ISSTH – Book 4 – Chapter 452

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Chapter 452: Hope

Migration.

Throughout the lands of the Western Desert, it took only a short period of time for a multitude of Tribes to all reach the same bitter decision!

To make such a decision was easier said than done. However, as far as the Crow Divinity Tribes were concerned, migrating… was the same as death!

Throughout the Western Desert, teleportation spells rapidly ceased to function. This was especially true of the low-lying Western Desert North, where vast amounts of violet rainwater was collecting. One could easily imagine how the rain which fell in the West, South and East would flow down and accumulate within the North.

The Western Desert North was definitely the first place that the sea would begin to rise!

Had the five Crow Divinity Tribes not experienced the war with the Five Poisons Tribe, then they would surely have been powerful enough to migrate. Unfortunately… even including all the young children and elderly Tribe members, their total population was now around two thousand.

Considering that they used to have more than ten thousand Tribe members, their overall power had been critically reduced. As of this moment, they only counted as a small Tribe when compared to the rest of the Western Desert.

Furthermore… because teleportation portals were no longer functional, and more than half of the Tribe members were ordinary people with no Cultivation bases, there was no way for the Tribe to fly. They would be forced to travel on foot.

The Greatfather stood next to Meng Hao, his hair gray and his expression one of exhaustion. He smiled bitterly and said, “We can’t travel on foot to the Black Lands…. We’re simply too far away. Even a Nascent Soul Cultivator who flew continuously without sleep or rest would need at least ten years to get there. If we went on foot… it would take more than a thousand. More than a thousand years to migrate. Would the Crow Divinity Tribes even still be around by that time?”

He looked even older than he had before. He turned his head back to look at the Tribe members behind him who were erecting wooden shelters, and continued, “The violet rain will continuously extinguish the spiritual energy. Eventually we would all become mortals. The will of extermination in the rain would corrode our bodies, weakening us to the point of death.

“That’s not even to mention what the rain would do to the children and the other ordinary Tribe members. They… would be the first to die. After that… the deaths would only continue to increase. The entire Tribe would eventually be wiped out during the course of the migration.

“In addition, virtually all of the other Tribes in the Western Desert will be migrating at the same time. Because of food, resources and other reasons, the road will be filled with chaotic battles! Tribes will be constantly contending with each other in order to ensure their own existence. Right now, the Crow Divinity Tribes… simply could not survive such an ordeal.

“Also, even if we managed to travel for more than a thousand years, even if by some fluke we weren’t swallowed up by some other Tribe, then… once we got to the Black Lands… what would qualify us to enter? There is limited space in there. How could we get in?

“How could we possibly distinguish ourselves… amongst so many great Tribes and mid-sized Tribes. With so many big shot Tribes controlling the Black Lands, how could we get them to accept us?”

Meng Hao stood there silently. He had already seen some of the children who were physically weak to begin with growing even weaker after being touched by the rainwater. This violet rain was going to exterminate everything.

“It is because of all of this, exalted Sacred Ancient, that I urge you… to leave!” The Greatfather’s voice was so decisive that it could sever nails and chop iron. “Leave this place and leave the Crow Divinity Tribes. Sacred Ancient, given your Cultivation base and your status as a Grand Dragoneer, any Tribe would be happy to accept you during this critical time and bring you with them to the Black Lands.

“Exalted Sacred Ancient, this is your only hope. As for us….” The Greatfather once again looked back at the Five Tribes members building huts to shelter themselves from the rainwater. Their eyes were filled with sorrow and grief.

“We will not leave our homeland. If we are doomed to be exterminated, then we will die together and be buried here with our forefathers and fellow Tribe members. At least this way, maybe some of those children will have a chance to grow up.” The Greatfather looked even older now, as if his life force were slowly flowing away.

Meng Hao continued to stand there quietly, unsure of what to say. He looked over his shoulder at the silent Five Tribes members. Wu Chen was there, as was Wu Ling. There were sleeping children, who occasionally called out for their mothers. Tears were being shed. There were elderly ones longing for loved ones. As Meng Hao looked at them all, he realized that there were many, many familiar faces.

Right now, he had only two choices. Go… or stay!

If he did leave, then he was essentially the most likely person to be able to survive within the violet rain, considering all of his special abilities.

But if he stayed….

Meng Hao let out a soft sigh. He said nothing, but rather, turned and walked over to where the Tribe members were gathered. As he neared, they all looked toward him, eyes hot with zeal. With a slight smile, Meng Hao continued around to the back of the mountain, and his courtyard.

Here, the rain was falling heavily. He sat down beneath the eaves, surrounded by his neo-demon horde. Big Hairy lay on the ground next to him, letting out light yips. He was wounded, but not fatally.

Meng Hao now had only six thousand neo-demons left in his horde. All were wounded, and were currently healing naturally.

Gu La braved the rainwater to bustle about, giving them food and treating some of their minor injuries. The sky above was dim, and the rain… only continued to fall harder and harder.

The vast sky and land gradually transformed into a depression that weighed down on the hearts of both Meng Hao and the Crow Divinity Tribe members.

