Chapter 852: Flowers in Full Bloom
The other Patriarchs were angrily grumbling in the palace up in the starry sky.
“Dammit, I was just a bit too slow and lost out on a potential star! He got snatched away!”
In the outside world, great waves of shock rolled about as a consequence of Fatty being taken as a disciple.
“What was that fat guy’s name again? I can’t believe he got taken as a disciple by the Paleo-Immortal Mausoleum, one of the Five Great Holy Lands!”
“I’m pretty sure his name is Li Fugui. His life is sure going to be different from now on!”
“Considering he made a thirteen-stele divine ability, that Li Fugui is definitely Chosen. Think about it; it won’t be long before he has a cultivation base breakthrough. Eventually, he’ll definitely get to Dao Seeking, and then he’ll then move on to Immortality!”
“But what about that tree stump he was on top of? How come it had all those bite marks, as if a dog had been chewing on the wood? Was it like that from the beginning?”
All of the spectators outside in the Ninth Mountain and Sea were shaken inwardly. Some couldn’t figure out what to think, others were filled with envy.
As the discussions continued, another rumbling sound could be heard from the Ancient Road of the Nascent Soul. This time, it came from Li Shiqi. By now, her garments were entirely the color of blood. She sat cross-legged next to the Blood Orchid, almost as if she herself had become a part of it!
She opened her eyes, and in that moment, the Blood Orchid… completely wilted!
When that happened, Li Shiqi’s countenance shone with unprecedented spirit and vigor. Instantly, her cultivation base rose up, pushing her immeasurably close to Spirit Severing.
At first, she looked confused, but once she regained clarity, she performed an incantation with her delicate hand and then pointed up into the air. All the Heavens up above turned blood red, and a Blood Orchid materialized over her and slowly began to bloom.
Rumbling echoed out, and one stone stele after another descended from the blood-red Heavens. One, two, three… ten, twelve… thirteen….
In the end, fourteen stone steles fell from up above to stand tall in the earth around Li Shiqi, causing everything to tremble and shake. As Li Shiqi rose to her feet, she was the complete focus of all attention.
The audiences in the Ninth Mountain and Sea exploded into an uproar.
“Heavens! She’s even more shocking than that fat guy! Fourteen stone steles!!”
“She was enlightened about the Blood Orchid? The Church of the Blood Orchid is definitely going to go crazy! They won’t hesitate to pay any price to recruit her!”
“How could it be that two Chosen appeared on the Ancient Road of the Nascent Soul? Neither of them were very eye-catching before, and yet now, they’re so shocking!”
When Fatty made his debut, five Patriarchs in the starry sky palace had flown out, including the Patriarch from the Paleo-Immortal Mausoleum. Now, however, seven people flew into the air. No one from the Three Great Daoist Societies had moved a muscle. However, even the Patriarch from Moonset Lake, one of the Five Great Holy Lands, was in motion.
The seven Patriarchs reached the screen at the same time, and then all of them appeared in front of Li Shiqi in the world of the trial by fire.
“Girl, are you willing to join the Moonset Lake, one of the Five Great Holy Lands?!”
“The Five Great Holy Lands already have plenty of Chosen,” said another of the seven. “If you join them, you might never be able to distinguish yourself. Based on your powers of understanding, you could definitely be an Empress of this generation in the Church of the Emperor Immortal!” Everyone was now trying to recruit Li Shiqi.
It was at this point that an old man wearing a blood-colored robe suddenly spoke up.
“You were enlightened regarding the Blood Orchid, and used that to create a divine ability. This shows that you have destiny connecting you to the Church of the Blood Orchid. Join us, and you will be in line to become our Holy Daughter!” The other six Patriarchs present were all shocked. The cultivators recruited from within the trial by fire usually had to pass through a probationary period. However, the Patriarch from the Church of the Blood Orchid offered to make a candidate their Holy Daughter, which was not in keeping with the general rule. However, considering she had been enlightened regarding the Blood Orchid, the others could understand.
Li Shiqi looked quietly for a moment at the old man from the Church of the Blood Orchid. Finally, she made a curtseying bow.
“Senior, I am Li Shiqi, and I am willing to join the Church of the Blood Orchid.”
The uproar in the outside world grew even more intense. Li Shiqi left with the Patriarch from the Church of the Blood Orchid, after which all the cultivators from that organization knew that a young woman named Li Shiqi was like the fish who had jumped over the dragon gate, and had successfully passed her examination.
In the future, her glory would likely exceed that of Li Fugui. She had gained enlightenment of the Blood Orchid, and had then created a divine ability from it. To the Church of the Blood Orchid, which had been established because of the Blood Orchid itself, this definitely qualified her to be a candidate to become a Holy Daughter.
