Chapter 717: Old Friends Meet by the Dao Lake
The 19th Li Clan Patriarch’s face fell. Gritting his teeth, he ceased hesitating and backed up. The other four Spirit Severing Patriarchs looked at Meng Hao in shock as they, too, retreated. Along with their fellow clan members, they left the Dao Lake.
“Everything within 30,000 meters of this spot is a restricted zone,” said Meng Hao slowly. “Any of you who dares to enter will be killed. By me.” The Li Clan members sullenly moved to a position 30,000 meters away.
A buzz of conversation immediately rose up among the bystanders.
“Just what cultivation base does this Meng Hao have?!?!”
“He single-handedly fought the entire Black Sieve Sect before. Granted, he was defeated by Six-Daos, but according to the rumors, he’s the number one figure under Dao Seeking!”
“He just killed a Third Severing expert. Calling him the number one person under Dao Seeking is definitely appropriate!”
As the sound of conversation filled the air, the Blood Demon Sect disciples took possession of the Dao Lake. Forgetting about the Dao Lake that the Violet Fate Sect had given them, they now controlled two Dao Lakes.
The Blood Demon Sect Patriarchs’ killing intent was boiling as they waited for Meng Hao to accomplish his next goal.
Meng Hao stood there, ignoring the Violet Fate Sect, allowing his gaze to pass over the Song Clan to fall onto the Golden Frost Sect.
The middle-aged Golden Frost Sect cultivator’s face darkened. Moments ago, he had wanted to come to aid of the Li Clan, but the feeling he got from Meng Hao was too terrifying. It was in his brief moment of hesitation that the Li Clan dispersed.
Now that Meng Hao was staring at them, everyone from the Golden Frost Sect began to tremble inwardly. As for Fatty, he hesitated for a moment, then looked up at Meng Hao. Their gazes met for a moment, and then Meng Hao looked away toward the Solitary Sword Sect.
In that moment, the Golden Frost Sect let out a collective inward sigh of relief. As for the middle-aged man, he looked thoughtful for a moment before his eyes turned cold.
When Meng Hao looked at the Solitary Sword Sect, he saw Chen Fan, who was standing toward the back. His cultivation base was at the great circle of Core Formation. His face was sallow, and he looked thin. When Meng Hao looked over, he returned the gaze.
After a long moment, Meng Hao began to look away from the Solitary Sword Sect. However, it was in that instant that he suddenly sensed a feeling of danger, coming from a person located behind Sir Jian.
As for Sir Jian, his eyes were ice cold as he stared at Meng Hao. When Meng Hao stared back in the same direction, it almost seemed as if an intangible rumbling resulted.
Sir Jian gave a muffled groan, and his body quivered. Beads of sweat appeared on his forehead, and a nervous expression appeared on his face as he suddenly realized that he couldn’t withstand the pressure weighing down on him. And then he realized… Meng Hao wasn’t even looking at him.
Rather, Meng Hao was looking at the teenager behind him, an unremarkable boy who was rather frail-looking.
As soon as Meng Hao looked at him, he lifted his chin slightly and looked back, a calm expression on his face.
Their simple act of looking at each other actually caused Sir Jian to be injured.
When he realized that Meng Hao was looking at the teenager behind him, Sir Jian’s heart began to thump.
Suddenly, as everyone watched on, Meng Hao walked forward toward the Solitary Sword Sect. The atmosphere in the area couldn’t be any heavier.
Every step he took seemed to ring out like thunder.
He headed toward the third of the Solitary Sword Sect’s Dao Lakes, causing the cultivators gathered there to brace themselves as if they were about to face a deadly foe. The Spirit Severing cultivators’ faces grew anxious, and they started breathing heavily.
Meng Hao looked back at the teenager behind Sir Jian, and coolly said, “I want this Dao Lake too.”
