Chapter 763: The Deepest Love
The 10th Wang Clan Patriarch was already insane, but as of this moment, he had sunk even further into insanity. He was insane, and yet lucid, unable to control his body or his consciousness. The only thing he could do was constantly relive the destruction of the Wang Clan.
As of this moment, he could no longer forget the things which he so wanted to forget.
From the methods Meng Hao used, it was clear how deeply he hated him.
After finishing his work, what Meng Hao acquired was not a feeling of happiness, but rather, deep exhaustion. It was an exhaustion that stemmed from the heart, and it caused him to sigh.
He turned to leave. He wanted to be far away from this place. He had no further desire to see the 10th Wang Clan Patriarch. Exacting further revenge was meaningless. Xu Qing had less than a hundred years to live before she needed to travel to the underworld to be reincarnated.
Meng Hao felt blank. He was just turning to leave when Wang Tengfei, his eyes filled with determination, smiled bitterly and took a deep breath. He suddenly flew directly toward the 10th Wang Clan Patriarch, who hovered in mid-air, his head in his hands, tears streaming down his face.
“Immortal Ascension…. Kill…. Kill….” He was completely immersed in the memories of slaughtering his fellow clan members. His soul seemed to be imprisoned in that particular day, forever doomed to repeat what he had done.
“Patriarch!” cried Wang Tengfei. As soon as he neared, the 10th Wang Clan Patriarch’s eyes gleamed with a fiendish glow.
“Soul…. Soul…. My soul….” he said, staring fixedly at Wang Tengfei. To him, the souls of fellow clan members were an irresistible temptation. He was attracted to them on an instinctual level, as he believed them to be something he needed to mend his own soul.
It was an instinct he had no control over. His body flashed as he shot toward Wang Tengfei, whereupon his hand snaked out to latch onto the top of his head.
Wang Tengfei did nothing to evade him. He allowed the 10th Patriarch to near, allowed his hand to latch onto his own head. There was even a cracking sound as fingers pierced into his skull.
To Wang Tengfei, the intense pain didn’t really matter.
The 10th Wang Clan Patriarch’s eyes glowed with avarice and madness as he prepared to extract Wang Tengfei’s soul and use it to try to mend his own.
Meng Hao’s mind reeled, and he spun around, his eyes flashing. He lifted his right hand, and his second true self immediately shot toward Wang Tengfei.
“Meng Hao!!” Wang Tengfei cried, his face twisted and ashen. His body shook as it began to wither; apparently, all of the essence of his life force was being sucked away as soul nourishment. “This is my choice! This is the whole reason I’ve been searching for the Patriarch!
“Don’t interfere! This is Wang Tengfei’s choice!” His body quivered as his legs were sucked dry. The 10th Wang Clan Patriarch’s eyes gleamed with a strange light, and his right hand tightened.
“My life has no meaning. I’d rather die at the hands of the Patriarch than be killed by some other person. Let my soul help to restore his soul!
“Meng Hao, I don’t need you to come save me. There’s no need! Let me… die in a way that has meaning!
“I think this is the most meaningful thing I’ve ever done in my entire existence. My family, my parents, my big brother, all my clan members… they’ve already given their souls. I’m the only one left… and now… it’s my turn!
“I can’t choose to keep living, Meng Hao, but I can choose how to die…. Just leave me alone, don’t save me. This is a Wang Clan affair, and it has nothing to do with you!” Wang Tengfei trembled as the rest of his body withered up. His life force was pouring into the 10th Patriarch’s soul, causing strands of white mist to rise up from the places where the fingers had pierced him.
An expression of struggle could be seen on the face of the 10th Wang Clan Patriarch. However, the instinct to absorb his fellow clan members did not go away, and he continued to suck away the life force. Wang Tengfei’s body began to fall apart, and vast quantities of white mist rose up out of his head. His soul.
His eyes faded, and he seemed to age. It seemed like he had reached the end of his life. He was no longer the perfect, handsome young man that Meng Hao remembered. He was grotesque, nothing more than skin draped over a skeleton.
“Meng Hao, back then… it was all my fault…. I just realized it too late. It wasn’t until my clan had been exterminated that I realized… how aggravating I must have been to everyone.
“No wonder Yuyan left me…. She was right…. Meng Hao, my hatred for you is mostly just jealousy and envy. Everything I said after you saved me earlier…. Actually, I just didn’t want to admit that after everything changed for me, you were the only person who treated me better than before….
“Meng Hao….” Wang Tengfei looked at Meng Hao, and he seemed reluctant to part with the world. The look in his eye was the same look of wild ambition that had existed before, and the same pride.
“Meng Hao, I… have one last request. Can you… please treat Chu Yuyan well?!?!
“She’s a good girl, and I don’t deserve her. She might seem detached, but inside, she’s very weak…
“Meng Hao, since you have my legacy, and since you took my good fortune, well then, you… must definitely… keep on going! Reach the pinnacle! Leave Planet South Heaven and climb to the highest heights….
