Chapter 397: Wu Chen
Meng Hao learned a lot about the Crow Scout Tribe from Wu Hai. He now knew that the Tribe had a rank 7 Dragoneer, which was a very high and respected position. Even the Greatfather and the Priests were polite to him.
He also learned that the Crow Soldier Tribe had recently recruited a rank 7 Dragoneer who was accompanied by a Wild Giant. This new Dragoneer immediately occupied a position of extreme honor in the Tribe, and caused quite a sensation in the other Tribes.
When he heard this news, a strange expression appeared on Meng Hao’s face and he thought of Gu La, who had disappeared during the teleportation here.
It was in this way that the half year finally passed. Meng Hao felt quite at peace in the Crow Scout Tribe. It reminded him of back when he had first joined the Violet Fate Sect.
Similar to that time, no one bothered him and nothing extraordinary happened. His secrets were his own to keep, and he could pursue his own plans with no one the wiser.
Suddenly, Meng Hao laughed as he looked down at the five Greenwood Wolves. One of his greatest accomplishments in the past half year was that he had a much deeper understanding of what it meant to be a Demon Sealer.
This understanding came both from his personal perceptions and his experiences with sealing and Righteous Bestowal!
He knew that if he wanted to, he could seal Big Hairy in the blink of an eye. The Qi inside of Big Hairy was Demonic Qi, which lay within the realm of what he could seal.
Similarly, if he wanted to, he could cause the other Greenwood Wolves to be just like Big Hairy.
Regarding the art of Righteous Bestowal, Meng Hao thought a lot about it during the half year. By now, he was certain that as far as all neo-demons were concerned, Righteous Bestowal truly was a type of approval and good fortune.
It was almost like bestowing them with a title!
The higher the level of a neo-demon, the more it would thirst for Righteous Bestowal. Anything that did not crave Righteous Bestowal, was not truly a Demon!
In addition to gaining a deeper understanding of Demon Sealers during the half year, Meng Hao also managed to fill his courtyard with lotuses. Soon it became very much similar to his courtyard back in Holy Snow City.
Outsiders didn’t pay much attention to this. Cultivators in general command a certain level of freedom that others wouldn’t interfere with. In any case, no one had any idea the significance of lotuses to Meng Hao.
Of course, they were critical to his understanding and enlightenment regarding the Lotus Sword Formation. From the moment he had acquired the sword formation until now, he had constantly been studying how lotuses bloomed and withered. As of now, lotuses were firmly planted within Meng Hao’s mind.
The feeling he experienced because of this was hard to describe. If he closed his eyes, it was as if lotuses were blossoming inside his head. He hadn’t employed the sword formation since reaching this state, but he was convinced that if he did, the result would be very different than from before.
Meng Hao did no further research regarding totems. However, he continued to make more profound speculations about them.
At the moment, it was dark outside. Looking out, it was hard to tell whether it was night, or if the sky was just obscured by dark clouds. However, he could sense moisture in the air.
“It’s starting to rain again,” he murmured. Recently, it had been raining a lot. Sometimes it came down so hard that it pooled up on the ground and created streams and rivulets. The sound of the pouring rain made it seem as if it were fighting against Heaven and Earth.
Sometimes it hit the ground with so much force that the water shot back up into the air, as if it wished to return to the Heavens above. Instead, it simply turned into water vapor.
However, it seemed as if the mist retained the same stubborness that the rain showed.
Meng Hao looked outside at the shattering raindrops and was able to faintly sense the unyielding will of the rain. Even after being turned into a mist, it still wished to fly back up into the Heavens.
“Entombed on the Earth, but desirous of a return to life in the Heavens….” Meng Hao looked up at the dark clouds which obscured the Heavens. After a long, long time passed, he closed his eyes.
“Perhaps that is also the path of a Demon Sealer,” he murmured. Having achieved the level of Cultivation base that he had, Meng Hao was now able to sense some of the truths that existed in Heaven and Earth. Each bit of enlightenment represented a development in his psyche. It became cognition that would later be power to be used in Spirit Severing.
“But which is better… sealing all the Demons under Heaven? Or approving them with Righteous Bestowal?” Meng Hao sat there lost in thought. His five Greenwood Wolves lay around him, silently accompanying him as he watched the rain.
It wasn’t until dawn that the rain finally began to lessen. At that early hour, the Neo-Demon Kennelist district was quiet. There were no cries of neo-demons; everything was silent.
It was at this time that footsteps rang out to break the silence. The sound of water splashing in the puddles could be heard, and an unfamiliar smell arrived that caused the silence to end.
It was a young man of a little over twenty years of age. He wore clothing that only elite members of the Tribe could wear, a long green leather robe, trimmed with what looked like silk or satin. It gleamed beneath the morning sunlight, causing the young man to look quite extraordinary despite his relatively low Cultivation base.
At the moment, he was frowning as he endured the unpleasant odor in the area. He held an umbrella in his hand as he hurried toward a distant courtyard.
“Wu Ali has gone too far this time. When my father was alive, people of his bloodline would always be completely courteous and respectful when they saw me. But now….” The young man clenched his jaw in fury as he walked along.
This was Wu Chen1 of the Crow Scout Tribe, a member of one of the Tribe’s three great bloodlines. The three great bloodlines were where the successive generations of Greatfathers came from. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the future Greatfathers would be selected from such descendants.
Wu Chen, of course, was just such a person. His father’s name had rocked the five Tribes of the Crow Divinity years ago. Unfortunately, he had died a few years ago while outside of the Tribe, and the resulting legal matters had still not been settled. As a result, his bloodline lost its position as the most powerful. As for Wu Chen, his previous prestige was now nothing but an illusion; it was impossible to conceal the sore straits he was in.
