Chapter 731: Essence of The Divine Flame!
Beneath the 30,000-meter Dao Lake, in that world within a world, at the very top of the altar in the second level, Meng Hao moved forward.
The parrot gave a cold snort as it faded away. The white-colored overseer sighed with relief, then looked over at Meng Hao, clearly displeased, but incapable of doing anything about it.
“You got lucky, but you passed,” the white-colored overseer said slowly. “As of now, you have two options. You may leave, or proceed onward to the third level!
“Up to now, no one has ever passed through the third level. Therefore, no one has ever been able to inherit the essence of the Divine Flame. Now, make your decision.”
Meng Hao muttered to himself for a moment. He still had his Eternal stratum, which meant that although he wasn’t completely indestructible, he was still completely unique in the lands of South Heaven.
That was a trump card, something he could use to rise back up from the clutches of death when in battle.
Unfortunately, he didn’t have time right now. If he got stuck in the third level, a hundred years could go by in a flash. Although, he wasn’t quite resigned to giving up on trying to pass the level.
He suddenly looked up at the white-colored overseer. “Senior, I remember you saying that a valuable treasure would be given as a reward for passing the second level.”
The white-colored overseer’s eyelids twitched as if it didn’t want to respond. It waved its right hand, instantly causing a pitchfork to appear.
It was pitch black, and completely unimposing. It did emanate a Dao Seeking aura, but in this world where there were no natural laws, the aura was not very powerful.
Even the white-colored overseer realized that it was being stingy. “A Dao Seeking item, a valuable treasure,” it explained.
According to the ancient treaty, it was actually supposed to produce all of the clan’s valuable treasures and allow anyone who passed through the second level to pick one of their choosing. However, their clan had always been a stingy one. Even the two that had passed from the first wave of people to come here before Meng Hao had only been given an option to take one of three items.
It was a loophole in the agreement, but the overseer did not feel that it was breaking the treaty.
Meng Hao’s face was the same as ever as he looked the pitchfork over. It was obvious to him that the white-colored overseer was displeased with him, and his eyes glittered.
“According to the ancient treaty, it can be assumed that you can offer a better treasure than this, senior. Perhaps you can give me a few options to select from.”
“Forget about it!” was the reply, accompanied by a cold snort.
“In that case, senior, I will pass on the item. However, I have two small requirements….” The white-colored overseer immediately put the pitchfork away. In truth, even giving that away was something it wasn’t quite willing to do.
Meng Hao licked his lips and continued, “I noticed that outside in the first level, there were many mountains. They were all made up of various magical items and treasures, many of which were Spirit Severing treasures. How about this, senior. I’ll just take 100,000 Spirit Severing magical items. What do you think, sir…?”
The white-colored juggernaut stared with wide eyes. The reason it didn’t wish to part with the Dao Seeking treasures was that they contained their own natural law within them, and were extremely valuable. As for Spirit Severing treasures, they were far inferior.
“100,000? Are you trying to rob me? 10 at the most!”
“90,000! It can’t be any less, senior. I just gave up a Dao Seeking treasure, you know….”
“Hey… Spirit Severing magical items are equally valuable! At the most, I can give you 100!”
“Senior, how can you be like that? After all, I just passed through the second level. The lowest I can go is 80,000 magical items. On the outside, Spirit Severing treasures are incredibly common. Furthermore, I want a chance to poke my head into the third level to see what it’s like.”
“Well… you did make it through the second level, but….”
The two bickered for a while, and in the end, the white-colored overseer gave Meng Hao 5,000 Spirit Severing magical items. Furthermore, Meng Hao was to be allowed one chance to step into the third level.
After they finished negotiating, the white-colored overseer grimly waved his arm, causing two vortexes to appear. One was the exit, the other was the entrance to the third level.
Meng Hao took a deep breath, and a look of resolve appeared in his eyes. He immediately transformed into a beam of light that shot toward the third level’s vortex. Just as he was about to enter, the altar rumbled; Lu Bai had entered the third floor and was beginning to fight himself.
Meng Hao looked back, then paid no further heed as he vanished into the third level.
As soon as he stepped foot inside, he found that he was not in a land of flames. Everything around him was quiet. He saw a blood-colored field that was surrounded by enormous structures. They were pagodas that looked like spikes driven into the earth.
The grass in the world was completely white.
There was no wind, and yet the grass swayed back and forth.
Meng Hao’s eyes flickered as he surveyed his surroundings, and he muttered to himself for a moment before sending his divine sense out.
It quickly covered an enormous area.
“Countless bleached bones!
“The 990,000 pagodas seem to form a colossal spell formation!
“There’s a city!”
Meng Hao’s divine sense detected the 99,000 densely packed pagodas, which were arranged around a gigantic city.
The city was pitch black and overrun by white grass. A flame spark hovered in mid-air, seemingly an endlessly burning fire that sent resplendent light out into the entire world.
Almost in the same instant that Meng Hao sent his divine sense out to the limit, he suddenly heard a roar.
“Dao Fang, you must die!!
“You killed me, Dao Fang, and if I’m reincarnated, I’ll definitely kill you!