“Impossible!” blurted Sir Jian, instantly rising to his feet. The Solitary Sword Sect disciples drew their swords, and the eight Spirit Severing experts’ cultivation bases exploded with intensity. In one short moment, the sword qi of the Solitary Sword Sect burst out, causing the wind to scream and a riot of colors to flash in the sky.
However, it was at this moment that the teenager behind Sir Jian suddenly spoke. His voice was hoarse and ancient, and didn’t match his youthful appearance at all.
Sir Jian’s expression immediately changed as he turned and bowed his head respectfully. The other Spirit Severing Cultivators stared in shock, then looked at the teenager and seemed to suddenly realize something important. One by one, their expressions began to fill with incredible respect, as well as fanaticism and inspiration.
“Since you like this particular Dao Lake,” continued the teenager, “I’ll give it to you.” He spoke with a smile, but his eyes were as cold as ice, something he did nothing to conceal.
When Meng Hao looked at the teenager, it felt like he was looking at a sword!
A shocking, astonishing sword!
Even as the words left the teenager’s mouth, the Solitary Sword Sect disciples surrounding their Third Dao Lake all fell back, leaving it open for Meng Hao.
Meng Hao nodded, and Blood Demon Sect disciples moved forward to take control of the Dao Lake.
As of now, the situation regarding the 3,000-meter lakes in the central zone of the Ancient Dao Lakes was as such: Blood Demon Sect, three. Solitary Sword Sect, two. Golden Frost Sect, two. Violet Fate Sect, two. Song Clan, one. Black Sieve Sect, exterminated. Li Clan, driven 30,000 meters away.
As for the 300-meter Dao Lakes, including the ten that surrounded each of the 3,000-meter Lakes, there were more than 700 in total.
Of those, more than four hundred bore the standard of the Blood Demon Sect’s Junior Leader. Of course, there were only a few dozen Blood Demon Sect cultivators in this area. Even if one disciple occupied each lake, there were still hundreds of lakes with only a flag to watch over them.
Meng Hao sat down next to the 3,000-meter lake that formerly belonged to the Black Sieve Sect, closed his eyes, and rotated his cultivation base as he waited for the next Dao Lake eruption. The people in the surrounding sects and clans who knew him all sighed inwardly.
This version of Meng Hao, and his coldness, made him seem like a stranger.
In the Song Clan, Eccentric Song looked over at Meng Hao and sighed emotionally in his heart. He couldn’t help but think back to the time in the State of Zhao when he saw Meng Hao for the first time.
It was the same with Wu Dingqiu in the Violet Fate Sect. He was in the same mood as Eccentric Song. In fact, he was actually thinking about a certain spear, which still existed to this day in the Violet Fate Sect…. 1
Time passed by. The 3,000-meter lake region was completely silent. As for the 30,000-meter lake which all of those lakes surrounded, not even a ripple could be seen on its surface. It looked almost exactly like a huge mirror.
Chu Yuyan sat quietly for a long time before finally rising to her feet and walking out from the crowd of Violet Fate Sect disciples. Reverend Withered-Dao looked over, but did nothing to prevent her from approaching the Blood Demon Sect.
Her actions immediately drew the attention of quite a few people.
As she neared the area where Meng Hao sat cross-legged, she was blocked by a Blood Demon Sect disciple.
“I want to see Meng Hao,” she said softly, looking over at him sitting cross-legged not too far off.
The Blood Demon Sect disciple hesitated for a moment, aware that the Blood Prince had ties to the Violet Fate Sect.
Meng Hao opened his eyes and looked over at Chu Yuyan. “Let her pass,” he said.
The Blood Demon Sect disciple immediately stepped aside. Chu Yuyan said nothing as she walked up to Meng Hao and then sat down next to him, a complex expression in her eyes.
At first, she didn’t say anything, and neither did Meng Hao.
After what seemed like a very, very long time had passed, she finally spoke. “It’s been a few hundred years. Did you ever go back to that ravine?”
