Chapter 634: Who’s Feeling Jumpy?
The instant his voice rang out, it gave rise to the first echo. Ripples appeared that headed toward the Liu Clan Qi Condensation disciples who were about to attack the youngsters. They began to tremble, then blood sprayed from their mouths as they were sent tumbling backward. Then, their bodies simply exploded in mid air, countless pieces flying about in all directions. At the same time, all the other Liu Clan Qi Condensation disciples suffered the same fate. They first watched on with blank expressions, then were shattered into chunks of blood and gore.
When the second echo rang out, the Liu Clan’s three Foundation Establishment Cultivators’ faces went pale white. They felt as if an enormous, invisible hand were bombarding them. They tumbled backward through mid-air, screaming miserably. In the blink of an eye, countless tears and rips could be seen in their bodies, and then, a moment later, they exploded into pieces.
The third echo caused the Liu Clan Patriarch, who was floating up above, to shake. His face instantly filled with an expression of disbelief and horror. Blood sprayed from his mouth as he retreated backward. He couldn’t prevent his body from beginning to rip apart.
“This… this….” His mind roared with a terror he had never known, and then he suddenly thought back to how Zhang Wenfang had mentioned an honored guest.
“Senior, spare me….” he screamed, his terror having reached the pinnacle. However, even as the words left his mouth, he suddenly burst into pieces, causing blood and flesh to rain down in all directions.
In that instant, everything went deathly silent….
Everyone who remained on the Liu Clan ship were all mortals, who were now watching on with pale faces, their bodies shaking.
As for the Zhang Clan members, including Zhang Wenfang, they all stared in shock, and were also shaking. That was especially true of the three Foundation Establishment Cultivators, whose faces were completely pale. They had no way to even imagine what kind of Cultivation base could destroy all their enemies with a single statement.
And that included an early Core Formation Cultivator, someone whose Cultivation base was the same as their own previous Patriarch!
“Nascent Soul eccentric!” That was what was now floating in the minds of the three.
Zhang Wenfang’s body trembled. She also had never imagined that the person she invited to stay on their ship would be so fearsome. Originally, she had taken him to be a Core Formation expert, but what she had just seen left her astonished to the extreme.
Had she known that Meng Hao possessed such a Cultivation base, she might not have had the courage to speak up and urge him to stay behind. However, she was the Clan Leader. Therefore, her first reaction was to instantly turn toward the ship’s quarterdeck, then drop to her knees and kowtow.
“Thank you, senior… for your action just now….” Her voice quavered as she spoke. At the same time, the other members of the Clan, their minds trembling, began to drop to their knees to kowtow.
“Come on, let’s keep going,” replied Meng Hao from within his cabin. Zhang Wenfang ignored the Liu Clan ship, and, her anxiety deepening, respectfully complied, having the mortal members of the Zhang Clan send their own ship forward.
Moments later, the Zhang Clan ship was moving on just as before. As for everyone on board, absolute silence reigned amongst them.
They remained in that state for three days, until finally the ship entered the Fourth Ring, and then everything finally changed.
However, everyone still acted extremely cautiously. Whenever any of them happened to pass Meng Hao’s cabin, they would stop outside to bow before proceeding on their way.
Half a month later, the ship was speeding along through the Fourth Ring, and they drew ever nearer to Saint’s Island. Although they weren’t sure why, they hadn’t encountered even a single sea beast or rogue Cultivator. Perhaps it was luck. That was not even to mention the pirate Cultivators who would cause anyone who discussed them to grow pale in the face.
Meng Hao had treated his injuries to the point where he was now sixty percent recovered. The meat jelly had finally sloughed off of him; his fleshly body was now recovered to complete stability. As long as he didn’t get involved with a magical battle of the Spirit Severing level, he would be fine.
“This injury was inflicted by the 10th Wang Clan Patriarch, who has a Dao Seeking Cultivation base. That’s why the Violet Pupil Transformation has been so ineffective.” His eyes finally opened. After taking a moment to examine his Cultivation base, a smile appeared on his face for the first time in many days.
His Cultivation base, which had originally been compressed to 8 parts, now only consisted of 7 parts. The deadly pressure he had experienced in the magical battle with the 10th Wang Clan Patriarch had fused it together.
“My path to Spirit Severing is already opened. Soon… if I encounter anything that wishes to dominate me, I will have to be stronger than it and anything!” He rose to his feet and pushed open the door of his private cabin. For the first time in a month, he finally stepped foot outside.
The parrot had long since left for who knew where. Its personality was such that it couldn’t remain quietly in one place for days on end. Once the meat jelly removed itself from Meng Hao, the two of them flew off to have fun somewhere.
It was midday, and the sun shone brightly. When Meng Hao stepped out onto the deck, the warm sun fell onto his back, and it felt good. There were a few youngsters of the Zhang Clan playing nearby. One of them was the boy named Nan’er, and he was also the first to notice that Meng Hao had emerged. At first, his little face filled with hesitation. But then he remembered what his mother had said to him about being courteous. Ignoring his fear, he clasped hands and bowed to Meng Hao.
“Nan’er offers greetings, senior uncle.”