“That’s my dream. You… must keep on going!” Wang Tengfei chuckled as he realized that he didn’t actually hate Meng Hao. Along with his laughter, he suddenly seemed to relax. Apparently, he was losing himself in the wonderful times of the past, in the perfect simplicity of the Reliance Sect.
He smiled, and then his head sagged and his life ended….
His soul was completely extracted by the 10th Wang Clan Patriarch, who then placed it into his mouth. More tears streamed down the Patriarch’s face as he violently chomped down on the soul and then swallowed it. Then, he lifted his head up and roared.
“Immortal Ascension…. Immortal Ascension…. Kill. Kill….” Roaring, he barreled off into the distance, weeping and howling miserably.
Meng Hao stood there agape. After it was all over, he closed his eyes for a long time. When he opened them, exhaustion could be seen. After seeing the determination in Wang Tengfei’s eyes, he understood. Even if he and Wang Tengfei hadn’t run into each other this day, once Wang Tengfei found the 10th Wang Clan Patriarch, he would still have done the exact same thing.
Because the blood of the Wang Clan coursed through his veins, the 10th Wang Clan Patriarch would still have pounced on him and instinctively sucked out his soul. Nobody could do anything to change that. As for Meng Hao, all he had done was force a bit of lucidity onto the Patriarch, to ensure that he would eternally regret his actions.
In the end, who was really at fault…?
Was it Meng Hao? He was also a victim. Was it the 10th Wang Clan Patriarch? Perhaps his pain was greater than anyone’s.
The Wang Clan members were completely innocent. As for Wang Tengfei, his decision was solemn and stirring.
Who was at fault…? It was an unanswerable question that ran in circles. If blame truly needed to be assigned somewhere, perhaps… greed was the answer.
If the 10th Wang Clan Patriarch had not lusted after Meng Hao’s Perfect Dao foundation… then perhaps none of these things would have happened.
“Karma is a cycle with many twists and turns….” murmured Meng Hao. All of a sudden, his understanding of the cause and effect of Karma deepened. However, this understanding had come at a terrible price.
Meng Hao sighed dejectedly, then slowly turned and made his way off into the distance.
Wang Tengfei’s final choice was something Meng Hao could never have predicted. As he flew through the air, he suddenly recalled the first time he saw Wang Tengfei back in the Reliance Sect.
He thought about their first battle, and the Flying Rain-Dragon legacy. Then there was the contest to get into the Inner Sect, as well as all the events that played out in the Southern Domain. Everything seemed to have occurred so long ago. Right now, Meng Hao knew… the most profound memory of Wang Tengfei would be the words he had spoken moments before he died, and the expression on his face.
“And that was Wang Tengfei!” he murmured softly.
He finally returned to the Blood Demon Sect, exhausted, immersed in enlightenment regarding Karma, and with hands stained red with blood. The first place he went was Blood Prince Gorge.
He found Xu Qing, and then wrapped his arms around her for a long, long time. He buried his head in her fragrant hair, and said nothing.
Xu Qing seemed to understand. She held him, softly patting his back in comfort.
He felt tired out. First was the emotional tale of Chen Fan, and then the news about his mother. Finally… there was Wang Tengfei and the 10th Wang Clan Patriarch, and his understanding regarding the gravity of Karma.
“Xu Qing, I want to sleep,” he said softly.
“Sleep then,” she replied gently. “I’ll stay here with you….”
He closed his eyes.
Xu Qing held him. She sat down outside the log cabin in Blood Prince Gorge, and he lay across her legs and slept.
She looked down at him, and twirled a strand of his hair around her finger. The expression on her face was one of pity, and deep love.
Meng Hao slept for two days. When he finally opened his eyes, it was night. Up above in the darkness, the canopy of stars twinkled brightly, but they couldn’t come close to matching the beauty of Xu Qing’s eyes. They were neither as warm and resplendent as her gaze, nor as soft and entrancing as her expression.
Meng Hao looked into her eyes, and she looked back.
Suddenly, something seemed to click inside Meng Hao’s head.
“The deepest expression of love is simply to stay with someone….” he murmured. He suddenly understood why Elder Brother Chen Fan chose to stand guard over that boulder instead of leaving to practice cultivation. To Chen Fan, simply staying with his beloved was an expression of love.
Meng Hao also understood why Wang Tengfei chose to die. To him, it was more important to stay with his clan members, and his Patriarch. That… was his expression of love.
It didn’t matter if you spoke of love for friends, love for family, or romantic love…. The deepest expression of love was simply to stay with someone.
You stay with me, I’ll stay with you…. That was love.
For himself, the fact that Xu Qing chose to stay with him made him realize what the meaning of love really was.
“Xu Qing,” he said, looking at her earnestly, “let’s… have a bonding ceremony. Let’s get married.”
A tremor ran through Xu Qing; her eyelashes trembled and her heart began to pound. To any woman, a wedding is one of the most important occasions possible in life. Xu Qing’s cheeks flushed, but she didn’t avoid Meng Hao’s gaze. She looked back at him and then slowly nodded.
This chapter was sponsored by Chung Nicholas and Important Livestreamer Matengunsang