Chapter 418: Pool of Destiny
Time flashed by. Soon, it was half a month later. The day was swiftly approaching in which the five Tribes of the Crow Divinity would offer sacrifices to the Ancestor.
To the five Tribes, this day of sacrifices was an extremely important occasion. That was because in addition to being a day of ceremonies and rites, it was also the time when the Tribes determined their ranking in terms of strength.
The most important reason for the whole ceremony was because of the totem legacy within the Crow Divinity Holy Land. This legacy was not some imaginary thing, but rather something called the Pool of Destiny!
This pond was actually a deep cistern that would fill with clear waters every few years. The water was very strange. Any member of the Crow Divinity Tribes who entered the waters and meditated therein would experience incredible growth in totemic power.
The water in the pond was not of the five elements; however, it would change to become one of the five elements, depending on who entered it. In fact, throughout the years, the five Tribes of the Crow Divinity had experienced many situations in which Tribe members experienced Cultivation base breakthroughs thanks to the increase in their totemic power.
The Pool of Destiny was the most important object to the five Tribes of the Crow Divinity, and also one of the reasons so many vassals chose to join one of the five Tribes.
However… the waters of the Pool of Destiny were not infinite. The water was limited, even from the very beginning of the rite. Therefore, the first person to enter it would receive the greatest benefit. The benefits received by those who entered after would increasingly lessen.
Therefore, the so-called Ancestor Rite Competition was used to determined the order in which various members of the five great Tribes would enter and seize the fortune of the Pool of Destiny.
Currently, the voice of the Crow Scout Tribe’s Greatfather rang out from the top of the mountain: “For three hundred years, the Crow Scout Tribe has always been the last to enter. During those three hundred years, it was always the Crow Soldier Tribe who entered first….”
Meng Hao stood down in the square along with rank 7 Dragoneer Mo Zi and his son Mo Fang. They were joined by the Crow Scout Tribe’s Sky Priest and the Grand Elder.
As for the Earth Priest, he had been in secluded meditation the entire time since he had returned to the Tribe, and had still not emerged.
Additionally, there were several Western Desert Cultivators who, as could be seen from their clothing, were obviously not members of the Crow Scout Tribe. All had incredible Cultivation bases, and radiated killing intent. These people were similar to Meng Hao, vassals. Obviously, though, they were not Dragoneers, but Totem Cultivators.
There were several dozen members of the Crow Scout Tribe also present, including Wu Chen, Wu Ling, and Wu Ali. All of them looked both nervous and excited.
Wu Ling would cast frequent glances toward Meng Hao, whose expression was the same as ever as he stood there silently, with eyes closed. It seemed he didn’t even notice her.
“The Ancestor Rite Competition will begin soon,” continued the Greatfather. “According to the rules set forth by the Ancestor, spilling the blood of fellow Tribe members is prohibited in the Holy Land, as is killing. Therefore, as has been the custom throughout the successive Ancestor Rite Competitions, it is you vassals who will participate in the contest, and earn the chance to step foot into the Pool of Destiny. I offer my profound thanks to all of you.” He looked over Meng Hao and the other vassals and then clasped hands and bowed deeply.
Next to him, the Sky Priest and the Grand Elder gave deep looks to everyone and then also clasped hands and bowed.
The rest of the Crow Scout Tribe members also bowed, looks of veneration covering their faces.
Mo Zi was not the first to respond, but rather, Mo Fang. “Fear not, Greatfather, with my father and I here, I dare not claim that we will take first place in the Dragoneer competition, but we will definitely not take last.” As he spoke, he cast a grim glare in Meng Hao’s direction.
As for Grandmaster Mo Zi, he gave an indifferent chuckle. “I, Mo, will do my best.” His grating voice was filled with obvious self-confidence.
Meng Hao’s eyes opened, and his expression was the same as usual. He did not respond to Mo Fang’s provocation, but rather, ignored him. He looked over the other vassals, taking note of one man in particular who was large, but rather unimposing in appearance. His Cultivation base appeared to be in the Core Formation stage, but there was something strange about him. Meng Hao could sense that there was something almost like a mist circling around him that could not be seen through.
When Meng Hao looked at him, the man looked back. Their gazes locked for a brief moment before the man looked away. However, it was at this point that Meng Hao’s eyes began to glitter.
“That guy has the aura of a neo-demon,” he thought. “It’s faint, but he definitely is not emanating the power of totems. It’s as if… he himself is emanating a neo-demon aura!”
Suddenly, the sound of bells and horns filled the air. It came from Crow Divinity Holy Land, which was located in the center of all the mountains. The sound circled out in all directions, along with waves of ripples which kicked up massive winds. Soon everything up above and down below was shaking.
Next, ripples could be seen emanating out, as if everything was being sealed. Next, a golden light shot up from the Crow Divinity Holy Land. It shot up into the Heavens, spreading out and emitting massive pressure.
The Crow Scout Tribe Greatfather took a deep breath as he looked at the golden light. Determination filled his eyes as he said, “Let us depart!”
He flicked his sleeve and flew up into the air, transforming into a beam of light that shot off toward the area where the golden light was emanating from.
Everyone else flew up as well. Quite a few of the other vassals had bodies festooned with totems, that were now flickering and glowing. As for rank 7 Dragoneer Mo Zi, he flicked his sleeve, causing an enormous two-headed Flood Dragon to magically appear in mid-air. It lifted its heads up into the air and roared. Mo Zi stood on its back, and Mo Fang approached to do the same.
