Chapter 591: Demon Immortal Cistern
“How can you have Paragon’s qualifications?!” asked Zhixiang angrily, glaring at Meng Hao as he strolled up to her through the door of swords.
As soon as she asked the question, though, she instantly felt stupid. How could she have asked such a nonsensical question…?
The fact that he really did have Paragon’s qualifications no longer left her feeling shocked, but rather, humiliated. It wasn’t just a personal humiliation, either, but a humiliation of her entire Sect.
All of the power of her Sect had been utilized, vast resources had been wasted, all to get her a third class qualification command medallion. However, in the blink of an eye, someone had appeared in front of her who had qualifications that vastly exceeded her own; Paragon’s qualifications.
Anyone who faced such a situation would go crazy and be filled with jealousy and envy. Who wouldn’t feel that the situation was frustrating and unfair? Zhixiang was now feeling exactly what everyone else had felt outside the Demon Immortal Pagoda not so long ago.
“I just asked my dad,” said Meng Hao casually.
The more he acted in this way, the more Zhixiang felt repulsed. She gritted her teeth and clenched her hands tightly into fists.
“The most annoying people I’ve ever met in my life are silkpants like you,” she said with disdain. “So what if you have Ke Jiusi’s identity? So what if you have a Paragon for a dad…?” By the time she reached this point in her tirade, even Zhixiang could sense the acrid tone in her words.
Meng Hao chuckled, but said nothing. Zhixiang watched fuming as he walked forward through the mist looking like he didn’t have a care in the world. Finally, she had no choice but to suppress her anger and follow him.
After only a few steps, though, Meng Hao suddenly stopped in place and looked at Zhixiang.
“You lead the way,” he said. “I can go anywhere I want, but your path is limited to the Demon Immortal Cistern. I’ll follow you.”
Zhixiang had just managed to suppress her indignation, only to have it explode out again. She took a deep breath, trying to console herself by looking at the bigger picture. She angrily nodded her head and walked forward.
Meng Hao followed, watching Zhixiang’s lithe figure as she made her way through the mist. There was something strange and beautiful to the scene.
As the two of them hurried forward, the mists parted ways for them, revealing a twisting path. Zhixiang took the lead position and Meng Hao followed. They proceeded onward for the time it takes an incense stick to burn. Eventually, the mists once again began to spread out, revealing an area roughly three thousand meters wide.
A mountain was visible, although it wasn’t very tall.
A waterfall fell down the side of the mountain into a pool of undulating water. Upon first laying eyes on the scene, there was no sound whatsoever. However, moments later, Meng Hao could hear the sound of rippling water.
The water poured into the pond, the sounds of birds drifted about, and the fragrance of flowers filled the air. Everything was overwhelming to the senses; there even seemed to be an aura of Immortal Spirits in the air, fragrant and sweet. Meng Hao took a deep breath, and all the Qi and blood in his body surged.
“So this is the Demon Immortal Cistern?” he asked. He glanced around, his gaze eventually coming to rest on the waters themselves. They were clear, making it possible to see all the way to the bottom. A faint, strange kind of mist rose up from the surface, making the entire scene look like a multicolored illusion.
Ancient, ornamental rock formations were scattered about, many of them carved with Demonic creatures that seemed to be imbued with Demon Spirits. The entire scene seemed like something celestial.
“If it’s not the Demon Immortal Cistern, then what is it?” said Zhixiang grumpily. “Your backyard fishing pond?” The complex jealousy and envy she felt had only dissipated by about half.
Ignoring Meng Hao, she walked forward, looking somewhat excitedly at the Demon Immortal Cistern. She raised her right hand to brush against some of the ornamental rocks, a look of piety filling her face.
“It all seems so simplistic, doesn’t it?” asked Meng Hao.
“Simplistic?!” Zhixiang shot back, spinning to glare at him angrily. She looked quite provoked. “It might be simplistic to you, but my Sect spent countless years preparing, and expended vast resources to get me here! This is the culmination of generations of hard work and persistence. All the hopes and dreams of an entire Sect all come down to this place.
“My Sect paid a steep price for this ‘simplicity,’ and many people even died!
“You say this place is simplistic, but that’s only because of your identity. Anyone else but you would be completely destroyed by the mists, even Immortals. The restrictive spells here would even cause people in the Dao Realm to frown.
“In the past, those two sword-wielding statues outside slew no less than ten Dao Realm Paragons!”
Meng Hao frowned, looking at Zhixiang with cold eyes.
“Watch your tongue,” he said. “You’re the one who invited me here.”
Zhixiang took a deep breath. After a moment of silence, she bowed to Meng Hao.
“I forgot my manners,” she said. “I’ll make it up to you.”
With that, she bowed again, then turned and pushed her hand up against one of the ancient rocks. Meng Hao watched as she sent her mind inside of it. Then, he approached the edge of the cistern, squatted down, and looked into the waters, a strange light shining in his eyes.
“So this water can alter the makeup of your body?” he thought. “If a person is qualified, it can transform their body into a Demon Immortal Body? Presumably, such qualifications are not the same as the qualifications needed to enter this place, but rather, possessing some strange body type.” Thoughtfully, he dipped his right hand into the water.
