Chapter 705: A Test!
The sky was clear, and cultivators bustled about the Blood Demon Sect. It actually did have the air of a sect, although many of the people were actually engaged in deadly combat. The sound of mutual slaughter was intense, and the glow of blood glittered up radiantly.
If disciples from other great sects in the Southern Domain came here, they would be quite out of sorts. However, as far as Meng Hao was concerned, it was just like the Reliance Sect, so it actually felt quite familiar.
He stuck to his remote corner of the sect, ignoring everyone else. No one else cared to come to him, either. It was as if they didn’t even notice his existence. Because of Meng Hao’s experiences, a single glance was all it took for him to perceive the deep-seated feelings behind the cold expressions on their faces and the scorn in their eyes.
“That’s fine,” he thought, his face calm. He wasn’t the type of person who enjoyed rowdiness. He didn’t care about mountain peaks and fighting over resources. He was happy to be left alone to practice cultivation in peace and quiet.
At noon, Meng Hao rose to his feet. He casually felled some of the trees in the area and built a log cabin. Naturally, people noticed this, and everyone stared in shock, especially the people who harbored strong hostility toward him.
“He’s actually building a log cabin?”
“It looks like he’s really made up his mind to immerse himself in cultivation. But, does he really think that this will allow him to remain separate from sect affairs?!”
Up on Mount Ironblood, middle-aged Chang Yi saw what was going on, and frowned.
It was at this point that Meng Hao opened his eyes and looked out of his log cabin. Approaching slowly on foot was a somewhat emaciated looking middle-aged man. His body emanated the ancientness of time, and he was very thin. There was a ruthlessness to him, which presently seemed to have been replaced by complex emotions.
The ripples of a Nascent Soul cultivation base spread out from him, and when Meng Hao saw him, many different feelings filled him, along with a sense of reminiscence.
As he walked up slowly, his appearance caused many of the surrounding disciples to be shocked.
“That’s Elder Brother Wang Youcai!”
“What is Elder Brother Wang doing here?”
“Wait, look at his expression. Something strange is going on.”
People watched as Wang Youcai walked up to Meng Hao and looked at him silently. Clearly, he was recalling past times.
He didn’t say anything, and neither did Meng Hao. As they looked at each other, both of them seemed to be recalling Mount Daqing.
That was the place where they both began to walk their path of cultivation, and also the place… where Meng Hao and Xu Qing met.
After a long moment passed, Wang Youcai clenched his jaw as if to some inner pain.
“Do you drink?” he asked. With that, he sat down cross-legged and tossed a flagon of alcohol over to Meng Hao.
Meng Hao caught it, and immediately took a long drink. The alcohol burned as it slid down his throat. It felt almost like a knife stabbing into his guts.
“Li Fugui told me about what happened with Elder Sister Xu,” Wang Youcai said, keeping his voice low.
Meng Hao nodded and took another drink. His earliest memories of the cultivation world contained the group from Mount Daqing: Wang Youcai, Fatty, and Dong Hu.
The four of them, including Meng Hao, were taken by Xu Qing to the Reliance Sect. Later, Dong Hu and Wang Youcai apparently had a falling out, and Wang Youcai disappeared. Regarding Dong Hu, his disposition changed completely, and as for Fatty…. Well, out of all four of them, he seemed to have ended up far, far happier than the rest.
Wang Youcai and Meng Hao sat together drinking silently, each one wrapped up in various memories. Of course, there was one thing that existed in both of their memories, and that was Mount Daqing.
“Did you ever run into Dong Hu again?” Wang Youcai suddenly asked.
“Not after I left the State of Zhao,” replied Meng Hao. He looked at Wang Youcai, hesitated for a moment, and then asked, “Back then, the two of you…?”
“His body was physically weak, so I ended up caring for him like a younger brother,” replied Wang Youcai, his voice cool. “I would help him when it came time to haul water, and if people picked on him, I would handle it. In the end… he shoved me off a cliff because of a pearl.”