The two-headed Flood Dragon was clearly incredibly powerful. The instant it appeared, it attracted the shock and astonishment of the surrounding Cultivators. Quite a few people looked over at Meng Hao, curious as to what mount he would ride.
Meng Hao’s expression was the same as ever as he slapped a green-colored bag of holding. A beam of white light instantly shot out, which transformed into Big Hairy. He seemed skinny and weak, but was over ten meters long. As Meng Hao hopped onto his back, he lifted his head up to the sky and howled.
The sound was extremely shocking as it drifted out in all directions. The surrounding Crow Scout Tribe members were filled with shock. Even the two-headed Flood Dragon backed up a bit.
Mo Zi gave a cold snort, patting the two-headed Flood Dragon, which transformed into a colorful beam as it shot off.
Meng Hao sat atop Big Hairy, his eyes focused on the golden glow off in the distance. He actually wasn’t very interested in the Crow Divinity Holy Land, but figured that since he was here, he might as well investigate a bit.
As he proceeded onward, the dozens of Crow Scout Tribe members flew off from the mountaintop. Up in mid-air, Meng Hao could see groups of Cultivators flying out from the directions of the other four Tribes, all of them heading toward the central location.
There were several hundred members of the five Tribes in all, heading toward the golden glow at top speed.
Meng Hao also caught sight of Gu La, standing on top of the Wild Giant. His face was proud, as were the faces of the Crow Soldier Tribe members who surrounded him.
There were also Dragoneers from the other Tribe. Among the Dragoneers from the Crow Fighter Tribe, the most conspicuous was an old woman upon whose face could be seen dark greenish freckles. She wore a long robe, and was relatively ugly. However, she was riding a gigantic Cyclops Ape which emanated a fiendish aura.
The Crow Flame Tribe had three Dragoneers, one of whom was a white-robed old man who had the extraordinary bearing of a transcendent being. The neo-demon he rode was an enormous white crane, elegant and beautiful. It soared through the air as if it had just descended from the world of Immortals.
Last was the Crow Gloom Tribe. They only had two Dragoneers; one of them was dressed completely differently than the others. He wore a conical bamboo hat that hid his features, along with a woven rush raincoat that made him look like an old fisherman. Beneath his feet was a gigantic earthworm several dozen meters long, which was covered with a shocking, viscous liquid. As the earthworm whizzed through the air, it emitted a very peculiar smell.
“I doubt that Yan Song and the others are with the Dragoneers. They’re most likely with the totem vassals from the various Tribes.” As he sized the others up, he could see that they were looking over at him and Mo Zi. 1
Mo Zi looked over at the nearing Dragoneers and grimly said, “Grandmaster Meng, you’d better not disappoint me in the competition.” With that, the two-headed Flood Dragon shot forward toward the golden light.
Meng Hao frowned slightly and then sighed inwardly. Ever since coming to the Western Desert, he had very rarely taken the initiative in provoking others. However, as he slowly revealed more and more power, it was only natural for others to take note of him. Disputes would obviously rise up, although that was not Meng Hao’s intention.
“I’ll have to settle this dispute sooner or later,” he thought, a vicious look appearing in his eyes. Having practiced Cultivation up to his current point, he very well understood the law of the jungle. When decisiveness was required, Meng Hao would not be softhearted.
Soon, everyone was nearing the golden glow. There, a floating golden platform could be seen that looked almost like an arena. It was surrounded by swirling, golden shield.
Before long, all the members of the five great Tribes arrived to float around the golden platform. The various Greatfathers and Priests did not exchange many words. They looked at each other coldly, and without any hint of politeness, chose to let the fighting begin.
The Crow Scout Tribe Greatfather looked back at his vassals, and said, “There are two rounds of fighting, each of which could be considered a battle royal. One is for Totem Cultivators, the other is for Dragoneers! We must win both battles!
“During each battle royal, every Tribe can send three people into battle. If a Tribe wins in both battles, then they naturally will take first place. As for who takes second, that will be based on the performance of the vassals; there are a few who are still deciding on whether or not to attend.
“Throughout the history of these battles, there have been deaths. Vassals, I urge you, if you find yourself outmatched… please forfeit the match. The importance of victory or defeat cannot be overstated, however. I encourage you to work together with a sense of camaraderie.
“The first battle is for Totem Cultivators!” After the Greatfather finished speaking, three vassals emerged from the others. They clasped hands to the Greatfather and then shot toward the golden light.
One of the three was none other than the strange, unimposing man Meng Hao had noticed earlier. Meng Hao observed him as he shot forward, his eyes flickering. He circulated the Immortal Qi of Immortal Shows the Way, then blinked his right eye several times in succession.
This time when he looked at the man, his pupils constricted.
He could now clearly see that this man was no Western Desert Cultivator. A cloud-like mist covered his body, within which… was the Outlander Beast, which the parrot had chased after months before.
Even more astonishing, he could also see traces of the meat jelly on the Outlander Beast. With his Celestial Vision technique he could even see the aura of the parrot.
- As a quick re-cap, the infiltration party consisted of Yan Song, the alchemist from the Eastern Lands that Meng Hao met in Holy Snow City. There was also Mo Li and a guy surnamed Wang; it was implied that they were a gay couple. Finally was Li Tao, the one who gave them all the ability to disguise themselves and their Southern Domain Cultivator aura ↩