Chapter 590: He Definitely….
“What condition?” replied Zhixiang, gaping. When she saw the bashful look on Meng Hao’s face, she suddenly smiled seductively, and her eyes glittered with a charming light.
“You sly fox!” she laughed. “So young and yet quite the ladies’ man already.” Suddenly, her expression turned solemn. “However, I warn you. I may speak a bit frivolously, but I know how to maintain my chastity. I’ve long since sworn myself to live for the Dao. I won’t even talk about matters of illicit love.
“Therefore, you might as well get rid of those dirty thoughts of yours, kid! I won’t agree!”
Meng Hao gaped in astonishment at Zhixiang.
“What are you talking about?”
“Don’t try to cover it up. Do you really think I couldn’t see that look in your eye? Humphh! I’ve encountered many similar situations before in my life.” She seemed to hesitate for a moment, then gritted her teeth and continued, “Fine, fine. Since there’s obviously some destiny between us, then I suppose I can promise to hold hands with you. However, that’s my bottom line!” It seemed that to her that this was a great price to pay. Without even waiting for Meng Hao to respond, she reached out and clasped his hand.
She just as quickly released it and then stepped back a few paces, her face somewhat flushed.
“Okay?” she asked.
“Huh?” It was only after a moment that Meng Hao finally put all the pieces together. He suddenly laughed bitterly. That wasn’t at all what he was interested in….
“I don’t really have any feeling toward older women….” he said with a dry cough.
When Zhixiang heard this, her eyes went wide, and a cold air suddenly began to spread out around her. Meng Hao blinked, then leaned forward and, said in a low voice, “My condition is that I want to be the first one to step into the Third Plane.”
Zhixiang frowned, then gave Meng Hao a look.
“Do you mean…? Oh!” It took Zhixiang only a moment to react. She smiled mysteriously at him.
Looking a bit embarrassed, Meng Hao said, “I’ve been running a bit low on Spirit Stones recently.”
Zhixiang placed her hand in front of her mouth to cover up a smile. Such a condition was no trouble for her whatsoever, so she had no reason to refuse. As far as she was concerned, as long as Meng Hao agreed to help, it would be easy to comply with.
She went on, “The Demon Immortal Cistern is an important place in the Demon Immortal Sect. Because of the help of my Sect, I’m one hundred percent confident that within a few months, I can acquire qualifications for you to enter.
“The only thing you need to do is just need to come with me. If we familiarize ourselves with the place now, then when the Third Plane opens we can go back.
“How about this? Give me a month. I’ll do my best to acquire an identity that can get you into where we need to go, then….” Before she could finish her sentence, Meng Hao interrupted her.
“In the First Heaven of the Demon Immortal Sect,” he said coolly, his voice dripping with a domineering air, “I can go anywhere other than the Immortal’s Caves of the other six Paragons. I don’t need any identity from you.”
Zhixiang’s eyes widened as she stared at Meng Hao. Gradually, a look of envy and jealousy appeared. Even she couldn’t help but feel indignant at the situation. She’d already forgotten that the person in front of her had a Paragon for a father.
Then she thought of her own identity, and how the Sect had prepared for years, how they had expended vast resources and personal wealth, just to give her these few months of time in which to succeed.
However, compared to Meng Hao and his identity, all of that counted for almost nothing….
“In the ancient records of the Sect,” she said, “there is information regarding certain people in the Sect. One of the entries is about Ke Jiusi. You were an overbearing silkpants who commited countless unimaginable misdeeds. Anywhere you went within the Sect, chaos followed. You oppressed the people, both men and women alike. According to the estimates, by the time the Sect fell, you had over four hundred beloved, and more than three thousand children!
“You were definitely a….” She didn’t finish this particular sentence.
“For the most part, your life was a joke,” she continued calmly, “something no one would keep a record of. However, in the final war, you went all out, even expending your longevity. You didn’t fear death in battle, and ended up making illustrious achievements in the fighting. All of your beloved died, and you buried them in the First Peak.
“Your sons all died too, and you personally buried them in the Second Peak. As for the Fourth Peak, that is location of your father’s tomb. You ended up deciding to bury yourself there too.
“The day the Sect was destroyed, you and a few others chose to perish along with the Sect. You slaughtered many Ji Clan Immortals, and as death loomed over you, Lord Ji himself personally arrived. Because he prized your valiant heart, he offered you a way to keep on living. All you had to do was bow your head, something you had done many times in the past.
“But you didn’t bow your head. Instead, you lifted it up and laughed to the Heavens, then charged into battle once again. When the moment of your death arrived, you fell from above and landed into your coffin. In the last moment before you died, you uttered one final sentence.”
As he listened to all this, Meng Hao’s expression grew more and more complex. In the end, it almost looked as if he felt all of the things she was describing had happened to him. He said nothing.
Zhixiang continued. “You said… ‘Father, are you proud of me?’”
When he heard this, Meng Hao’s mind felt as if it were exploding. He closed his eyes for a long, long time before opening them. For some reason, tears were streaming down his face.
They were tears that did not belong to him, but rather, came from another life.
“You can stop now,” he said. His mood was dark as he suddenly spun and walked off into the distance, filled with sentiment.
Suddenly, Zhixiang regretted upsetting him. She was about to say something when she heard his voice drifting back.
“We’ll meet back here in three days to go to the Demon Immortal Cistern.”
