Chapter 625: I Am Still Searching!
Note from Deathblade: This chapter mentions “the Dao.” Instead of having a ton of footnotes, please take just a moment to read the following short bit of information about “the Dao.” In Chinese, the character dao 道, actually has a lot of different meanings. Here are some of the definitions of the character itself: road, way, path, course, direction, say, talk, speak, truth, principle, and of course “The Dao” of Daoism. Keep these things in mind as you read!
His Cultivation base instantly began to rotate, and his hair rose up into the air around him. Power of Heaven and Earth came out of the Reincarnation Mountain, filled with a unique aura, to pour into Meng Hao’s body. It entered through his pores, merging with him, causing his Cultivation base to spin more and more rapidly.
Meng Hao could hear his own heartbeat. Each thump gave rise to a rumbling that filled his body. Cracking sounds could be heard as his body gradually grew taller.
He became more slender, more charming, and as his hair danced around him, the Demonic air about him grew even more intense.
Meng Hao’s Cultivation base was already half a step into Spirit Severing. In fact, when he entered the Eighth Anima, he could be considered true Spirit Severing; his battle with the Patriarch Huyan had thoroughly established how truly powerful he was.
If he wanted to, Meng Hao could simply close his eyes for a bit and attempt his first Severing. If he succeeded, he would have a Domain.
However, the matter of a Domain was far too important. Spirit Severing was a demarcation between Immortal and mortal, so that decision was not one that Meng Hao would make lightly. He needed enlightenment, from his life force, from his life in general. He needed to search for the path that led to understanding, then naturally, gain enlightenment of his own Domain. When he took that first step from being a mortal to being Immortal, that was the time for Spirit Severing!
In addition to those reasons, there was another reason. Meng Hao was very stubborn when it came to his Cultivation base. He did not want to use the Eighth Anima to enter Spirit Severing. He had a Perfect Foundation, as well as a Perfect Core. As for his Nascent Souls, he had used his own methods to acquire Perfection.
And yet, although merging his eight Nascent Souls into one seemed Perfect, that was not the limit!
“I need to form a ninth Nascent Soul!” A strange light gleamed in his eyes, and the ambition within him grew even stronger. He had started upon this path in his Cultivation, so he would do everything possible to acquire the pinnacle of good fortune.
Right now, his body rumbled as the power of Heaven and Earth from the Reincarnation Mountain’s aura surged into his body. His Cultivation base climbed up until it reached a certain point where it couldn’t go any higher. In accord with Meng Hao’s will, it settled and began to form together in his dantian region.
“My Five Elements Nascent Souls stem from my own enlightenment. Any outside power is auxiliary!” Within Meng Hao’s dantian region, the power of Heaven and Earth continued to surge in, slowly transforming into a vortex.
Surrounding the vortex were Meng Hao’s eight astonishing Nascent Souls!
“Wind power of the roc was gifted to me by the benefactor in the Rebirth Cave. It was hidden within my body for years, to eventually be refined into my sixth Nascent Soul!” A strange light shone in Meng Hao’s eyes. With every breath he took, more power of Heaven and Earth flowed into him.
“Lighting of Heavenly Tribulation. I experienced it on multiple occasions, starting with Foundation Establishment, all the way to the Nascent Soul stage. After enough accumulated within my body, I refined it into my seventh Nascent Soul!” Meng Hao’s insides rumbled as if with thunder, and the vortex in his dantian region spun faster and faster.
“Fleshly Sanctification allowed me to step foot into Spirit Severing. I congealed Qi and blood to form my eighth Nascent Soul!” The roaring grew more intense, causing Ke Jiusi to stare, and a strange gleam to appear in the eyes of true spirit Night.
A look of disbelief could be seen on Zhixiang’s face.
“This time, I will form a ninth Nascent Soul… purely with power from the outside.
“Now, if I want to make a ninth Nascent Soul purely from outside power,” thought Meng Hao, “well then… what I need to first do is reach… Qi Condensation, Foundation Establishment, Core Formation, and finally, concoct them into a Nascent Soul!”
Meng Hao’s hair whipped about in chaos, as if a wild gale was sweeping by. His clothes also fluttered madly. He was now thoroughly submerged in the power of Heaven and Earth from the aura of the Reincarnation Mountain, which surged around him in a vortex.
The vortex rapidly shrank, sucked in by Meng Hao. As that happened, his eyes grew increasingly radiant. Within his dantian region, a rumbling sound could be heard. The vortex was condensed to the maximum, to the level of the great circle of Qi Condensation. Then it began to form into Dao Pillars!
Dao Pillars indicated Foundation Establishment!
The sight of it caused Ke Jiusi to watch with even more concentration.
“He’s going to form another Nascent Soul. He’s cultivating… the Sublime Spirit Scripture!”
True spirit Night watched on silently, staring deeply at Meng Hao.
Most shocked of all was Zhixiang. Her eyes were wide as she watched Meng Hao absorbing the spiritual energy. She couldn’t help but clench her teeth, a pained expression on her face.
“That’s the aura of the Reincarnation Mountain. Meng Hao… is actually using that aura to form a Nascent Soul!! If I were able to absorb the aura, it would be incredibly beneficial to my Demon Immortal Body!”
Even as desperate pain filled Zhixiang’s heart, the rumbling vortex around Meng Hao completely disappeared, having been fully absorbed by him. Meng Hao was now a full head taller than he was before. An illusory aura surrounded him, making his entire person seem as if he were alternating between reality and illusion.
He took a deep breath, clasped hands and then bowed toward the Reincarnation Mountain.
The mountain did not need bows, but Meng Hao bowed anyway, because of the kindness of the mountain.
