Chapter 518: Sinking to the Heart of the Violet Sea
The sky was dark, and violet rain fell in buckets. The only thing Meng Hao could see in all directions was a vast sea.
Waves undulated across its surface, pushed along by a cold wind. His hair drifted up and his clothes rippled as he floated in mid-air looking out soundlessly at the sea.
It seemed as if all life in the entire world was completely gone and buried. The only thing left behind was his loneliness. It floated in his heart for a moment before he shook his head, causing it to fade away.
He proceeded on at top speed. The parrot followed, occasionally letting out an arrogant squawk.
“La lala la la, I’m a seagull…!” The parrot suddenly dove into the water, only to shoot up into the air again off into the distance. It seemed extremely happy.
The vast sea seemed endless. Meng Hao continued on for a few more months until he was deep into what had once been the Western Desert Central region. Here, he could see the very tips of what had once been tall mountains, but were now islands.
There were no Cultivators and no neo-demons. There were only… occasional floating corpses.
Everything was deathly still.
Another seven days passed. Up ahead of Meng Hao appeared a rather familiar-looking mountain peak that was now an island. Meng Hao stopped in mid-air. After examining it for a long moment, he realized that he recognized this particular mountain.
He had passed it when traveling with the Crow Divinity Tribe. As of now, the mountain itself was buried under the sea. All that was visible now was about sixty meters of its top which made up the island.
“This place should do.” He didn’t proceed any further north. Continuing on would only mean fewer islands, and deeper waters. The current water level was what had been mid-air in the past.
He landed on the mountain-island and sat down cross-legged. He took a deep breath and looked out at the sea around him. As far as he was concerned, this was the perfect place to practice secluded meditation. It was very safe.
Because of the exterminating power of the violet rain, it was an Apocalypse to Western Desert Cultivators. To Meng Hao, though, it offered no inconvenience. In fact, once he gained enlightenment and produced a violet rain totem, this place would be like his own personal sea.
After some time passed, Meng Hao closed his eyes. There was no longer any five-colored glow about him. He was completely of the great circle of the Gold Core stage. His five elements tattoos glittered brightly as he began to meditate.
The parrot flew around, occasionally flying off into the distance, occasionally returning. No matter where it went, it seemed capable of finding things to amuse and entertain itself.
At the moment, it was pretending to be a seagull, squawking and crying out in delight. The meat jelly wasn’t willing to be outdone. A pop rang out as it also turned into a seagull and then rolled its eyes superciliously at the parrot.
It was at this point that the two buffoons began to have a contest….
Time passed. Months went by. Meng Hao’s Cultivation base continued to remain at its peak. Suddenly, his eyes opened, and a brilliant glow could be seen within his pupils.
He looked down at the blood totem tattoo on his right index finger, and as he did, an expression of determination appeared on his face.
“My final totem!
“Blood represents life, and fights back against all forms of death. This is the part of the Water-type totem tattoo which exemplifies life.
“The violet rain represents death, and destroys all life. This is the part of the Water-type totem tattoo which exemplifies death.
“Life and death oppose each other but also exist in a cycle. Without life, how could there be death? And without death… what could serve as a contrast to life!?
“The fusion of life and death. The blending of blood and the violet rain. That will be Meng Hao’s… great circle Water-type totem!”
As he murmured to himself, his eyes radiated an incredible light. It was currently night, and the rain was falling as usual. However, as he sat there in the rain, his eyes glowed with a light like that of lightning.
“If I truly want to gain enlightenment regarding the violet rain totem that represents death, then I can’t just sit here looking at the sea. I need to immerse myself in it, so that I can personally experience…
“What death is!
“In that way, when there is no distinction between myself and the Violet Sea, when our wills are congruous, then I will have the chance to understand it. When I can control its power, then I can brand myself with a totem tattoo classified as part of the Violet Sea!” Having reached this point in his train of thought, Meng Hao felt absolutely no hesitation. That was Meng Hao’s personality. When he made a decision, he would not easily change his mind.
That was especially true after beginning his path of cultivation. He had never looked back, but instead, continued forward at all times. If one gets in a rut, or hesitates to make a decision, then death is not far off.
Eyes glittering, Meng Hao stood up and looked at the competing parrot and meat jelly. Then he strode forward and jumped directly into the Violet Sea.
As soon as his body touched the violet seawater, an intense aura of death completely surrounded him.
Meng Hao’s body trembled as he managed to cross his legs. After sinking down more than thirty meters, he opened his eyes and stopped moving.
He had already reached the limit of what he could endure. If he sank any further, the death will would become too intense. To this sea, he was something alive, and therefore something it was diametrically opposed to.
Meng Hao was incapable of fighting against the entire Violet Sea.
Even sinking down thirty meters was something that if others heard about they would react to with complete disbelief. The Violet Sea was a place that Cultivators simply couldn’t enter. Even sinking six meters into the sea for a short period would be like plunging into flames of destruction, let alone thirty meters.