Because of the law of the jungle in the Cultivation world, any bloodlines without a powerful expert, no matter how prestigious, would become a target. This was the truth even in the Crow Scout Tribe.
Over the past years, Wu Chen had fallen far from his previously high position. This was something he couldn’t accept in his pride, but really, there was little he could do about it. He was forced to endure the scoffing of his rivals and the increasing level of disrespect shown to him by fellow Tribe members. There was no way for him to do anything about it except to follow the wishes of his older sister and lower his head.
However, he could not remain reconciled to such a situation. In his mind, his sister’s choice was the wrong one. He had just made a breakthrough in his Cultivation base, and was now in the eighth level of Qi Condensation. He was now willing to pay any price to acquire a level 3 neo-demon, even secretly borrow large amounts of Spirit Crystals from other Tribes.
“With a level 3 neo-demon, all the members of my generation in the Tribe will have no choice but to pay attention to me. All the rest of them have rank 3s, I can’t be left behind!” He clenched his jaw and ignored the pain in his heart. Choosing not to think about how he would possibly pay back his debt, he strode forward.
His plan was to find rank 3 Dragoneer Shui Mu, which was the only way he would be able to acquire a cheap, level 3 neo-demon.
All members of the Crow Scout Tribe would receive a level 1 neo-demon after reaching a certain level of Cultivation base and making a contribution to the Tribe. The higher one’s Cultivation base, and the better the contribution, then the greater the compensation would be.
Members of the three great bloodlines were even more special. They could acquire a level 1 neo-demon at no cost. Furthermore, the higher their Cultivation base climbed, the better neo-demons they could get, all for free.
The key was to be powerful; there really was no limitation. However, if one wanted to acquire a very expensive neo-demon, then, of course, a contribution would have to be made.
As for Wu Chen, he could acquire level 2 neo-demons for free. If he wanted a level 3, he would have to pay some Spirit Crystals.
All of the Neo-Demon Kennelists, including Meng Hao, were part of the Crow Scout Tribe. Their job in the Tribe was to raise the neo-demons; that didn’t mean they actually owned them.
In principle, anyone could come with a command medallion and take the neo-demons away. That was just in principle, though. In actuality, there was an unwritten rule that prevented that from happening. Neo-Demon Kennelists were actually low-level Dragoneers whose rank was determined by the highest level neo-demon they could raise.
Because of that, and because of the respect for Dragoneers, who were not to be offended, all Tribes in the Western Desert ended up having the same custom. Dragoneers had the right to decide whether or not to give the neo-demons they raised to others.
Furthermore, Dragoneers also had the first right to buy any of the neo-demons they raised.
Grim-faced Wu Chen hurried along toward the courtyard that was his destination. The aroma that drifted about in the early morning air left him feeling uncomfortable. Because he had disturbed the peace by coming here just now, the howls of neo-demons began to rise up from the various courtyards in the area.
This caused Wu Chen to feel a bit annoyed. He hurried along through the area occupied mostly by level 1 and 2 neo-demons and then entered the area where many level 3 neo-demons could be found. It was at this point that he walked past the entrance of Meng Hao’s courtyard.
Just as he was about to continue on, Meng Hao’s Greenwood Wolves joined the other neo-demons in their howling.
The sound of it seemed ordinary, but as soon as Wu Chen heard it, his heart and mind trembled, and his facial expression changed to one of shock. The howling of the Greenwood Wolves wasn’t very high-pitched, but he was very close, and the sound of it sent his head spinning. He suddenly felt himself trembling, as if there were some great pressure weighing down on him.
He gasped, turning to look toward Meng Hao’s courtyard. He had heard the howls of level 2 neo-demons before, and never before had they shook him in such a way. Without hesitation, he pushed open the door and looked inside. He saw a gentle, scholarly youth sitting there cross-legged, looking back at him with eyes as clear as the night sky.
The youth was surrounded by five Greenwood Wolves who were also staring back at Wu Chen with eyes cold and filled with ferocity. There was one in particular who looked somewhat skinny; when he looked over, Wu Chen’s body began to tremble uncontrollably, and his face filled with shock. An intense pressure bore down on him, and he began to pant. His heart pounded as if he were about to die.
Wu Chen was almost incapable of handling the pressure exuded by the Greenwood Wolves in the courtyard. It felt like he was going to explode.
“How can I help you, Fellow Daoist?” asked Meng Hao, his tone cool.
As soon as his lightly spoken words rang out, the pressure suddenly vanished. Wu Chen felt his body go limp, and he almost fell down onto the ground. His face was pale, but he lifted his chin sanctimoniously, and an arrogant expression covered his face.
“I am Wu Chen, Tribe member of one of the three great bloodlines. Your level 2 Greenwood Wolf over there now belongs to me!” He was actually a bit nervous and excited. He’d already abandoned thoughts of level 3 neo-demons. He was going virtually wild with joy, because he could see that these Greenwood Wolves were far beyond ordinary. From what he could sense, they probably couldn’t match up to level 3, but were definitely the absolute highest quality of level 2.
He was just about to reach his hand out to point at skinny Big Hairy, but then hesitated for a moment and instead pointed to one of the other Greenwood Wolves that looked a bit more impressive.
This chapter was sponsored by Billy Williams, Anton Edlund, Gunnar Busch, and Chew Leong Yew
- Wu Chen’s name in Chinese is 乌尘 wū chén – Wu means “crow.” Chen means “dust” or “earth.” ↩