Chapter 809: Immortal Ancient Dao Meridian!
Time passed. During the nights, Meng Hao closely observed the projections in the temple. Upon deeper examination, it became clear that all of them were different from each other. There were men and women, old people and young. Some of the figures weren’t even human, but were strange and beast-like.
After the passage of so much time, Meng Hao had long since lost any sense of fear toward the place. He was also used to all the bizarre scenes that played out. Every day at nightfall, the black strands of hair would emerge from the well. Eventually, Meng Hao found that sitting cross-legged in the hair would fill his body with an incredible coldness that benefited his attempts to gain enlightenment from the figures passing down their Daos.
As for the weeping which came from within the well, after listening to it for some time, Meng Hao realized that there was a bit of charm within the wails….
Then there was the vine swing. Meng Hao had the feeling that some great Dao existed within the swinging motion. An image appeared in his mind of a swing, swaying endlessly back and forth.
Meng Hao even got used to the voices calling out about “going home.” Occasionally he would impulsively stamp his feet on the ground in annoyance when the voices disturbed his cultivation.
Essentially, he got used to everything that went on in the temple. That included the old man with blood oozing from his orifices. Whenever Meng Hao sought enlightenment, the old man would stand behind him and look at the top of his head.
After a while, he simply allowed the man to continue to do so.
Meng Hao changed his clothes several times, but no matter how new they were, whenever he awoke after having sunk into enlightenment, the clothes would be tattered and old. Finally, he gave up and stopped changing them.
Recently, Meng Hao had been observing one particular figure who sat cross-legged in meditation. However, powerful ripples emanated off of the figure’s body. After observing for quite some time, the air in front of Meng Hao grew blurry, and a black roc appeared that emanated a savage energy.
“This is a Daoist Magic form!”
It made Meng Hao think of his battle with the Northern Reaches’ Imperial Bloodline Clan Chief, and the bizarre divine ability he’d used to transform into various wild beasts. In Meng Hao’s opinion, it had been completely extraordinary.
He continued his contemplation, losing himself to it. It was as if he actually returned to that ancient Daoist rites temple to hear the music of the great Dao. He awoke when the sky turned bright, having been significantly enlightened.
Everything in the temple returned to normal around him. Meng Hao could sense that he had made great strides in terms of his cultivation base. His personal Dao Seeking did not contain discrete stages. According to what his father told him, the result of using the Mist Blade to perform his Severing turned his Dao Seeking into a single stage and put him at the very peak of the entire Spirit Realm.
His next step would be true Immortality.
To Meng Hao, the imparting of these strange Daos was incredibly suitable to his current situation. After working with the Daoist magic of Roc Transformation, he proceeded on to another Dao Projection after gaining some enlightenment.
Unfortunately, he could not gain enlightenment regarding all of the Dao Projections. Many were in conflict with his personal direction, which made it impossible for him to understand them.
Meng Hao was now watching a Dao Projection near the wall of the temple. The image that flickered in his eyes was that of a man floating in a clear sky. The man’s hand formed into the shape of a claw, which he stretched out, causing the land beneath him to shatter into pieces.
“It’s a claw attack method!”
Meng Hao’s consciousness trembled as he imprinted the image into his mind.
A few days later, Meng Hao had just gained enlightenment regarding another Dao Projection when he saw a Daoist off in the distance stretching his hand out and grabbing onto a star. He then pulled down violently, causing the star to tremble and transform into a resplendent glow in the palm of his hand.
“That’s… a… magic of Star Plucking!”
Meng Hao immersed himself in gaining enlightenment from the Daoist legacies in the temple. Eventually, he realized that the flame in the bronze oil lamp was showing signs of flickering out. He could tell that when that happened, the good fortune in this particular Immortal Ancient Daoist Rite Temple would be over.
Several days later, Meng Hao took a deep breath as he woke from meditation. By this point, he had identified all of the Daoist Projections that he could gain enlightenment from; unfortunately they were quite miscellaneous. There were only three that Meng Hao truly had a basic understanding of.
