Chapter 390: The Five Tribes of the Crow Divinity
The blood-colored figure retreated a few paces and nonchalantly flicked a sleeve. The image of this person underneath the moonlight was instantly etched into the memories of all present.
The mask had two eyeholes, but no other features. Even the eyes themselves were bright red. However, they were not filled with madness, but rather ruthless coldness.
As the moonlight fell onto his green robe and long, black hair, he exuded a powerful air as well as something slightly Demonic.
This, of course, was none other than Meng Hao wearing his blood-colored mask!
“Your excellency, who are you?” said Li Tian in his grating voice. Next to him, the eyes of Wang and Mo narrowed as they looked at Meng Hao. Inwardly they were on full alert; they were unable to see the mask’s extraordinary abilities, but they could see that Meng Hao’s Cultivation base was only at the Core Formation stage. In contrast, the attack just now, while seemingly rather casual, had actually displayed ripples of power comparable to the Nascent Soul stage.
Therefore, everyone here was suddenly somewhat hesitant regarding Meng Hao’s Cultivation base.
Yan Song’s eyes flickered as he looked at him. There was something familiar about Meng Hao that caused shock to well up within his heart.
“Fellow Daoist Yan invited me here,” Meng Hao said coolly. “Is this how you receive guests?” Behind him, the Wild Giant slowly approached through the forest. As for Gu La, Meng Hao had rendered him unconscious earlier; the matter at hand was not something for his ears.
The Wild Giant was enormous, but nothing that the Nascent Soul Cultivators would care a whit about.
Yan Song’s eyes flickered with understanding as he recognized Meng Hao’s voice. “Fellow Daoist Meng!” he said. He took a deep breath. Deep inside, he suddenly realized that Meng Hao was much more mysterious than he had realized. His previous appraisal was that Meng Hao was of the Core Formation stage and a Grandmaster of the Dao of alchemy. But the scene from just now could not possibly have left him unmoved.
“Just what secrets is he hiding…?” thought Yan Song, realizing that there was much about Meng Hao that he didn’t know. Suddenly, he let out a loud laugh and then clasped hands and said, “I didn’t realize it was you, Fellow Daoist Meng. A simple misunderstanding, nothing more. Fellow Daoists Li, Wang, and Mo, allow me to introduce you to Fellow Daoist Meng. He is the last member of our party, a Grandmaster of the Dao of alchemy to whom even I cannot compare. With Fellow Daoist Meng here, our undertaking will have a much higher chance of succeeding.”
Li Tian and the others exchanged slight nods. There was much less hostility in the air than there had been moments before.
As far as Meng Hao joining the group, they might have looked down on him because of his Cultivation base was at the Core Formation stage. However, Nascent Soul Cultivators are generally an eccentric lot. Most knew that many of their fellow Nascent Soul Cultivators liked to conceal their true Cultivation base, and very much did not like it when others saw their true level.
Yan Song did not offer any further explanations regarding the matter as the party gathered next to the silver stream.
Meng Hao’s expression was cool. He had chosen to wear the mask at the expense of some of his life force, the reason being his previous experience in a similar situation in the Southern Domain, in the Black Sieve Sect’s ancient Blessed Land. Because his insufficient Cultivation base, he had been attacked. Although the matter had been resolved, it had led to some awkwardness and unfavourable situations. 1
This time, he figured he might as well lead off with a tough posture. After all, by donning the blood-colored mask, he was much stronger than normal.
“With Fellow Daoist Meng here,” said the man named Wang, “all are accounted for. Fellow Daoist Yan, would you mind explaining in detail the matter regarding the Spirit Severing Pill?” He looked at Meng Hao, then glanced over at the black-robed Cultivator named Mo. When he did, his eyes flickered with irritation and killing intent.
He made no attempt to conceal his expression, which caused Li Tian to chuckle. Yan Song also noticed. He gave a wry smile, unsure of what to say.
