Chapter 564: Where Good Fortune Lays
Meng Hao felt as if a cold wind had just gusted down his throat. He coughed dryly a few times and looked up ahead at Fang Yu. Inwardly, he felt even more assured that this woman was someone he should not provoke in the future.
She might be overbearing and have a fiery temper, but those things didn’t matter. Just now, she… had set up a huge con for Ji Xiaoxiao to fall into, all without letting out a single hint or clue. It immediately caused Meng Hao’s back to feel ice cold.
Throughout his years of Cultivation, Meng Hao had conned people left and right, starting from the very beginning in the Reliance Sect. Of course, he actually had no idea how many people would gnash their teeth in hatred whenever they thought of him and how he had conned them.
What was even more frightening was that Meng Hao’s lack of awareness regarding this point meant that he didn’t really think of himself as conning people. To him, conning people had become a habit, and then that habit had turned into instinct.
For such an instinct to appear led to a fearsome outcome… as soon as he encountered an opportunity to con someone, he would immediately begin to do so….
“That’s… uh, big sis, that’s probably not a good idea,” he said, clearing his throat.
“No need to be bashful,” she said with an enigmatic smile. “Do you really think your big sis didn’t notice what part of Ji Xiaoxiao you looked at when you saw her for the first time?” Meng Hao almost felt as if he were being stabbed by her words.
He wanted to explain himself, but he knew that the more he tried to explain matters, the more it would make them worse. He finally just gave a wry smile.
“You help me con her,” she said, her eyes shining more brightly than ever, “and you won’t be sorry. Ji Xiaoxiao may be a shameless, narrow-minded, devious, vicious tart, but… she’s still quite pretty and also self-respecting. She would make a good concubine for you. I have to admit that I approve.” She really seemed to think her plan was a good one. Then she noticed Meng Hao’s wry smile, and her eyes went wide. “Fine, it’s settled, we’re doing it!”
“I….” Meng Hao was about to respond when Fang Yu shot off up ahead, leaving Meng Hao behind in the dust. A complacent smile could be seen on her face, and her eyes shone brightly. The more she thought about it, the more she felt that she truly was shrewd and intelligent. She really had set up that damnable Ji Xiaoxiao to be viciously conned….
Meng Hao continued to smile wryly and pretend that he hadn’t heard what she said in the end. He sped along after her, his expression amiable, but inwardly on guard. After all, he had long since learned to hide his true state. Instead, he usually kept a light smile on his face to prevent others from knowing what he was truly thinking.
“She truly isn’t on guard against me at all,” he thought. “Or is that just an act?” A thoughtful look appeared in his eyes as he thought back to the scene from outside the Rebirth Cave that year.
Again, he subconsciously looked down at the back of his right hand. More uncertainties bubbled up in his heart.
“Maybe everything will be made clear once we arrive at this corpse. I can make my final decision then.” An imperceptible gleam flickered within Meng Hao’s eyes.
Dawn had fully broken, and the Primordial Demon Immortal Plane was no longer dark. Rays of sunshine climbed up into the sky as Meng Hao and Fang Yu reached a stretch of ruins that existed in the middle of the second and third peaks.
The damage to the place was considerable. Corpses lay about everywhere, and a pervasive sensation of ancientness filled the air, along with an aura of decay that seemed unwilling to depart.
The limestone that covered the ground had long since been crushed into countless pieces. The richly ornamented buildings looked as if they had been shattered by some giant palm slamming down from up above. The force had completely shattered the buildings, and then turned into a shockwave which caused everything for tens of thousands of meters in all directions to be destroyed.
“Okay, we’re here,” said Fang Yu. “Only three members of the Fang Clan came this time. I’ll notify the other two not to select this place. This is the corpse of an Inner Sect disciple with a relatively high position. Although it’s not a Conclave Disciple, the previous generations of Fang Clan Cultivators who came here said that this person had a lot of friends. If you play your cards right, you should be able to find some good fortune.” With that, she took out a jade slip and handed it over.
“Recorded in this jade slip are seven paths taken by various members of the previous generations of the Fang Clan. Everything they did and said is inside. Because the time period we’re traveling to is not set, the contents will most likely not relate directly to you. However, you might want to study it nonetheless.”
With that, Fang Yu looked around, studying the area before proceeding forward. As they moved, Fang Yu explained everything in detail.
“Pay attention to the path I take. For example, see there? That’s a protective spell formation which is very difficult to penetrate. It should actually keep you safe.
“Oh, don’t touch that! There’s a hidden restrictive spell in there!
“Don’t touch this either.
“You have to wait here for the amount of time it takes an incense stick to burn. Pay attention to the shadows on the ground.”
Meng Hao nodded in response to her explanations. Inwardly, his suspicions continued to increase as he realized that Fang Yu really wasn’t concealing anything from him.
They took a circuitous route into the center of the ruins. A few hours later, when it was afternoon, Meng Hao suddenly stopped in place and looked off into the distance. There, in the middle of some wreckage, was a jade slip that emanated a bright blue light. It was floating above the ground, surrounding by countless streams of magical symbols.
At first glance, it was extremely beautiful.
Surrounding it for dozens of meters in all directions was the glow of a restrictive spell.