The Claw Attack, the Roc Transformation, and the Star Plucking Magic.
However, these were just types of magic, not Daos.
“There are millions upon millions of magics, but the Dao can only exist in the heart. Where exactly is… the Dao of this Immortal Ancient Daoist Rite Temple?” Meng Hao looked around until his gaze finally came to rest on the dilapidated statue of the deity.
Finally, he stood and approached the deity. After sitting down cross-legged, he looked up at the broken statue.
The deity statue was more than half destroyed. It had no head, and its torso was half gone. It was only possible to tell that it was sitting cross-legged, with its right hand extended to form an incantation gesture.
Meng Hao could make the same gesture, but when he did, he got no special feeling at all from the statue.
Feeling a bit annoyed, he turned to the old man behind him and said, “You’ve been following me around for half a month already. Is my head that interesting to stare at?”
Looking at the man, Meng Hao didn’t think he looked fierce or frightening at all any more, just dull and lifeless. “You’re formed from the shadow cast by the fire of that oil lamp. Don’t tell me you’ve been watching me this half-month for no reason at all?”
“Immortal!” the old man suddenly said, his voice hoarse and scratchy.
Meng Hao’s eyes widened. This was the first time the old man had spoken in the entire half month.
“What did you just say?”
“Immortal!” repeated the old man. “This statue is an Immortal!”
Meng Hao gaped.
“Do you wish to become Immortal?” the old man blurted. His eyes glowed with a strange light as he stared at Meng Hao.
Meng Hao was now starting to once again feel that this old man was very strange. His eyes narrowed slightly as he said, “I only have half a step to take and I’ll be a true Immortal.”
“How could Immortal be split between true and false…? That’s an incorrect path.” The old man shook his head, and from the look in his eyes, he seemed to be recalling the past. Then he murmured: “An incorrect path…. Has the legacy been cut off…? Too many years have passed since that war….”
All of a sudden the old man started laughing crazily. “They’re all dead! The land is shattered! The river of stars is cut off….” The man continued to laugh, then started to pace back and forth in the temple, weeping.
“Cut off! I can’t suppress the living, I can only suppress the ghosts….
“Gone, everything’s gone….”
Meng Hao’s mind was spinning. He looked at the projected image of the demented old man, and realized he seemed to be filled with an ancient forlorn sadness. The weeping from the well grew more shrill, and more blood dripped down from the swinging vine.
“Senior, which war are you talking about?” Meng Hao asked.
The old man laughed and wailed. The flame in the bronze oil lamp danced wildly, and the projections all rose trembling to their feet and walked around Meng Hao in circles, laughing and weeping.
Meng Hao was panting, and was on the verge of saying something when suddenly a popping sound rang out as… the bronze lamp was extinguished.
Darkness reigned. Meng Hao looked around in shock before noticing that far off in the distance, the sun was just beginning to rise.
Meng Hao was in a bit of a daze for the rest of the day. The old man’s words, and all the other events of the previous night, left him feeling that there was some incredible mystery pertaining to this Immortal Ancient Daoist Rite Temple.
It was a secret that perhaps… related to all the lands of South Heaven!
“Why did the enormous Daoist rite temple… disappear just now?
“All of those projections… where did they go to?
“Why is the temple hall in such a state of ruin?”
The day passed, and when night fell, the bronze lamp burned once again, although the flame was dimmer than it had been at the beginning. The old man appeared again. This time, he positioned himself next to the door of the temple hall. He was no longer weeping or crying, but rather, stood there silently.
After a moment, the man suddenly looked over at Meng Hao. “Your father is powerful. Even in the era in which I lived, he would be considered a powerful expert.
“He is also aware that his path is the incorrect one. However, he can do nothing to change that. If he could, he would be even more powerful.
“You have a good foundation, even better than many of the cultivators from my era. Do you… wish to become Immortal? I do not speak of any sort of false or true Immortal. Just Immortal…. A full 100-meridian Immortal!