Meng Hao was taken aback. The Wang Cultivator’s killing intent seemed completely inexplicable, leaving Meng Hao astonished. It was then that he noticed that the Cultivator named Mo was looking at Meng Hao with a look of appreciation, even curiosity. The man was middle-aged, but his skin was as white as jade, and his features handsome, filled with a certain gentleness.
The gaze of the Mo Cultivator was surprising, but as soon as he heard the chuckle of Li Tian, he seemed to think of something which terrified him. He coughed lightly and stepped back to avoid Wang.
Yan Song shook his head. He could only smile wryly and clear his throat, then say, “Fellow Daoists, I’m indebted to the four of you for the trust you have shown me. Your arrival here has ensured that we can definitely accomplish our task in the Western Desert. However, I, Yan, will not attempt to pull the wool over your eyes. This undertaking will be very dangerous!” He looked around at the four others, noting their expressions, then continued.
“The ancient Dao of alchemy vastly exceeds that of modern times. Much has been lost, and currently, it is only common to find medicinal pills that are effective up to the Nascent Soul stage. Medicinal pills useful for the Spirit Severing stage are very rare. Nowadays, one can acquire medicinal pills that have survived since ancient times or even remote antiquity, then re-concoct them to make pills that are, at best, not even ten percent as effective as the original.
“The greatest dividing mark between the ancient Dao of alchemy and modern days, is none other than the Spirit Severing Pill. Upon consuming this pill, which is also known as Resurrection Day, the Cultivator will be submerged in an enlightenment of Heaven and Earth. He will be able to clearly understand himself and then accomplish his First Severing.
“You can review all of this information on the wood slip I gave to you all. Throughout the years, I, Yan, have traveled to many places, and finally confirmed that a location connected to the ancient Dao of alchemy exists in the Western Desert!
“Perhaps its existence is connected to the rise of the Crow Divinity Tribe. I’ve attempted to secretly enter their Sacred Mountain but was unable to even get near it. I could only observe from a distance. Even still, I could verify that it is connected to the ancient Dao of alchemy!”
As Yan Song slowly made his explanation, Meng Hao’s expression remained the same. However, deep in his heart, he was analyzing Yan Song’s words, trying to determine how much was true and how much was false.
“The Crow Divinity Tribe has long since fallen into decline and split apart. It now exists as five separate powers, each of which now exists as a Tribe in its own right. They are the Crow Soldier Tribe, the Crow Fighter Tribe, the Crow Scout Tribe, the Crow Flame Tribe and the Crow Gloom Tribe!”
Hearing this, Meng Hao’s expression remained the same as always. However, a tremor ran through his heart as he thought back to the man he had captured, Wu Mu, who was from the Crow Scout Tribe. 2
“What’s the point of all of this?” said Wang somberly, his face expressionless. “Just lead us to this Crow Divinity Mountain, and we can enter it together.”
“Fellow Daoist Wang, the matter is not that simple,” responded Yan Song, shaking his head. “The Crow Divinity Tribe might have split apart, but atop Crow Divinity Mountain is a Totem God, in other words, a Spirit Severing Patriarch. With him on Crow Divinity Mountain, do you really think we can just barge in?
“No, we must employ a different tactic. The Crow Divinity Tribe was split up into five sub-Tribes. Every so often, according to a predetermined schedule, the five tribes will enter their Sacred Mountain to pay obeisances to their ancestors, and to acquire totemic power.
“That is the only way to openly enter Crow Divinity Mountain. Therefore, our job is to infiltrate the Tribes and then make names for ourselves. We must gain their trust by joining their Tribes as vassals, and then acquire the right to enter Crow Divinity Mountain! After we get into the Mountain, we will reassemble and work together to acquire the pill of the ancient Dao of alchemy!” Yan Song’s eyes shone with a bright light. Clearly, he had been working on this plan for a long time in order to assure that it would go off smoothly.
Meng Hao’s eyes narrowed and Li Tian appeared to be lost in thought. Wang and Mo exchanged a glance; both seemed to approve of the plan.