Meng Hao knew exactly which ravine she was referring to. That was the location in which the two of them truly got to know each other, and where he acquired the good fortune of the Blood Immortal legacy.
“No, I didn’t,” he replied calmly.
“I did,” she said, looking him in the eyes.
Meng Hao didn’t respond.
Chu Yuyan stared back out at the Dao Lake, her expression one of bitterness. Several hours passed, and she finally stood up and began to walk back toward the Violet Fate Sect. After seven steps, she stopped.
“If there was no Xu Qing…?”
“No ‘ifs,’” Meng Hao replied softly.
“The opportunity was missed. What’s done is done.”
Chu Yuyan trembled, and then left Meng Hao’s Dao Lake and returned to the Violet Fate Sect, tears streaming down her face.
Hanxue Shan came to see Meng Hao, innocent and making no attempts conceal her lingering feelings for him.
Fatty came, carrying a wild chicken. Meng Hao glanced at it, then summoned flames. The two of them sat next to the Dao Lake for a long time, eating wild chicken while everyone around watched on.
Fatty laughed and filed away at his teeth with a sword. In the end, he pulled Meng Hao into a bear hug and then left.
An Zaihai and Lin Hailong both came. Sighing, they recounted past times, although they avoided mentioning Grandmaster Pill Demon. They were well aware that to Meng Hao, the most important person in the Violet Fate Sect… was his Master.
Ye Feimu didn’t come. The last person from the Violet Fate Sect to come was an old man. His Cultivation base was not very high, but as soon as he neared, Meng Hao’s face broke out into a smile.
“Fang… Meng Hao.” The old man inadvertently started to call Meng Hao by the name Fang Mu.
People came from the Song Clan, the Golden Frost Sect, and the Solitary Sword Sect. Earlier they had faced off with hostility, but now they came to chat. These were people of the same generation as Meng Hao in the Southern Domain, Dao Children and Chosen, the most powerful of whom were merely in the Nascent Soul stage.
When they saw Meng Hao, the couldn’t help but think of all the things that had happened in the past. Meng Hao didn’t see Li Tiandao of the Li Clan, who hadn’t come to the Dao Lakes this time. 2
As far as Wang Lihai, and that figure who existed deep in his memories, Wang Tengfei, after the genocide of the Wang Clan carried out by their 10th Patriarch, Meng Hao wasn’t sure if they were even still alive.
There was one person who Meng Hao hadn’t seen at all since returning to the Southern Domain, and that was Han Bei. Han Bei of the Black Sieve Sect.
The last person to come visit was Chen Fan. He looked older than before, and hadn’t reached the Nascent Soul stage yet. His body was somewhat emaciated, which sharply contrasted with the Chen Fan that Meng Hao remembered.
It seemed that many matters of the heart had built up in him during the past centuries, and had reached the point that they were suffocating him.
He didn’t say much at first, and he brought a flagon of alcohol with him, which he drank from continuously. It was hard to say when, but at some point, he had begun to drink on a daily basis. It had reached the point where he didn’t just need to drink, he needed to get drunk.
He was no longer the blazing sun that he had been in past years, nor was he one of the Seven Swords. One fellow sect member after another had surpassed him, and his dreams of rising up within the Solitary Sword Sect had not come true.
However, he still smiled. He smiled at Meng Hao, and it contained the same warmth it always had, the same concern and love.
“Elder Brother Chen….” said Meng Hao, looking him over. Every time he saw his old friends, he couldn’t help but think of the Reliance Sect.
“Make sure to focus well on your cultivation,” said Chen Fan. “If you ever reach Immortal Ascension, then I can boast to people that I have a little brother who’s an Immortal.” He chuckled, and clapped Meng Hao on the shoulder. Then he took a long swig of alcohol and headed back toward the Solitary Sword Sect.
Meng Hao could clearly see the scorn with which many of the Solitary Sword Sect disciples looked at Chen Fan.