Meng Hao didn’t respond. He picked up the alcohol flagon and took a big mouthful.
“Be careful of Chang Yi,” continued Wang Youcai. “In fact, be careful of everyone in the Blood Demon Sect…. There is no such thing as camaraderie here. The only thing that matters is who is more vicious!” With a sigh, he rose to his feet and prepared to leave.
“You shouldn’t have come,” said Meng Hao, looking up at him.
Wang Youcai didn’t reply. He knew that what Meng Hao said was true; he shouldn’t have come. The entire sect currently viewed Meng Hao with hostility, which meant that after leaving, he would most certainly face some difficulties. And yet, he came anyway.
In fact, in almost the same instant that Wang Youcai rose to leave, Chang Yi stood there on the first mountain peak, a cruel smile on his lips.
“So, they know each other!” He flicked his sleeve and flew up into the air. “Follow me, Junior Brothers!” Immediately, nineteen beams of light rose into the air from Mount Ironblood and teleported down toward the bottom of the mountain. “You don’t have to make a move, Meng Hao,” he thought. “You can sit there and refuse to provoke anyone. But now, the time has come to see exactly what amazing abilities you have, and why the hell you deserve to be the Blood Prince.
“I’ll test you out and see exactly how profound you are. If you don’t fight back hard, then I’ll just keep pushing until you reach the boiling point. After all, I have plenty of methods to deal with you. If you fight back hard… well, that’s what I’m waiting for.
“Hopefully, you’ll end up killing someone, and then my Masters will have every right to throw you into the torture chamber!”
As Wang Youcai emerged from Meng Hao’s log cabin, twenty beams of light, including Chang Yi, shot down toward the very same area.
Their appearance on the scene instantly caught the attention of the Blood Demon Sect disciples in the surrounding forest. Their expressions turned lively; they knew that an entertaining drama was about to unfold.
Meanwhile, back on the second mountain peak, the seven apprentices of the Spirit Severing Patriarch were all paying very close attention. Merciless gleams glittered brightly in their eyes.
“Now we’ll see exactly how profound this Meng Hao actually is!”
“That Chang Yi has an irascible personality. A whole day hasn’t even passed and he already reached the limits of his patience!”
“No wonder he’s behaving like that, this is a good opportunity to test out Meng Hao. We’ll be able to learn a bit about him by observing how things turn out.”
On the fourth mountain peak, three figures wreathed in flames watched on coldly from outside their Immortal’s caves. The disciples of the fourth mountain peak were also watching on, expressions of derision clear on their faces.
One among their number was a young man, who held a magical fan in his hand. He exuded an air of coldness as his lips twisted into a smile.
“Chang Yi really couldn’t hold on very long,” he said. “That’s good, though. This is only a test; presumably, there won’t be too much of a ruckus. It does have to be said, though, that Chang Yi is quite the fool.
“It’s only been a single day, and Meng Hao was appointed directly by the Patriarch. If someone really tries to subdue him, the Patriarch will intervene. It’s too bad a good opportunity will have been lost.”
On the fifth mountain peak, the pretty young woman’s eyes were fixed on the scene that was playing out, and she was starting to get excited. As for the hunchbacked old man, he casually looked over to watch.
“Master, do you think this Meng Hao will really be subdued if the matter turns serious?” Her eyes flickered with viciousness.
“Serious?” said the old man, his tone one of pride in his own wisdom. “Oh no, it won’t get serious. It’s a small matter. At worst, the harmony will be broken temporarily. You have only practiced cultivation for a short time, but Master has lived for far too long, and has seen many things. I’ve watched things like this play out too many times.
“You just watch, the dispute regarding Meng Hao being the Blood Prince is just starting. It will take quite some time before it gets resolved…”
On Mount Blood Demon, Patriarch Blood Demon rested in the Blood Pond. His eyes opened, and he looked over at what was happening.
“So… what will he do?”
Li Shiqi was also paying close attention, and a profound glint could be seen in her eyes.