“The Immortal World is doomed to experience tribulation! The Immortal lands will grow old, and the Immortals will perish! But I refuse to give in!!
“I know the truth! No matter how long you suppress me, I won’t admit defeat!
“Damned monkey! If I can get free, I’ll have your hide!
“If I’m transmigrated, I will slaughter myself out of this place! If my transmigration fails, I will fall into oblivion like all other living things, with virtually no hope of reawakening even after countless cycles of reincarnation. Therefore, I will leave a Dharmic decree for this place!
“My decree contains the essence of my Dao flame, the last vestige of me, Huoyan Zi. I hope that countless years later, that vestige will still exist!”
Meng Hao’s mind was reeling; it felt as if a sharp sword was stabbing into his brain, preparing to split apart his body and shred his soul. Blood oozed from his eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. He staggered backward, coughing up a mouthful of blood.
A rumbling filled him, and he felt as if his body might explode. Thankfully, his Eternal stratum immediately pulled everything back together. However, that omnipresent divine sense and resentful will raged as madly as ever. The sensation of grave danger that he felt grew even stronger.
He looked around in shock at the world around him, backing up at top speed all the while. The divine sense filling this world closed in on him again, and he immediately leaped out of the third level.
When he emerged, he was back in the second level coughing up blood, his face pale and breath ragged. From what he had heard, he could tell that what he had encountered was a shred of will.
However, despite the fact that it was only a shred of will, it was still able to injure him instantly. This was terrifying to a degree that thoroughly astonished him.
“Failure,” said the white-colored overseer, its voice cool. “No one has ever successfully passed the third level.”
“What is that place…?” asked Meng Hao, looking over at the overseer.
“Only those who pass the third level are qualified to know the answer to that question. You may leave now.
“Remember, if you speak to anyone of the things that occurred in this place, you will meet with great calamity.” The white-robed overseer gave him a meaningful look.
Meng Hao didn’t respond. He looked back down at the altar, and Lu Bai on the third floor. Without another word, he clasped hands and bowed to the white-colored overseer, then stepped into the exit vortex.
In the blink of an eye, he vanished.
The white-colored overseer hovered in mid-air looking at the spot where Meng Hao had left through the vortex, a profound, ancient look in its eyes.
In the lands of South Heaven, not too far way from the region of the Ancient Dao Lakes, was a valley in the mountains. A brilliant, glittering light rose up in the valley, a teleportation spell. Suddenly, Meng Hao appeared within the light.
As soon as he appeared, the teleportation spell vanished.
“I snatched the true Immortal’s soul, and a lot of people saw,” he thought. “Word will spread…. I need to get back to the Blood Demon Sect as quickly as possible!” His eyes glittered as he flew into the air, slapping his bag of holding to produce the war chariot.
Once in the war chariot, rumbling could be heard as it sped off into the distance.
Meanwhile, at almost the exact moment that Meng Hao reappeared, an old man sat cross-legged in a restricted area of Mount Solitary Sword in the Solitary Sword Sect. In front of him, nine pearls circulated in the air, apparently rotating in accord with some natural law. Suddenly, one of the pearls began to glow brightly.
The old man’s eyes opened and he looked at the pearl. There were many images within the pearl, but one of them was Meng Hao teleporting out into the region near the Dao Lakes.
“So, he finally reappears!” The old man vanished.
In the Golden Frost Sect was a pool of water, next to which sat the peak Dao Seeking Patriarch of the Golden Frost Sect. As he gazed into the water, ripples suddenly spread out over the surface of the pool. The ripples seemed to conceal mysteries of Heaven and Earth, mysteries that others would never be able to comprehend. However, an image of Meng Hao actually materialized in the reflections within the Patriarch’s eyes.
In the Li Clan, in a restricted area, a cold voice suddenly rang out. “The soul of a true Immortal is not something that a tiny Spirit Severing cultivator may possess!”
The voice caused Heaven and Earth to distort, and a shocking energy shot out in all directions.
At the same time, Meng Hao was detected by the withered, half-bodied old man in the Song Clan. He suddenly opened his eyes from meditation.
“True Immortal’s soul…. However, the person who snatched it was Meng Hao….” He hesitated for a moment, then closed his eyes to meditate.
In the Violet Fate Sect, everything was quiet. No aura spread out, nor did any ripples appear. However, a brilliant light appeared in the enormous statue of Reverend Violet East, as it stared off into the distance.
The formerly calm and peaceful Southern Domain was suddenly stirred into commotion by the appearance of Meng Hao. To peak Dao Seeking experts, the soul of a true Immortal was something incredibly precious. So precious, in fact, that they would do anything in their power to get it.
In the Black Sieve Sect, Patriarch Six-Daos let out a miserable shriek. His cultivation base had already degraded to the border of the mid Dao Seeking stage. Soon, it would drop further, and he would be in the early Dao Seeking stage.
“I can’t accept this! Blood Demon Sect, you must be destroyed! Meng Hao… you shall die!”
At some point, dark clouds had appeared above the Southern Domain in many locations. Lightning danced, and thunder crackled. The sun was covered up, casting the lands into darkness. Huge raindrops the size of beans began to plop down….