“Perhaps I should wait for the parrot to return… and then leave. Leaving really is the best decision. However….” He lapsed into silence again. During his entire time in the Western Desert, he had lived amongst the five Crow Divinity Tribes. He had achieved his goals, and yet, the ones to pay the price had been them.

Objectively speaking, everything that was happening was not Meng Hao’s fault. However, when it came to his heart, Meng Hao found it hard shake off the deep emotions that he felt.

The Crow Soldier Greatfather’s words made sense. The five Crow Divinity Tribes had no ability to migrate, and even if they did… they would never be able to enter the Black Lands.

When he thought of the Black Lands, Meng Hao recalled the war he had seen there, and the Western Desert Cultivators who had fought in them.

“What an incredible plan,” Meng Hao thought, his eyes flashing. “Because of this Apocalypse, the eyes of the entire Western Desert will be focused on the Black Lands. It seems that the time will soon come for those great Tribes who control the Black Lands… to bare their fangs.”

Time passed by slowly. Two months were gone, and the violet rain never ceased to fall. It only grew harder. Meng Hao could no longer stay behind the mountain, because… it had already turned into a small stream as deep as one’s knees.

The five Crow Divinity Tribes had moved to the top of the mountain peak. There, they built huts to shelter themselves from the rain. More than two thousand people lived their lives silently inside these huts.

Already, there were Tribe members who were visibly weakening….

Meng Hao sat cross-legged on the mountain peak, looking at the mountains off in the distance. They had once been green and verdant, but now they were a deathly dark gray. All of the vegetation had withered up and died.

Every day, it was possible to see neo-demons running or flying away from within the deep mountains. It wasn’t just Cultivators who were migrating during this Apocalypse, but neo-demons as well.

The land in many areas around had already turned violet. Streams flowed together to form rivers. It was easy to imagine how, after some bit of time passed, the rivers would merge together to form lakes. Eventually, the lakes would turn into… a sea.

“If I can’t take you with me,” said Meng Hao, “then I will stay with you here. We will await death together. I will not allow the violet rain to bury you. The tombstone of the five Crow Divinity Tribes should have all of your names carved on its surface.” Meng Hao felt deeply melancholy, but he really could not think of any other options. The five Crow Divinity Tribes really had no hope to hold in front of them anymore.

The Black Lands might count as hope. However, it was an intangible hope, a stagnant hope. Besides, the path to the Black Lands would be rife with countless other Tribes all charging toward the same destination. The five Crow Divinity Tribes would have much difficulty fighting for a place amongst all those other Tribes.

“Maybe there is some other hope to be had!” murmured Meng Hao, lifting his head up to look at the violet rain.

More time passed. A month later, hope suddenly appeared one day…. It appeared, not just for Meng Hao, but for all the members of the five Crow Divinity Tribes.

That hope came in the form of a voice!

The voice echoed out throughout the entire Western Desert, from North to South, East to West. It was impossible to say if it was a magical technique or divine ability, nor was it possible to determine the profundity of the speaker’s Cultivation base. The voice was archaic and ancient as it echoed out.

“To all fellow countrymen in the Western Desert, greetings….

“We are the Heavenly Court Alliance of the Black Lands, formed by the great Heavenly Pursuit Tribe, great Wild Flame Tribe, and great Demon Butterfly Tribe. This is our first public announcement to all Cultivators in the Western Desert….”

Meng Hao looked up. The Crow Soldier Tribe Greatfather suddenly opened his eyes from meditation. All of the Tribe members gazed out at the sky.

At this moment, all Tribes in the Western Desert stopped what they were doing. Some were like the great Scorching Ice Tribe, currently on the road in the midst of migration. Others were camped out, resting. Others, like the five Crow Divinity Tribes, had decided to return to the dust in their homeland. All Cultivators in the Western Desert began to tremble as they looked up to the sky.

Everyone, even the Five Poisons Tribe. Everywhere, West, East, North and South. All members of all Tribes… looked up.

“The violet rain has come, and the Western Sea Apocalypse is here. This violet rain will exterminate all life, and extinguish all spiritual energy. At the moment, roughly ninety percent of teleportation portals in the great lands of the Western Desert are not functional.

“There is only one hope for life amidst this great Apocalypse, and that is the Black Lands. Thankfully, many years ago, the Heavenly Court Alliance enacted plans to carve out a suitable place for Western Desert Tribes to survive within the Black Lands!

“Naturally, the space is limited, and not all Tribes will be permitted to enter. Furthermore, we do not have the right to decide who is most qualified to do so. Therefore… we will give all of you a chance… to find a Demon Spirit!

“According to information gleaned from the augury of the Heavenly Court Alliance, as well as details recorded in countless ancient records, we know that whenever the Western Desert turns into a sea, Heaven and Earth experience changes. Demon Spirits emerge in the great lands of the Western Desert, no more than ten of them.

“Any Tribe who appears outside of the Black Lands with a Demon Spirit, will be qualified to enter the Black Lands. We will only accept… Demon Spirits!”

The voice stopped speaking, but the sound of it continued to echo out throughout the Western Desert. The countless people who heard the voice all began to breathe heavily, and their eyes instantly grew bloodshot.

Meng Hao’s eyes began to shine brightly.

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