Chapter 536: Everything had Changed!
Meng Hao slowly reached up to slap his bag of holding. Instantly, a head appeared in his hand. This was the head of the black-robed youth form of the Black Bat.
Although, at this point it actually didn’t look much like a human, but rather, more like a bat. Its eyes were blank, but there was still a bit of terror and despair visible within them. Anyone who looked at it would definitely have an indescribable, violent reaction.
Meng Hao had intentionally kept the head for the purpose of resolving any unnecessary disputes. Huyan Qing’s death had been perpetrated by the Black Bat with the specific intention of framing him. Meng Hao had no idea of knowing whether Patriarch Huyan would be able to sort through the clues. Therefore, he kept the head to be able to answer any questions.
His body turned, flickering as he headed toward one of the Western Desert Violet Sea’s ten outpost cities that he had become aware of when his consciousness was merged with the sea.
The nearest one was the seventh outpost.
“All of the outposts are guarded by Black Lands Cultivators. Obviously, the only people who would have the resources to build such towering outposts as these would be backed by the Heavenly Court Alliance.
“I’ll deliver the head up there. There will certainly be people who can then send it to Patriarch Huyan.” Meng Hao moved along at top speed for three days. It was at that point that off in the distance he noticed a collection of what looked like airships floating above the water, roped together to form a crude outpost.
There were quite a few wooden structures built on top of them, and what appeared to be over a thousand Cultivators. The hubbub of voices and conversations echoed out across the waters, making the whole scene very lively.
There were a handful of Cultivators patrolling the perimeter with cold expressions. They wore black robes embroidered with decorations of butterflies flying within layers of clouds. These were of course the city guards.
Cultivators often engaged in trade here. The powers in the Black Lands planned to use these outposts as a foundation to build hundreds more such locations in the coming years.
There were of course spell formations protecting the outpost from Divine Sense. Unless Meng Hao went past the First Anima, he would have difficulty extending his Divine Sense inside.
Meng Hao neared the city at around noontime. His approach instantly attracted the attention of the Cultivators in the outpost, especially the city guards, whose eyes went wide. Meng Hao’s great circle Nascent Soul Cultivation base instantly put them on guard. They did nothing to block his way, instead allowing him to enter the city unobstructed.
As soon as he entered the city, Meng Hao could feel the power of a spell formation sweep over him, much like Divine Sense. It covered his entire body, then suddenly paused, as if it were preparing to lock him down in place so that he couldn’t move.
Meng Hao’s expression was the same as ever. He had come for the Heavenly Court Alliance. If the people here were looking for him specifically, then it meant that in response to Huyan Qing’s death, Patriarch Huyan had made advanced preparations. It would also mean that he knew Meng Hao’s identity.
If nobody was specifically seeking him out, then that would provide some additional food for thought.
Even as Meng Hao arrived, two old men sat meditating in a particularly luxurious airship among the numerous airships that made up the outpost.
One of the men wore a long red robe, and was of the late Nascent Soul stage. The other old man next to him wore a black black gown, and had some brightly colored totem tattoos on his face. His eyes were closed, and he emanated the fluctuations of a Nascent Soul Cultivation base that was nearing the great circle, but was still some distance away.
These two men were the most powerful experts dispatched to this location by the Heavenly Court Alliance.
As soon as Meng Hao stepped foot into the outpost, a flickering, glowing screen suddenly appeared in front of the two old men.
They both opened their eyes to look at the screen, whereupon they saw Meng Hao.
On the screen, Meng Hao was surrounded by pulsing red lights. The lights were not coming from Meng Hao, but rather, the outpost’s spell formation. They were marking out his location!
“Level red on the wanted list…. This person….”
“It’s him! That’s the guy that Patriarch Huyan personally put onto the wanted list a few days ago.” The eyes of the two old men widened as they looked at each other. Both of them had expressions of concentration and thoughtfulness.
“I remember that according to the information on the wanted list, if you notify Patriarch Huyan, you can acquire a magical item personally created by him! And if you capture this man alive, then Patriarch Huyan will owe a personal debt!”
The fires of anticipation burned within the eyes of the two men. They were clearly both thinking the same thing.
They looked at each other for a moment, and their faces filled with determination. As Cultivators, they did not fear danger. What they feared was lacking the courage to face danger. After all, great rewards… come only from facing great danger!
Earning a personal debt from a Spirit Severing Patriarch was definitely worth facing danger in this situation. Even though this Cultivator seemed to have a strange Cultivation base that was at the great circle of the Nascent Soul stage, they had the cooperation of other Nascent Soul Cultivators, plus the spell formation. It was not an impossible task.
“Activate the spell formation!”
“All Nascent Soul Cultivators, the time has come to make our move!”
Almost at the same moment in which all the Nascent Soul Cultivators in the seventh outpost were receiving the message of the two old men, Meng Hao was walking through the crowds in the middle of the outpost. He looked around at all the hustle and bustle, somewhat in a trance. Now that he thought about it, he had just emerged from more than a hundred years of secluded meditation.
“More than a hundred years….” He sighed softly. Memories slowly flooded up like the tide. Suddenly, he recalled all the familiar faces he had seen when he was fused with the Violet Sea.
