanxue Shan was suddenly a bit frightened. Her voice low, she said, “Meng… Meng Hao….”
“Damnable Meng Hao!” growled Chu Yuyan through clenched teeth, unable to control her reaction. Her voice was filled with a complicated tone, including both irritation but also gratification. Now she knew that Meng Hao was not only safe but also doing quite well.
This caused the irritation in her heart to grow even stronger.
Hanxue Shan looked at her. Chu Yuyan was far above her in terms of both Cultivation base and status in the Sect. However, the anger on Hanxue Shan’s face was clearly visible.
“Why are you getting mad for him?” said Chu Yuyan with a sigh. “Meng Hao IS Grandmaster Pill Cauldron. He and Fang Mu are one and the same!” Chu Yuyan gave Hanxue Shan a final look, then handed the medicinal pill back to her and left.
Hanxue Shan looked as if she had been struck by lightning. She stood there with a blank look on her face, her mind spinning.
“He is Grandmaster Pill Cauldron….”
At the same time that these events were occurring, far off in the Western Desert was a stretch of desert plagued year round by sandstorms. The wailing, sand-filled wind rolled over the land, making it dark both day and night.
Anything that entered this place instantly could tell that it was like some sort of forbidden danger zone.
In the depths of this stretch of the desert was an altar complex half-buried in sand. Located inside the altar complex was a box the size of a hand. Suddenly, the box began to glow with dazzling light. At the same time, the wind outside grew more intense as it swept across the land. The flickering light began to transform into something that looked like a black sun capable of sweeping in everything around it.
A roaring sound emanated out from within the altar as the box suddenly flew out from inside. It shattered into pieces, whereupon a writhing mass of blood emerged from inside. The blood slowly began to take the shape of a person. This person appeared to be very weak. Eventually, the facial features became clear.
This was none other than the black-robed Spirit Severing Cultivator who had been killed by the Frigid Snow Clan’s Agarwood legacy!
He was not truly dead! His body had been killed, but his Dao remained. His essence was not exterminated, nor his life extinguished.
As time passed, the body finished growing. He lifted his right hand, causing a black robe to cover his frame. He slowly lifted up his head, and a look of grim rage could be seen in his eyes.
“A person who can accept the full branding of that legacy is not someone to be casually trifled with,” he said. “But just wait until I extricate myself from this place…. We will meet again!”
The former Holy Snow City was now nothing but a deep crater. Snow drifted about in the air, covering the bodies of the five thousand Cultivators who were located in its depths.
Located in the middle of all these Cultivators was a cocoon roughly three meters long. A boundless, pulsating aura emanated off of it. Over the past several days, the aura had grown stronger and stronger.
Suddenly, cracking sounds could be heard. The surrounding Cultivators all looked over at the cocoon, which was now shrinking. It sounded as if a wind had suddenly kicked up; its whimpering cry echoed out in all directions.
If you looked closely, you would see that there was actually no wind. Instead, the silk strands which made up the cocoon were beginning to unravel from the inside out. Soon, the cocoon was very thin, and speed of the shrinking increased rapidly until it was no longer like a wind, but a whirlwhind.
It prevented the surrounding Cultivators from seeing anything, but it did not prevent the intense aura from emanating outward.
The Cultivators began to back up slowly, watching the process for the time it takes an incense stick to burn. Slowly, a person appeared within the whirlwind. Lightning danced around him, and beneath his feet was a lake of lightning. It appeared as if this person now understood the will of lightning and exercised command over it.
After emerging completely, the Cultivators could now clearly see this person’s face. It was, of course, Patriarch Golden Light… Meng Hao!
His long hair fluttered, and he wore a long green robe. His features were handsome. Beneath his feet was a crackling lake of lighting, and countless sparks writhed over his body, making it seem as if his green robe were a cloak of lightning.
Meng Hao had completely transcended the Heavenly Tribulation. His Cultivation base rotated; it was at the very peak of the late Gold Core stage. He was now only… a mere step away from the Nascent Soul stage.
Meng Hao took a deep breath. His Cultivation base was now completely different than it had been before. After transcending the Heavenly Tribulation, his Perfect Gold Core was now even more firmly condensed. The power emanating from his Cultivation base gave him an utter confidence of his place in the Core Formation stage.
Even more shocking was that having experienced the refinement of the eleventh level of Qi Condensation, the distillation of the Foundation Establishment, and now this baptism of Heavenly Tribulation, his physical body now far exceeded that of any ordinary Cultivator. In fact, not even the body of a Nascent Soul Cultivator could compare to his in terms of strength and durability.
All of this, however… was merely secondary!
What was most pleasing to Meng Hao was that after experiencing this Heavenly Tribulation, his body was now much more resistant to lightning, to an astonishing degree. In fact, lightning even existed inside of him, and his magical techniques contained the aura of Heavenly Tribulation.
This was truly luck for him, gained in the midst of Heavenly Tribulation. This was not the type of good fortune that anyone could acquire. It was the type that you got when you looked death in the face, and came out only by sacrificing some of your life force.
Meng Hao took a deep breath as he strode forward. The vortex faded away, and the Demon Sealing Jade flew up to disappear into his bag of holding. The Eyeless Larva drifted up and then transformed into a white ring which slipped onto Meng Hao’s finger.
He rubbed the ring, cognizant of the fact that without the Eyeless Larva, he would have been incapable of transcending the tribulation.
“From now on, my path is as boundless as the sea and the sky. With my Cultivation base, as long as I’m careful, I can go anywhere.”
As Meng Hao lifted his head, the surrounding five thousand Cultivators immediately dropped to their knees to kowtow.