Chapter 454: Demoness Zhixiang
Meng Hao wasn’t the only one experiencing such a thing. The exact same thing happened to everyone from all the other Tribes. The woman in front of them did not seem to be a Cultivator, but rather, something more like a puppet. As for the bridge, it had turned into something like a flying shuttle, carrying them off to some other location.
No life force whatsoever could be detected coming from the woman. In fact, if you observed how she moved, it seemed stiff. In Meng Hao’s estimation, she must not be a real person, but a puppet, another mysterious aspect of the Bridge of Immortal Treading.
As he whistled through the air, Meng Hao saw twenty or more figures appearing around him.
These figures were the representatives from the other qualified Tribes. However, because of the incredible speed with which they were moving, their features could not be seen clearly.
The world flashed by as they shot through the air and clouds. The speed with which they moved was incredible. Soon, Meng Hao couldn’t even breathe. His mind was spinning as he looked down at the lands beneath them. They rapidly shrank, until the Crow Divinity Tribes were only a small dot.
Soon, he could see about half of the entire Western Desert!
Such indescribable speed filled Meng Hao with a sense of grave danger. He had the feeling that if he wasn’t able to keep a firm grip on the Immortality Bridgestone, his body would be crushed into smithereens.
Even as this thought entered his mind, he saw a nearby figure suddenly lose contact with the Immortality Bridgestone. Instantly, a fountain of blood appeared. There wasn’t even time for a bloodcurdling scream. Death came in an instant.
This caused Meng Hao’s mind to tremble. He kept a tight grip on his Immortality Bridgestone, his eyes glowing brightly.
The temperature was dropping rapidly. The coldness stabbed into his bones; were these people not Cultivators, they would barely even be able to move their bodies at this point.
By now, it wasn’t just Meng Hao that was looking at the scene down below. Everyone was gazing at the lands beneath them. By now, Meng Hao could see all of the Western Desert, plus the Black Lands and even the Southern Domain. He was also able to see the Milky Way Sea!
There were a multitude of islands on the Milky Way Sea, but Meng Hao’s gaze happened to come to rest on one particular island. By now, it was only a small dot, but Meng Hao was shocked to realize with a certainty that this island was none other than the very unreliable Patriarch Reliance!
His gaze flickered back to the Southern Domain, and the region of the Violet Fate Sect. Although he couldn’t see the Violet Fate Sect clearly, his eyes were fixed on that particular area.
The Southern Domain continued to grow smaller and smaller. Meng Hao was now able to see that in addition to the Southern Domain and the Western Desert, there was another continent!
As soon as he laid eyes on it, his heart trembled. A host of indescribable thoughts filled his mind, to the point where he almost forgot to keep a firm grip on the Immortality Bridgestone. He could only stare blankly.
He was looking at… the Eastern Lands!
“So, at long last… I get to look at the Eastern Lands,” he murmured inwardly. That had always been his dream as a child, and his dream when taking the imperial examinations. In fact, it was still his dream.
The Eastern Lands, the Great Tang!
He thought about his father and mother who had gone missing that day, and he thought about the violet wind. He also recalled the stories his mother had told him about the Eastern Lands, and the legends of the Great Tang.
“Dad, mom… is that where you are…?” He watched the Eastern Lands grow smaller and smaller until the entire continent looked like a small arc-like shape. It was at this point that suddenly a booming sound filled his body, and he felt as if he had just slammed into an invisible wall. The intensity of the blow caused his mouth to fill with blood. Instead of coughing it out, however, he swallowed it back down.
His vision grew blurry as everything around him became unclear. It was impossible to even send out Spiritual Sense. Everything was violently suppressed. The only thing he could do was hold on tightly to the Immortality Bridgestone and not allow his grip to loosen in the slightest.
This process in which everything grew blurry lasted for an indeterminable period of time. Eventually, a roaring sound began to echo out, and Meng Hao coughed up some blood. Gradually, the blurriness faded away. When Meng Hao’s vision returned to normal, all he could do was gape.
The blood he had just coughed up floating in front of him, and was speeding along with him.
Everything around him was black, blackness dotted with countless stars. The starlight was resplendent, shining out within the pitch black, allowing Meng Hao to see something far off in the distance.
He saw… a bridge!
A ruined bridge!
It was immeasurably large, and throbbed with an ancient will. It was as if it contained countless years of time. The bridge was made of stone, and spread out into vast depths of the blackness and the stars, making it impossible to see where it ended.
The bridge was not complete, but rather, had long since been reduced to countless chunks of rubble. The chunks of rubble had not been scattered about, though. Instead, they retained the original shape of the structure, making the bridge seem almost like a complete one if you looked at it from a distance.
The closer one came, however, the more easy it was to see the gaps between the various chunks. The gaps looked small, but upon nearing, it became clear that they were actually incredibly wide.
Countless fragments of dust drifted about in the gaps between the various chunks. They glowed brightly, causing the entire bridge itself to also glow.