He thought about that teardrop.
Filled with melancholy, he walked through the outpost until he was nearing its far edge. It was at this point that he suddenly stopped in place and looked up. For the first time in more than a hundred years… a tremor of anger ran through his body.
Up ahead of him, hanging from a rack… were more than fifty people.
More than fifty people. Many were gasping and on the verge of death. Half, though, were actually dead. Their corpses hung there, exposed to the elements, surrounded by an aura of death.
Their bodies were covered with scars and bruises. It was impossible to say how much torment they had endured. Those who hadn’t died wore vacant expressions, as if they were looking at something far, far away.
None of them emitted any wails or screams. All of them maintained silence.
One of the people was an old woman. Her face was wrinkled, her body withered and covered with lash marks, her hair pure white. She was clearly in very sore straits. However, if you looked closely, you could tell that when this woman had been young, she had been beautiful.
She gazed off into the distance, her eyes filled with despair. It was hard to tell what she was thinking. However, her heart clearly burned with an ever burning life force. It was as if her heart raged with incredible hatred.
A roaring sound filled Meng Hao’s mind, and an intense, unprecedented coldness filled his face, the likes of which hadn’t appeared for more than a hundred years. Even when facing the Black Bat, Meng Hao’s fury was nothing compared to the feeling he was experiencing now.
His body trembled as his rage began to reach a pinnacle, a place where he could not control it. Coldness began to radiate off him in pulses. Ice appeared on the wooden planks beneath his feet, and enormous waves began to roll across the surface of the Violet Sea outside the outpost.
His brain suddenly filled with memories of the past.
“Senior, this is my older sister, Wu Ling.”
“If you dare to deceive my little brother, then I won’t rest until you’re dead!”
“Senior, I, Wu Ling, am willing to do anything for my younger brother, anything! I can even be your….” The echoing voice in his mind seemed to transform into the old woman in front of him.
She had once been nothing but a young girl. The passage of time, however, had transformed her beauty into ancientness.
Meng Hao was just barely able to recognize this old woman as none other than… Wu Ling!
As for the other people who were hanging on the racks, Meng Hao recognized four or five of them. They were none other than… members of the Golden Crow Tribe!
As Meng Hao looked at the members of the Golden Crow Tribe, some of the surrounding Cultivators watched on and sighed. They glanced at the hanging Golden Crow Tribe members and talked about them in low voices.
“There are members of the Golden Crow Black Dragon Clan hanging in all of the ten outposts. They shouldn’t have provoked the Heavenly Pursuit Tribe and Patriarch Huyan.”
“The real one to blame is their former totemic Sacred Ancient. He actually killed Patriarch Huyan’s only son. That’s simply too much of a provocation. All of the powers in the Black Lands were completely astonished when it happened.”
“Heh heh. This collection of corpses and half-dead Cultivators is all to force the old Golden Grow Tribe totemic Sacred Ancient to show his face. If I remember correctly, his name is Meng Hao, right?”
“I even heard that the Heavenly Pursuit Tribe made an announcement that for every day Meng Hao doesn’t show up, the Heavenly Pursuit Tribe will kill one hundred members of the Golden Crow Tribe.”
The words stabbed into Meng Hao’s heart like sharp knives. His heart felt as if it were being ripped open. His face was pale white, and the ice beneath his feet grew even thicker.
His breath came in sharp stabs, and his eyes filled with veins of blood and a glow of red.
He had never imagined that Patriarch Huyan would actually… do something so heartless. Such deeds showed that he completely disregarded Meng Hao. This was the action of someone who felt himself to be in a position of vast superiority. Even though he knew that the crime had not been committed by Meng Hao, he still dragged him into the issue.
“Golden Crow Tribe….” The roaring of the Violet Sea grew even more intense. Quite a few of the Cultivators were looking out in astonishment. There were also some who had noticed that something seemed a little bit off about Meng Hao.
Among the group of fifty hanging on the racks, Wu Ling suddenly seemed to sense something. With great effort, she turned her head and… looked at Meng Hao.
The instant she saw him, an expression of shock filled her face.
Slowly, a smile spread out. Meng Hao looked at her, his expression one of guilt, but mostly, of unsurpassable fury.
As of this moment, the hushed conversations in the area had been interrupted by the churning of the Violet Sea. There were two sentences, however, which rung out into Meng Hao’s ears.
“The Golden Crow Black Dragon Clan actually split because of this matter. The Black Dragon Tribe took the opportunity to once again stand on their own. The Golden Crow Tribe barely managed to escape complete calamity. I heard that the the Heavenly Pursuit Tribe actually went to war with them, and that the war is still raging even as we speak. There is no clear winner right now, but recently, the Heavenly Pursuit Tribe managed to capture about five hundred members of the Golden Crow Tribe.”
“The Golden Crow Tribe is still amazing, though. They are even more powerful than the Heavenly Pursuit Tribe anticipated. The Heavenly Pursuit Tribe has suffered quite a few casualties, and finally mobilized their entire Tribe to go to war.”
After hearing these words, the roaring Violet Sea outside the outpost suddenly exploded up. The coldness beneath Meng Hao’s feet swept out in all directions, covering the entire outpost.
Everything had changed!