Everyone in the whole Blood Demon Sect was looking in Meng Hao’s direction. They all knew that this was his first time making a true public appearance in the sect. They all wanted to see exactly how he would respond to the test.
Of course, it was only a test….
Meng Hao’s face was calm as he looked at the twenty beams of light approaching from Mount Ironblood. It didn’t matter if it was Chang Yi up in front, or the other nineteen of his followers. They were all the same to Meng Hao.
Of the nineteen, eight were Nascent Soul cultivators, and eleven were at the great circle of Core Formation. As for Chang Yi, he had the highest cultivation base, the peak of the Nascent Soul stage.
“Wang Youcai!” cried out someone from the group. The sound of the voice was like springtime thunder echoing out in all directions.
They didn’t even bother with any pretenses; as soon as the voice rang out, its speaker turned into a red beam of light that shot out from the group toward Wang Youcai, filled with killing intent. Blood-colored magical items also flew out, whistling through the air. Three of the Nascent Soul Cultivators directly shot toward Wang Youcai.
As for everyone else, they surrounded the air, their eyes filled with coldness and derision as they eyed Meng Hao.
That was especially true of Chang Yi, whose eyes were sinister and cold as he hovered in mid air, his hands clasped behind his back. He looked at Meng Hao, waiting to see what he would decide to do. If Meng Hao didn’t make a move, then it meant allowing Wang Youcai to be seriously injured. If Meng Hao did make a move, well… that was exactly what Chang Yi was waiting for!
He firmly believed that in that moment, his Masters would appear and subdue Meng Hao.
Rumbling sounds echoed out, causing Wang Youcai’s face to turn grim. He immediately teleported forward to escape, and at the same time transmitted an urgent message to Meng Hao.
“Don’t do anything! This is Chang Yi. His Masters control the torture chamber, and you can’t give them any reason to subdue you down. Don’t worry about me.” Even as Wang Youcai teleported forward, Chang Yi laugh coldly and waved his right hand. Seven tiny flags flew out, which rapidly expanded in mid-air to form seals that forced Wang Youcai back to the ground. Wang Youcai’s face flickered as the three Nascent Soul Cultivators closed in, their faces filled with vicious killing intent.
Everything happened in the blink of an eye. Booms echoed out, and blood poured out of the corners of Wang Youcai’s mouth. He retreated, performing an incantation gesture that caused a divine ability to appear. At the same time, he shouted, “Elder Brother Chang Yi, I’m a disciple of the second mountain peak, do you really dare to attack me?!”
“The second mountain peak?” replied Chang Yi, laughing. An arrogant expression appeared on his face as he glanced in the direction of that very mountain.
Immediately, a voice echoed out from the second mountain peak. “As is customary, we won’t interfere with the matters of the torture chamber. Elder Brother Chang, if Wang Youcai violated any rules, then you can do anything you wish. However, if he didn’t violate any rules, then you’ll be held responsible.”
Wang Youcai’s face grew grimmer as he looked at the incoming vicious Nascent Soul cultivators. He gritted his teeth, and was just about to employ one of the sect’s restricted techniques to stimulate his Qi and Blood, when suddenly Meng Hao stood up. His expression was calm as he arrived next to Wang Youcai with a single step and gripped his shoulder.
In the moment that he appeared, all eyes instantly fixated on him. Everyone from all of the five mountain peaks were watching.
That was especially true of Chang Yi, who was inwardly going wild with joy.
“Blood Prince,” he said coolly. “What is the meaning of this? Don’t tell me you’re really going to interfere with torture chamber matters?” He suddenly glared angrily at the other Mount Ironblood cultivators, who looked a bit hesitant. “Why haven’t you apprehended him yet?!”
The cultivators gritted their teeth. Ignored Meng Hao, they advanced on Wang Youcai, their killing intent radiating about intensely.
It was at this point that a shocking coldness suddenly appeared in Meng Hao’s placid eyes.
This chapter was sponsored by Caleb Gleason, Zaid Soboh, Matthew Gessen, Byron Seto, and Matthew Gessen