His words caused the other youngsters to notice Meng Hao. Instantly, their young faces went ghastly pale and filled with fear. The scene from half a month ago had been like something from a nightmare. All of them quickly began to bow.
Seeing the children caused a smile to break out on Meng Hao’s face. He liked children. Even back in Yunjie County when he was a scholar, he had been especially fond of kids.
After so many years had passed, after traveling the path of Cultivation and acquiring a longevity that far exceeded any mortal, there were many wonderful things about being mortal that seemed increasingly far away.
Seeing these children caused his eyes to grow soft and gentle. Glancing them over, he could see that their latent talent was all completely ordinary, except for the one called Nan’er. His was slightly above the others.
Meng Hao smiled and asked, “What are you guys playing?”
“We’re playing… hide-and-seek,” replied Nan’er a bit nervously. The other youngsters around him were even more nervous as they nodded their heads.
“He can hide really good….” said one of the other children bravely. He was a boy of about eleven or twelve years of age.
“Yeah, that’s right! Every time he hides, nobody can ever find him!” said another child. Soon, all of the kids starting talking, one after another, saying this and that. Meng Hao’s warm smile widened as he listened. Gradually, the nervousness they all felt began to dissipate.
“It’s not that I’m good at hiding,” said Nan’er, his voice strong and clear. “You guys are just stupid and can’t find me!” He glared around at the others.
When Meng Hao heard this, he laughed and looked at Nan’er.
“Where exactly do you hide?” he asked with a smile. Some of the other children cocked their ears, obviously quite curious.
Nan’er’s face went a little red as he looked at the other youngsters. He seemed to be considering whether or not say anything. After all, if he told everyone his hiding place, then where would he be able to hide in the future? Finally, he took a few steps forward, and Meng Hao scooped him up in his arms. Nan’er rested on his shoulder and then carefully whispered into his ear.
“Senior uncle, I always hide under my mother’s bed. I just go where nobody else can go, it’s simple, right?”
Meng Hao’s eyes glittered. It really was a simple truth. If you were playing hide-and-seek, you should hide where no one else can go. In that case, of course they would be incapable of finding you.
Now that he thought about it, he and the 10th Wang Clan Patriarch were essentially playing a game of hide-and-seek.
It was in this moment that Zhang Wenfang suddenly emerged from the quarterdeck. When she saw Meng Hao with the children, and especially the way that he was holding Nan’er, she immediately started panting, and grew incredibly nervous.
“Nan’er….” she said. She tried her best to remain outwardly calm, but her voice still quavered a bit.
When Meng Hao saw her looking over at them, he put the boy down and tousled his hair.
“Sly little fox,” he said with a smile. Nan’er blushed and then ran to hide behind his mother.
“Junior offers greetings, senior,” said Zhang Wenfang, breathing a sigh of relief as she bowed.
Meng Hao nodded, and was just about to say something when suddenly, his expression flickered. He looked off into the distance. There, within the range of his Divine Sense, an island had appeared. It was incredibly large, and just glancing at it, almost seemed like a continent.
Mountain ranges could be seen, as well as many areas swirling with mist that blocked his Divine Sense. He only examined the place for a moment before retracting his Divine Sense. According to the map in the jade slip he had been given, Meng Hao knew that their voyage was almost at an end.
“Senior, we have only half a day left. When evening falls, we will reach Saint’s Island. Many thanks for your assistance,” she continued, her voice sincere. “Our entire Clan will remember you from generation to generation, senior!” She gave Meng Hao a curtsying bow. She really was extremely appreciative; however, the awe and reverence she felt occupied the most of her heart.
By now, many of the others on the ship had gathered. They watched Meng Hao with heads bowed; they were so nervous that they didn’t even dare to look up.
Meng Hao glanced over at Nan’er and then casually said, “He’s going to join the Footloose Sect?”
“That’s right,” replied Zhang Wenfang quickly. “My son has the best latent talent in the Clan. The Footloose Sect is recruiting disciples right now, so if he can distinguish himself, he will put himself in a superior position, both for himself, and our entire Clan.
“The Footloose Sect is the most powerful Sect in the entire Fourth Ring. You could consider it the overlord, a force that nobody dares to provoke. They pay very close attention to seniority, and the Sect rules are very strict. In fact, they say that there is virtually no fighting between members.”
“The State of Xiao,” thought Meng Hao. “The State of Xiao.” He said nothing, instead opting to stare off into the distance.
Seeing him remain silent, the rest of the people around didn’t dare to speak. Time passed slowly, and Saint’s Island grew nearer and nearer. The sky was starting to grow dark. In the murkiness of evening, the island resembled some enormous creature lying there on the sea. From a distance, it looked very grand and magnificent.
At the same time that Meng Hao neared the island, an old man wearing a Daoist robe sat in a luxurious palace deep in the mountains.
He bore the semblance of a transcendent being, and was dignified in appearance as he sat on his white jade throne. Next to him was an incense burner, beside which stood a beautiful girl. The girl yawned as she lazily fanned the burning incense, causing the tendrils of incense smoke to spread out.
Originally, the palace was completely silent, but suddenly, the meditating old man opened his eyes. He trembled, and a perplexed look could be seen in his eyes.
“Strange,” he said, his eyelids twitching involuntarily. “Why do I feel so jumpy all of a sudden?”