As soon as he touched it, a tremor ran through him. He felt something like a cold current surging in through his fingers into the rest of his body.
Zhixiang opened her eyes. “The both of us came to this ancient time in soul only,” she said coolly, apparently having recovered her composure. “Everything here looks real, but is in fact false. As such, there is no need to test out the waters. You can’t absorb anything. It’s useless.
“Alright, I’ve left my mark, now I need to familiarize myself with the area so that we can return here after we reach the Third Plane. You also need to leave a mark here. That way, your aura will be here in the Third Plane, and you can come back.” With that, Zhixiang began to make her way around, observing the area, studying it. It seemed as if she wanted to commit everything about the area into memory.
Meng Hao ignored her. Eyes glittering, he suddenly walked into the cistern waters.
Soon, he was floating chest-deep in the water, whereupon he closed his eyes. Around him, he could sense a pulsating coldness within the water that surged toward him and entered his body.
With a frown, he left the pond, water vapor pouring off of him.
“It really is useless,” he said coolly. “It seems this cistern is designed specifically for the fleshly body, and is useless to souls.” Following Zhixiang’s directions, he left a mark in the corner of one of the nearby stones, then turned to leave.
Zhixiang didn’t seemed to have any suspicions at all about his behavior. In fact, if he hadn’t tried out the cistern, she would have found it to be odd. To test out the water personally was only natural.
The two of them didn’t speak as they made their way back and then eventually parted. Earlier, Meng Hao had never thought that the casual words he had spoken would cause Zhixiang to be so upset.
After leaving the hazy world, Meng Hao returned to the Fourth Peak where he meditated for a few days. Then one evening, he quietly returned, entering the mists with a strange look in his eyes. Retracing his steps from earlier, he hurried back.
It didn’t take long for him to once again reach the Demon Immortal Cistern.
“There are definitely things about the Demon Immortal Cistern that Zhixiang is hiding from me. I can’t believe that such an important cistern can be entered so simply.
“There definitely must be some mysterious aspects to the waters.
“In any case, the cistern waters can temper the fleshly body, and in a much gentler way than the Underworld Cave. This really does suit my needs as far as strengthening my fleshly body!” With that, he took a deep breath and strode directly into the cistern waters. Only his head floated above the surface as he closed his eyes and felt the massive cold current around him.
It felt as if strings of ice were boring into his body. In the blink of an eye he was shaking; his Qi and blood surged. Gradually, he began to absorb the coldness.
His fleshly body was already strong; he had experienced the tempering of the Underworld Cave, and had come to master the Mountain Consuming Incantation. However, for quite some time he had not been able to break past a certain point. No matter how hard he tried, when he was in the First Anima, the most power his fleshly body could wield was that of the Third Anima.
“Maybe this place can make me even stronger,” he thought. As his Qi and blood raced, mist began to rise up on the surface of the water. The mist formed into streams that poured into his mouth and nose until it looked almost like he was breathing smoke.
His physical body gradually began to grow stronger. Every strand of coldness that burrowed into his flesh and blood exerted stimulating power that seemed to temper his body from the inside out.
This was a completely different method than that of the Underworld Cave.
Time passed. Meng Hao wasn’t sure how long it was before he opened his eyes. A rumbling sound filled his body as the bottleneck he had previously been stuck at suddenly burst. Finally, he could achieve a fleshly body strength equal to the Fourth Anima, while he was only in the First Anima!
Pulses of power filled Meng Hao. He could sense that with the terrifying, explosive power within him, he could destroy metal or stone with a single punch.
“The further down I go, the more cold it gets,” he thought, his eyes filling with determination. He had long since decided that he needed to take advantage of his time in this ancient world to strengthen his fleshly body as much as possible. In his analysis, his fleshly body was the most important thing other than Dao magic enlightenment that he could take out from this place.
Taking a deep breath, he sank down further, until he was at the midway point in the waters. His body trembled, and cracking sounds could be heard from within. Something about his body seemed irregular as the cold currents pressed down onto him.
The cold was boundless, majestic, and mad as it poured into him. He didn’t even need to make an effort to absorb it. The cold streams found him, as if they thirsted to become a part of him.
Meng Hao trembled as he caused his Qi and blood to continue to flow.
What Meng Hao didn’t know was that although the Demon Immortal Sect of this time period was not at its most flourishing point, it was in a much better state than it would be later, during its period of decline. Right now, it was filled with abundant resources, for example, this cistern. Its state of accumulation during the past tens of thousands of years had led to its current state of boundlessness.
The accumulation of coldness here… was terrifying. Similarly, the nourishing power it provided to the fleshly body was incredibly shocking.
Meng Hao’s body had reached a fearful state, and only continued to grow stronger and stronger.
“If I could keep this up, then eventually, I could have a fleshly body equivalent to the Seventh Anima while only in the First Anima! Wouldn’t that mean that… I would have… a Spirit Severing fleshly body!?!?” Within the cistern waters, Meng Hao’s eyes opened to reveal a bright, hair-raising glow.
This chapter was sponsored by Manh Tran, Loki, and Kanadaj