“Don’t even think about it,” said Fang Yu. “From the Fang Clan’s very first records of the Primordial Demon Immortal Plane down until now no one has been able to get past that restrictive spell. If you pay attention closely, you can sense that the Daoist magic contained in that jade slip is definitely in the top one thousand legacies and divine abilities.” She sounded as if she viewed this to be quite a pity.
“See all the corpses around the glowing light? Quite a few of those are people from past generations who got greedy and tried to break through the restrictive spell….” When Meng Hao heard this, he nodded calmly. He had long since noticed that some of the corpses in the area looked different than the corpses of the members of the Demon Immortal Sect.
“How many times has the Primordial Demon Immortal Plane opened?” he asked suddenly. “Is it possible that there are still members of the Sect left alive in here?”
“Impossible,” replied Fang Yu, shaking her head. “Everyone is dead. Other than a few people who managed to escape before the calamity struck, everyone died. Although everything happened long, long ago, the ancient records offer clear proof that the entire Sect was wiped out.”
“If it opens every thousand years, isn’t it possible that people returned and then stayed?” he followed up, his eyes flickering.
Fang Yu didn’t seem to be the least bit fazed by Meng Hao’s question. “The only people who can stay behind are the dead. Anyone else who enters gets expelled when the plane closes. It’s no coincidence that I happen to know this. I was curious about the very same thing, and the person who answered my question happened to be the only remaining elderly member of the Clan who had been to this place.”
Meng Hao asked no more questions. He turned back and followed Fang Yu as she proceeded forward. This time, they walked for about two hours before they finally reached one particular house that was only half collapsed. After looking around for a moment, Fang Yu produced a jade slip which she then crushed. Immediately, a blurriness surrounded the house. When the blurriness faded into clarity, the house was gone. In its place was an enormous crater.
This didn’t surprise Meng Hao at all. During the course of their journey, he had watched Fang Yu do this same thing about seven or eight times. She had also done other things to ensure that they weren’t being followed.
In the middle of the crater was a corpse. Upon nearing, it became clear that the muscles and blood had long since faded away. What remained was essentially a mummified corpse, with its head turned to look up into the air. It seemed that before it died, it had been looking up into the sky. Despite the long passage of time, the look of fear and aloneness on its face was still clear to Meng Hao.
“His name was Xu Long, and he was a member of the Demon Immortal Sect for a long time. He started in the Outer Sect to eventually be promoted to the Inner Sect. He ended up sacrificing his life during the calamity.
“Were it not for the calamity, he may have eventually become a Conclave disciple.” Fang Yu held out her hand, in which could be seen eight jade slips, all of which contained information regarding the Primordial Demon Immortal Plane. One by one, she handed them over to Meng Hao.
“It won’t be much longer now,” she said. “You should be safe here. I’m going to go find a corpse in a different location.” Fang Yu gave Meng Hao a deep look, making no attempt to hide the thoughtfulness in her eyes.
Meng Hao looked at the jade slips and then watched as Fang Yu turned and made her way off.
After a long moment, he took some time to examine his surroundings. Clearly… there were no real dangers in the immediate vicinity. Obviously, this was a place that few people came to in search of a host body.
“Don’t tell me that she really didn’t have any ill intentions,” he murmured softly. He turned to look at the corpse, then walked over thoughtfully and squatted down to examine it closely.
Gradually, his expression changed, and it was clear that he was moved inwardly. This corpse was actually far, far more powerful than any of the ones he had seen before. Even after entering the Seventh Anima, he couldn’t even put the tiniest crack in its skull.
This caused his mind to reel. He was even able to sense a slight pressure emanating off of the corpse, which caused his hair to stand on end. His entire body felt as if it were filled with coldness, and an indescribable weight pushed down onto his heart.
After a long moment, he awoke from his reverie and stepped back a few paces, cold sweat dripping down his face. He looked down at the corpse, his face grim.
“So this is an Inner Sect disciple of the ancient Demon Immortal Sect…. It’s completely different than the other corpses I inspected. It’s far, far more powerful! That must mean that all the corpses I saw on the way here were nothing more than Outer Sect disciples.” He took a deep breath as he sat down cross-legged.
“Fang Yu really didn’t have any evil designs. Interesting. Well, as of now, there are only about forty hours left. If I stay here, then there is a high likelihood that I will be able to get into the Second Plane. However….” His eyes glittered as he looked in the direction of the third and fourth peaks.
There was no way that he could forget everything he had seen after awaking in the river of stars as it made its way here to the Primordial Demon Immortal Plane, especially the man he had seen on the peak of the fourth mountain.
He wasn’t sure how many times the Primordial Demon Immortal Plane had opened in the past, nor how many Cultivators had entered it through the generations. Among those people, had anyone ever woken up in the manner that he had? If there were, it would certainly have been an incredibly rare occurrence. After all, he was very much convinced that he had only awoken because of the help of Han Shan.
Furthermore, even if there really were people who had awoken in the past, it didn’t necessarily mean that they would have seen the same man that he had.
It was entirely possible that Meng Hao himself was the only person to have ever stayed awake and then seen the man.
“That is my advantage, the place where my unique opportunity lies. If I wait here, I might be out of danger, but that means I’ll be giving up my chance to seize a unique chance.” He felt hesitant.
“That person on the fourth peak… Who was he…?” After a long moment’s thought, Meng Hao’s eyes filled with the glow of determination.