“Only by opening all 100 meridians can one truly be considered Immortal! Even in past ages, full 100-meridian Immortals were few and far between. Only those who inherit great Daos might be able to reach that state, and with great difficulty at that.”
Meng Hao’s heart trembled. According to his father, 80 meridians made one Chosen, 90 meridians were rarely seen, and 100 meridians… supposedly didn’t exist. Meng Hao nodded in response to the man, his eyes glittering.
“Magic can not be spoken of lightly, and Daos cannot be passed down recklessly. Now that this place has been unsealed, the whole Ninth Mountain and Sea will be set astir….This bronze oil lamp was kindled in ancient times, but what it illuminates is the present.
“It has already burned for more than ten days, and will soon be extinguished. Use your blood as the oil and ensure that it continues to burn unceasingly for seven cycles of seven days, forty-nine days. Do not allow anyone to set foot into the temple hall and touch it. Ensure that only your aura is present in it from beginning to end.
“If you do these things… if the flame burns for seven cycles of seven days, forty-nine days, then it will emit a strand of Immortal Ancient Dao Qi. Fuse that into your body, and it will become an Immortal Ancient Dao Meridian!
“If you have that Dao meridian, given the proper circumstances, you can gain enlightenment of the Dao of Immortality!” The old man gave Meng Hao a profound look, then turned and merged back into the deity statue.
As Meng Hao stood there silently, a glow of determination filled his eyes. He looked down at the “Immortality” character carved into the ground, and an ancient aura suddenly rose up from within his heart to fill his whole body.
“False Immortal. True Immortal…. Immortal!” he murmured. The bronze lamp abruptly became dimmer, and showed signs of being extinguished. Meng Hao walked forward, cut a slice into his wrist and poured some of his blood into the lamp. Crackling noises could be heard as the flame, instead of being extinguished, actually burned brighter.
Meng Hao sat down cross-legged in front of the lamp, feeling an unprecedented level of clarity in his mind.
A few more days passed. Suddenly, brilliant beams of light appeared in the starry sky outside of Planet South Heaven. An enormous teleportation portal could be seen which caused all of the stars to dim. A glow of starlight spread out in all directions as several dozen figures appeared in the middle of the teleportation portal.
The first three were the Chosen from the Fang Clan. Behind them were more than ten additional Fang Clan members, as well as their accompanying Dao Protectors from the clan.
Their appearance caused the starry sky to shudder. However, most of them were not in the Immortal Realm, and thus could not stay out in the starry sky for long periods of time, requiring others to protect and escort them. Their cultivation bases were in between Dao Seeking and the Immortal Realm, as were those of the three Chosen.
However, there were some clan members who were beyond the Spirit Realm, and although they were not Chosen, their cultivation bases were Immortal. Their appearance on the scene was completely shocking.
“We’re here. This is Planet South Heaven!”
“It seems the Fang Clan is the first party to arrive on the scene. Let’s go. It’s time to acquire some good fortune!” The group of a dozen or so people, including the Dao Protectors, immediately shot toward Planet South Heaven at top speed.
The three Chosen among the group kept their distance from each other. Each one of them was a person who the other clan members looked up to with reverence. The woman was Fang Xiangshan, and the other two included the bald young man with stars in his eyes and the incredible fleshly body, Fang Yunyi. The other was the one who bathed in the blood of wild beasts, Fang Donghan! 1
These three were known as the Three Great Chosen of the Fang clan. They had not yet reached the Immortal Realm because they were suppressing their cultivation bases in the hopes of building a solid foundation and breaking into true Immortality.
They were people who refused to become false Immortals!
- These three members of the Fang Clan were introduced in chapter 806. Here are their names in Chinese. Fang Xiangshan is 方香姗 fāng xiāng shān. Xiang means “fragrant” and Shan means “lithe.” Fang Yunyi is 方云易 fāng yún yì. Yun means “cloud” and Yi means “easy” or “amiable.” Fang Donghan is 方东寒 fāng dōng hán. Dong means “east” and Han means “cold” ↩