Meng Hao returned to the Fourth Peak. He stood outside his Immortal’s cave and looked up at the darkening sky. Evening was falling, and the sun was setting. Within his mind, Meng Hao saw the images of everything that had happened with Ke Yunhai after he came here.
“He is my father in this life….” murmured Meng Hao. He thought again about how Ke Jiusi must have felt. It was a complexity that no outsider could possibly understand. In this world, in this Heaven and Earth, from ancient times until modern, only Ke Jiusi could possibly have understood. Except now… there was one more person who could.
Only the two of them could have such a sympathetic resonance. Only they had experienced such similar things, and such similar complex emotions.
“A son wants to care for his parents, but they aren’t there any more….” Meng Hao closed his eyes. If he didn’t understand the Soul Divergence Incantation, he would believe Ke Jiusi to be dead. However, now that he did understand it, and heard Zhixiang’s story, Meng Hao suddenly had a strange feeling.
He could imagine how Ke Jiusi’s flesh and bones had faded as the years passed. The Demon Immortal Sect became nothing more than corpse-filled ruins. Finally one day, Ke Jiusi’s body slowly formed back together from nothing inside that coffin. He opened his eyes.
He finally saw the sky again, and his Sect. He looked around at all the things that had once been so familiar, only to realize that everything was now different. He was the only person left. He missed his father, and regretted his silkpants lifestyle. That regret then transformed into tears.
He had most assuredly wept for a long time atop the Fourth Peak.
He had most assuredly looked out at everything and felt as if he were living a life filled with pain.
He had most assuredly drunk alcohol in front of his father’s tomb, blabbering like an idiot and knocking his head against the ground as he kowtowed.
He had most assuredly visited all the grounds of the Demon Immortal Sect. He had seen all the corpses, including those belonging to his relatives and friends, the people he had hated and the people he had liked. All of those people had become corpses, and their thoughts were nothing more than wisps on the wind.
After returning to the Fourth Peak and looking out at everything, he had realized that he was the only protector of this world.
Perhaps the most correct thing to say was not that he was the protector of the Demon Immortal Sect, but rather, the protector of his beautiful memories, especially the memories of his father.
As of this moment, Meng Hao understood. He understood Ke Jiusi’s heart, and what he was thinking.
“You’re definitely next to me,” thought Meng Hao, “or perhaps within my soul. You’re watching me live this version of your life, treading a different path than you. Every time I look at father, you are most assuredly using my eyes to look at him too.”
Meng Hao glanced up again at the evening sky for a moment, then closed his eyes again.
Two days later, it was the appointed time to meet Zhixiang. Meng Hao left the Fourth Peak and traveled with her toward the Seventh Peak!
This was the final peak in the First Heaven, and also the most important one.
Behind the Seventh Peak was a vast, hazy forbidden zone. Disciples without the proper authorization were not permitted to step even half a pace inside. In fact, few people actually knew what lay inside the haziness.
After entering it, nothing would be visible. One could only use a command medallion to find one’s way through the mists to the destination.
Zhixiang had such a command medallion, but Meng Hao didn’t.
When the two of them reached the indistinctness, they caught sight of two enormous stone statues that looked like Demons. They had eight arms and four heads, and were fully three hundred meters tall. They glared out fiercely in all directions.
Each of the two statues held a gigantic stone greatsword in hand. They were criss-crossed, stabbed down into the earth to form a door of swords.
The enormous door didn’t seem to offer any hindrance to any who wished to pass through it. However, if anyone attempted to do so without the proper qualifications, they would be instantly killed.
Zhixiang’s face was covered with an expression of piety and awe. She kneeled in front of the statues and used both hands to hold aloft a purple-black jade slip. It was a command medallion that emanated a warm glow as it floated up into the air toward the right-hand statue. As it landed in one of the statue’s hands, the statue’s eyes suddenly flickered and opened. It slowly pulled its sword up out of the ground, revealing a path.
A powerful, rumbling voice filled the air. “Third class qualifications. Where do you intend to go?”
“The Demon Immortal Cistern!” replied Zhixiang immediately.
“According to the regulations,” said the awe-inspiring voice, “you may travel thirty percent of the paths in this place, and may stay for no more than 38 hours.”
Zhixiang took a deep breath as she tried to stifle her excitement. It had taken quite a bit of power from the Sect, plus a special technique as well as a hefty price, to be able to bring this command medallion with her into the Second Plane.
It was a command medallion which provided third class qualifications. Even that was something rare, and was one of the reasons she was convinced she would be able to acquire great rewards in this place.
As she stood up, the command medallion flew back to her. She carefully reached out to take it; after all, it represented third class qualifications, which made it incredibly valuable. After putting it away, she bowed deeply to the two statues. Then she walked forward to step onto the path between the two swords. She looked back at Meng Hao with a bit of a snide look. As far as she was concerned, the Ke Jiusi from this time period would most likely only be able to acquire fourth class qualifications.
Meng Hao looked up silently at the statues for a long moment before walking forward. As he neared the door of swords, the sword belonging to the right-hand statue suddenly began to rumble.
A blinding light shot out from the eyes of the statue as it looked down at Meng Hao, its gaze filled with seeming intelligence.
After only a glance, it seemed to be able to examine him inside and out. It slowly lifted up the stone sword to reveal a path.
“Paragon’s qualifications. You may go anywhere you wish, and stay inside indefinitely.”
Zhixiang’s eyes went wide, and her brain filled with a roaring sound. She stared blankly at Meng Hao, madness rising up in her heart.