“The Bridge of Immortal Treading….” murmured Meng Hao inwardly. Even as he neared the bridge, something shocking suddenly neared his field of vision.
Eight dark, blurry figures suddenly appeared up ahead, surrounding the puppet-like woman. As soon as they did, their Cultivation bases began to emanate ripples. The ripples far exceeded anything that Meng Hao could ever have imagined, and gave him the same feeling he’d gotten from the Immortal who had fallen out of the Heavens that year.
These eight figures were Immortals!
As these eight Immortals appeared up ahead, surrounding the woman, they all began to attack. Everything around them trembled as a blinding light appeared, filled with an indescribable feeling of extermination.
Meng Hao had originally assumed that the stiff woman who did not seem to be a Cultivator wouldn’t even move. However, it was at this point that countless ripples suddenly emanated off of her body, spreading out to slam into the divine abilities of the other eight. As a booming sound echoed out, Meng Hao and all the other Cultivators who were holding stones in their hands, coughed up blood. Although they couldn’t see each other clearly, it was possible to sense the shock and injury being experienced by the others.
“She’s not a puppet?” thought Meng Hao, shock filling his heart. At the same time that the boom echoed out, something like a fierce gale swept across everything. Meng Hao’s body did not feel stable, almost as if he were not capable of holding onto the Immortality Bridgestone anymore. The glow in the area began to flicker, and darkened by about half.
“Dammit, dammit….” thought Meng Hao, his fury burning. This was all he could do, however; rage inwardly and hold on tightly to the Immortality Bridgestone.
The booming caused the eight to be sent tumbling backward. In the blink of an eye, the woman proceeded forward with Meng Hao and the others, shooting off into the distance. However, it only took a moment for the eight to return. This time, their bodies were surrounded by bright glows. They looked like eight suns as they charged toward the woman.
The woman’s expression suddenly flickered. Her body disappeared, then reappeared off in the distance, whereupon she transformed into a beam of prismatic light that shot off at high speed.
One of the eight suddenly spoke, his voice cold: “Demoness Zhixiang of the Immortal Demon Sect, you were able to con Young Master out of his precious treasure. We’ve been chasing you for a whole sixty year cycle, and it turns out you were hiding here, pretending to be a puppet of the Bridge of Immortal Treading. Your little ruse fooled us before, but let’s see how exactly you plan to elude us this time!” 1
With that, the eight of them completely ignored Meng Hao and the others as they sped off in pursuit of the woman.
“She’s a Cultivator who was masquerading as a puppet to avoid pursuit? Immortal Demon Sect? What Sect is that…?” Meng Hao watched them disappear off into the distance, his mind and heart reeling. The Immortality Bridgestone in his hand had not ceased moving. It continued to carry the group of Cultivators toward the Bridge of Immortal Treading. They flew closer and closer, at a speed that Meng Hao had a hard time wrapping his mind around.
It was at this moment that suddenly, a furious roar could be heard from off in the distance. Behind them, eight colorful beams of light could be seen racing toward them. Their speed was such that they would obviously be able to catch up in a short time.
Meng Hao looked back and his pupils constricted. “Just what divine ability is that? The speed they can achieve while flying amongst the stars is….” He watched as the eight figures would move an incredible distance seemingly in a single movement.
It was almost as if the space beneath their feet was being shrunken.
“Shrunken… shrunken….” murmured Meng Hao. He suddenly thought back to when he had left Planet South Heaven and how the land had seemed to shrink. Ignoring the true size of his body, it made it seem as if with a single step he could cross a huge divide.
Even as the eight people sped in pursuit, Meng Hao suddenly felt a tremor run through his body. Roaring sounds could be heard as some massive, invisible force seemed to emanate out from the Immortality Bridgestone in his hand and then suck Meng Hao inside.
The same thing happened to the others. All of the Western Desert Cultivators from Planet South Heaven suddenly vanished as they entered the true Bridge of Immortal Treading.
As for the eight Immortals, when they arrived, they found nothing but empty space. They looked around at the rubble, but dared not enter.
“So, she got away again. This Demoness’s craftiness knows no bounds. This time, however, she abandoned her physical body and paid a heavy price to fuse her soul into the body of one of those ants from South Heaven.”
“The Bridge of Immortal Treading was destroyed by Ancestor Ji long ago. However a mighty force protects it and reforms it every one thousand years. The starry sky cannot go against it and Ji Immortals cannot enter it. We cannot go in, but, she will be forced to come out eventually. When she does, we’ll be waiting for her!” The eight Immortals gave a final look at the Bridge of Immortal Treading before turning and disappearing.
This chapter was sponsored by Anthony Federico
- In Chinese, Zhixiang is 芷香 zhǐ xiāng – Zhi is a type of plant root. Xiang means “fragrant” or “incense”. Madam Deathblade also humorously pointed out that in Chinese, her name is a homophone for “paper box.” ↩