When he rose up, the Reincarnation Mountain rumbled again. Black smoke roiled out, and flames shot up into the air, filling the sky. The smoke gradually formed together into a figure.
It was a man, wearing a black robe, his features unclear. However, he emanated a feeling of indescribable age that spread out in all directions.
He seemed to be looking at Meng Hao. After a moment passed, a hoarse voice could be heard, filled with cold emotionlessness.
“When Withering Flame left the mountain, he wished to borrow a Demon heart from me. At that time, I asked him a question.
“‘What is the Dao!?’
“I have asked the same question of many people, and only three have given me answers worthy of remembering. One of them said that the Dao is a path. There are three thousand great Daos, and thus, three thousand paths. Different paths for different people, nothing more, nothing less. One should continue forward, regardless of whether or not there is a path beneath one’s feet! The person who provided that answer… became Lord Li!
“The second answer was that the Dao is eternal and unchangeable. It is the only truth in Heaven and Earth. It is possible to look at it, but never touch it… to understand it, but never be able to explain it. If you understand, you understand. If you don’t understand… then even spending your whole life searching will not gain you enlightenment. The person who spoke those words became Lord Ji.
“The third answer was provided by Withering Flame. He said that the Dao is the heart, and that the heart is obsession. His desire to eradicate the sea of bitterness was an obsession that took him over. It grew deeper and deeper. Were he to have truly eradicated the sea of bitterness, then his Dao… would be a natural law of Heaven and Earth!
“Eternity is always here. He may have perished, but the Dao exists forever.
“He said that all the rules and laws that exist in the world have their basis in the powerful experts that existed on the path, as well as the realization of their Daos!
“If a person’s Dao is the belief that the sky must be separated into periods of night and day, then the Heavens will provide such a cycle.
“Life can be extinguished, but the Dao exists forever. Life… is lived in order to leave a good name throughout the ages after one dies, to cause one’s Dao to remain, to transform into natural law, to be without regret.
“Because of his answer, he was able to borrow one of my three third-grade Demon Hearts.
“Now, you must answer me. In your belief, what is the Dao? You have the time it takes one incense stick to burn, and you may not refrain from answering.”
As Meng Hao listened to the words of the Reincarnation Mountain, his heart filled with great waves. He could identify with Lord Li’s answer. As for Lord Ji’s answer, it also contained truth.
As for the answer given by Greater Demon Withering Flame that year, it caused Meng Hao’s mind to tremble like a seething ocean. Perhaps that answer was also the truth.
“Is the reason that the Reincarnation Mountain can only remember these three answers, because those three answers fully explain the meaning of the character Dao 道 ?” He stood there silently.
“What is the Dao?” he asked himself. A glow appeared in his eyes, but he couldn’t think of an answer. He had heard many people use this character, Dao, but down to this day it only felt as if he were groping about on the edges of its meaning.
Even as Meng Hao sank into thought, a second incense burner appeared from within the black smoke. The smoke churned, and the incense stick began to burn.
Everything was still and quiet. The incense stick burned slowly, and time passed. However, Meng Hao still did not provide an answer. His eyes were filled with a blank look.
Soon, the incense stick was reaching its end. Ninety percent had burned. Ke Jiusi sighed as he looked at Meng Hao, a look of pity in his eyes.
True spirit Night was silent, but it also sighed inwardly. “So, it turns out he is not the person Lord Li is waiting for….”
Zhixiang’s heart was filled with complex emotions. She looked at Meng Hao, and then the incense stick which was almost burned out. She shook her head.
It was at this moment that Meng Hao’s eyes began to shine brightly. The blankness from before vanished. He looked up at the Reincarnation Mountain and slowly began to speak.
“I don’t know what the answer is,” he murmured. “My Cultivation base won’t permit me to understand what the Dao is….
“To me, the Dao is very simple. It is talking, speaking, opening your mouth, and letting other people open their mouths. All of that is the Dao, speaking. Speaking the words from your heart, speaking out the thoughts you wish to express.
“It doesn’t require enlightenment, nor obsession. It doesn’t require a path beneath your feet. Perhaps it is the first voice of all living creatures, of everything under the Heavens.
“When that voice can be heard, it is the Dao, it is speaking!” Meng Hao had organized his thoughts and spoken out what he understood about the Dao, based upon his current realm.
He didn’t know if what he had said was true or correct. In fact, he hadn’t wanted to speak at all, but he had no choice but to ignore those feelings. All he could do was explain what he understood about the Dao.
By this time, the incense stick had burned down to the end. It flickered, on the verge of being completely extinguished. “At the same time,” he continued, “when that voice speaks, it represents a direction!
“The boundless Heavens and Earth are the final resting place of all living things. Life is like a journey, filled with various scenery, various paths.
“Sometimes, you might think there is only one path for you. Sometimes, your heart’s obsession creates a path.
“As for the Dao, it is a direction. That direction can guide you through your life. When you are faced with countless decisions, it can lead you down the paths you must tread. In the end… it can help you pick which path to take!
“It is formed after one experiences the vicissitudes of life, the cleansing of time, and the understanding which comes from experiencing the world. It can be hidden in any time, place, direction, or action….
“That is my understanding of the Dao. It points in a direction, and gives me the strength to proceed onward. Perhaps it doesn’t even exist, or perhaps it is everywhere.
“As for me, I am still searching for it….” He lifted his head up to look at the Reincarnation Mountain.
The Reincarnation Mountain was silent. Ke Jiusi was silent. True spirit Night was silent.
Zhixiang was also silent.
This chapter was sponsored by Alex Wong, SeanL, Anonymous, Angel Ortiz, Chesly Mason, and Harvey Zhou