Yan Song looked around at the ground and then laughed. “As for how to make a name and gain their trust, I’m sure all of you Fellow Daoists will have your own ways to do that!”
“How do we resolve the problem of our auras?” asked Meng Hao.
“For that matter, we will have to prevail upon Fellow Daoist Li. He has resided in the Western Desert for a hundred years, and all the way until now, no one has ever been able to determine which Tribe he is in, nor what he looks like. Clearly, he is quite skilled in this regard.” With that, Yan Song clasped hands and bowed to Li Tian.
“Absolutely no problem,” said Li Tian coolly. “Before coming here today, I used a secret art to create five rare treasures. These objects can alter your aura and conceal your Cultivation base for three years. Using this object will also enable you to manifest a totem tattoo that completely resembles that of Western Desert Cultivators.
“However, I will not blithely dole out such treasures. Yan Song, you are the leader of our party, so I will offer one to you with no questions asked. However, if the other three Fellow Daoists wish to acquire my treasure, you will explain to me what use you will be in this mission regarding the ancient Dao of alchemy.” Li Tian’s eyes glittered. The message was carefully worded, but it was obvious that he wanted to pry into the private details of the others.
The Wang Cultivator gave a cold snort and said, “The two of us can analyze and explain all of the complex spell formations in Crow Divinity Mountain. The rest of you won’t have to move a finger.”
Li Tian laughed, then waved his right hand. Three beams of white light shot out toward, two of them landing into the hands of Wang and Mo, the other flying to hover in front of Yan Song.
“What about you, Fellow Daoist Meng?” asked Li Tian, looking over at Meng Hao. All of the people present feared Meng Hao. His casual attack earlier had clearly impressed dread upon their hearts.
“I am a master of all Daos of alchemy,” said Meng Hao, his expression placid. His words caused Li Tian’s pupils to constrict. Wang and Mo suddenly looked very serious.
Yan Song smiled wordlessly. After a long moment passed, Li Tian waved his sleeve, sending a white light shooting toward Meng Hao.
“As for how to use the item, you all can figure it out on your own.”
“Very well,” said Yan Song. “Since we are all in agreement, we should now make our way toward the five Tribes. I will go to the Crow Flame Tribe.
“I choose the Crow Soldier Tribe,” said Wang.
“The Crow Scout Tribe!” said Meng Hao, his expression the same as always, not revealing even an ounce of anything.
“Then I shall select the Crow Fighter Tribe,” said Li Tian.
That left the Crow Gloom tribe for Mo. The assignments having been made, Yan Song produced an eight-sided Feng Shui Compass, which he placed onto the ground. The glow of teleportation magic immediately rose up.
“After entering the five Tribes, we will keep any communication to a minimum,” he said. “We will reassemble in Crow Divinity Mountain, using the wood slips to communicate.” He next produced jade slips which he handed over to the others. “Here is a detailed introduction of the five Tribes and the Western Desert. Incidentally, all five of the Tribes are currently recruiting large numbers of vassals. Infiltrating them should pose no difficulty.” With that, he stepped into the teleportation spell and disappeared.
Wang and Mo followed in succession. Meng Hao’s eyes flickered as he carefully examined the teleportation spell. After hesitating for a moment, he summoned the Wild Giant, who was still holding Gu La in hand. He then entered the spell under the watchful eyes of Li Tian.
Colors blossomed in Meng Hao’s eyes as he was teleported away. He felt as if his body were being pulled apart, as if he were suddenly adrift in Time. He wasn’t sure how much time passed before a buzzing sound filled his head. He felt like he was being torn into pieces. Then, everything went back to normal. He reappeared in a stretch of barren, greenish mountains.
- He’s referring to when he met up with Han Bei before entering the Cauldron world in chapter 156. There was a woman in the party who instantly attacked Meng Hao. He beat her soundly, and she ended up being the first person killed. ↩
- Meng Hao used his clones to capture Wu Mu in chapter 371, and then studied and subsequently released him in chapter 372 ↩