To an ordinary Cultivator who sank down thirty meters, it would only take about ten breaths of time before their life force vanished. The aura of death here was qualified to destroy all life.
As for Meng Hao, the fact that he could sit there cross-legged for much longer than ten breaths worth of time had a lot to do with his Perfection. The realm of Perfection made it so that he did not absorb power from Heaven and Earth. He was his own cycle. His ability to survive far exceeded that of others.
Even still, after twenty breaths worth of time, Meng Hao’s body began to shake. The will of death congealed around him, growing thicker and thicker. This collision between life and death turned into an extermination, a power that would thoroughly extinguish and bury him.
It was like ice water being poured onto a red-hot branding iron. The two were incompatible. Ice and fire opposed to each other created a force… either the ice water would turn into steam, or the branding iron would experience a complete end.
This was extermination!
After thirty breaths of time, the power of extermination was so intense that Meng Hao was forced to open his eyes and shoot up out of the sea. After flying up into the air, he returned to the mountain-island, his face pale. He coughed up a mouthful of blood. The collision between his life force and the death aura had transformed into an extermination that Meng Hao found difficult to endure.
However, his eyes were now shining brightly.
“Now I understand. The Violet Sea Apocalypse does not inherently contain the power of extermination. Its primary will is that of death. When it encounters life force, extermination erupts. That extermination is not inherently created by the Violet Sea, but rather when it is combined with life force.
“The opposition of life and death transform into the power of extermination…. That will be the true power that the great circle of the Water-type totem will be able to unleash when it is completed!
“It requires time for life and death to create such extermination.
“The life within my blood totem tattoo needs to coexist with the death of the violet rainwater, not extermination. To truly gain enlightenment, I need to negate the power of extermination. In that way, I can truly understand the will of death!”
Meng Hao took a deep breath and then sat back down cross-legged. After three days, he was fully recovered. When he opened his eyes, they shone brightly. After sitting in contemplation for a moment, he once again strode forward and dropped into the seawater. He returned to the same position thirty meters down where he crossed his legs and experienced the extermination that came with the seawater.
Time passed. A year went by in the blink of an eye.
During that year, Meng Hao did not see any Cultivators or any other form of life. It felt as if he was the only person alive in the world.
Negating the power of extermination was not easy. Even being sustained because of the realm of Perfection, it was very difficult for him. He would not use his blood totem unless it was absolutely necessary. If he did, then the gap between life and death within the Violet Sea would swell, allowing the power of extermination to rush in and threaten to wipe him away.
“I cannot use life to be enlightened regarding death. In order to understand death, I must truly die!” Meng Hao could now descend almost one hundred meters into the Violet Sea, and stay there for the space of 170 breaths before speeding back up to the surface.
He had made a lot of progress during this year, but he was still far from thoroughly understanding the Violet Rain.
“This death is not just some blind perishing, though. I have to go about it methodically. I need to slowly decrease my life force under the power of the extermination. Then, make a complete turnabout. By surviving only my own aura of death, and thus not being influenced by the exterminating will, then I can truly experience the Violet Sea’s death aura.” After having reached this new enlightenment, Meng Hao rested for a few days, then once again entered into the Violet Sea to meditate cross-legged.
More time passed. One year. Two years. Three years….
Meng Hao was now cross-legged more than six hundred meters beneath the surface of the Violet Sea, completely motionless, as if he were dead. An aura of death circulated around him. Occasionally, the power of extermination would explode out, but it was quite subdued, obviously much, much weaker than it had been ten years ago.
A month passed. Meng Hao’s eyes suddenly opened. The power of extermination around him suddenly grew incredibly intense. Before it could explode out, he shot up out of the Violet Sea.
“Still not enough….” he murmured. “When I’m able to sit on the seafloor permanently, then I will be able to begin to comprehend the truth of the Violet Sea!” During the ten year period, his Cultivation base had not experienced much change at all. However, his whole body and aura had experienced earthshaking transformation.
He was more tall and slender, and within his scholarly disposition was a bit more of something Demonic and bit less Confucian. His life force was reduced, and his deathly aura increased.
His skin was bright and clear, his features were more handsome, even Demonic.
After ten years, the violet rain was still falling, but the sea had not grown much deeper. The islands still existed…. By this time, the Western Desert South region had also become part of the sea. The entirety of the great lands of the Western Desert were now covered by seawater. Any Cultivators who had been unable to enter the Black Lands, were now nothing more than skeletons buried by the Violet Sea.
As of now, they were much like the Bridge Slaves in the Realm of the Bridge Ruins. They were like specters who would occasionally appear on the surface of the waters. Occasionally entire Tribes would appear, floating about, taking away any life force. They were like emissaries of the Violet Sea.
Meng Hao had encountered such specters several times throughout the ten years.
In fact, this moment in which he burst out from within the Violet Sea, he saw a group of several hundred specters off in the distance, drifting across the surface of the sea with vacant looks on their faces. As soon as Meng Hao appeared, they suddenly stopped moving and looked over.