By this time, Meng Hao had passed through 72 Immortal ruins. Fewer people were paying attention to him because of all the commotion caused by Fatty and Li Shiqi. However, some people with especially high cultivation bases were the type to consider the future, and look deeply into matters.
They did not participate in the various discussions, but when they saw Meng Hao gaining enlightenment from so many Immortal ruins, they were inwardly shocked. The Patriarchs in the palace were also paying attention to this, although no one took the initiative to say anything about it.
By now it was obvious that if any of the other sects tried to fight over someone like Meng Hao, they would be forced to offend the Three Great Daoist Societies. After all… the Three Great Daoist Societies were in charge of the entire trial by fire.
Everyone well knew that in the assessment of divine ability creation, only those with wild ambitions could gain enlightenment from so many Immortal ruins. Regardless of whether it be on the Ancient Road of Dao Seeking, Spirit Severing, or the Nascent Soul, there were few people who walked the same path as Meng Hao. Most others gained enlightenment from a handful at most, which was a vast difference from Meng Hao.
As people in the outside world discussed the matter of Li Shiqi and Fatty, Wang Youcai sat cross-legged in front of the bronze mirror. His eyes were completely red, and continuously dripped with blood. His body was trembling, almost as if he were possessed.
“I can see even more! I can see everything….
“My latent talent doesn’t measure up to Dong Hu, and my cultivation base is not as good as Meng Hao’s. But I refuse to back down!” More blood built up in Wang Youcai’s eyes, and his pupils seemed on the verge of exploding.
“This is my only chance. In the past several stages, nobody was paying attention to me. But now… I WILL rise to prominence!
“I want to see… everything! I want to see all destinies. My eyes will see what lies beyond the Heavens, and past the underworld that lies beneath the Earth!” Blood flowed out of his eyes continuously, and his pupils were beginning to shatter.
After ten breaths of time… a rumbling sound could be heard from the world in which Wang Youcai sat. At the same time, Wang Youcai’s murmuring voice could be heard.
“I can see now….” In the instant he spoke the words, his eyes suddenly collapsed into pieces. Everything in front of him went black, and from this instant, was gone for all eternity. As his eyes shattered, he closed them.
The shattering occurred in a split second, and as it did, the world around Wang Youcai cracked and… exploded into pieces.
As everything fell apart, he rose to his feet. Stone steles were descended through the shattered canopy above, one after another. By now, all attention on the outside world was focused on Wang Youcai.
They saw the world shatter, and saw the stone steles descended, and everyone gasped.
One, five, ten, thirteen, fifteen….
A total of sixteen stone steles descended, swirling around Wang Youcai, who stood there quietly with his eyes closed.
“Henceforth, my eyes shall remain closed in perpetuity. Should they open, Heaven and Earth will experience shocking changes!
“My divine ability, is called…. Blackest Night.”
As Wang Youcai’s voice rang out, the Ninth Mountain and Sea looked on in astonishment.
“Sixteen stone steles! There are actually sixteen stone steles!”
“That’s Heaven-defying! From ancient times until now, the only person who ever exceeded that is Sir Fan of the Nine Seas God World, whose exploits are recorded in the ancient records!!”
“I bet even the Three Great Daoist Societies are shocked!”
In the starry sky palace, many of the Patriarchs of the various sects gasped as they watched Wang Youcai. Even they were shocked by what they were seeing.
“He destroyed his own eyes to create a divine ability, leaving him blind! However, considering his battle prowess, even though he’s in the Nascent Soul stage, he’s capable of slaughtering Spirit Severing! When he reaches Dao Seeking, if he opens his eyes, the result will be shocking.”
“How ruthless! How stubborn!”
Ten people flew toward the display screens with incredible speed. The fastest was the Patriarch from Moonset Lake. However, he did not enter the screen, but rather turned and clasped hands to everyone else.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, Fellow Daoists, the Daoist magic of Moonset Lake is quite suitable for this child. After the moon sets, there is no light in the sky. Instead, the black night is endlessly deep. I request… that you please do not fight with me over this child!
“Daoist Elders of the Three Great Daoist Societies, if you give some face to Moonset Lake, then we promise to repay the favor in future days!” He clasped hands and bowed deeply, his expression very somber. Everyone else stopped in their tracks, their eyes glittering. No one spoke, but instead looked toward the Patriarchs from the Three Great Daoist Societies.
The Patriarch from the Nine Seas God World thought for a moment and then nodded his head. “I take no issue.”
Sitting in the center position of the Patriarchs from the Three Great Daoist Societies was an old man who had the bearing of a transcendent being. He wore a white robe, and had a calm expression. Immortal qi swirled around him as he said, “There is a person here who has destiny with the Immortal Ancient Daoist Rite. However, he will not join us during this trial by fire. Actually, the only reason I agreed to hold this event was to see him. The person you have mentioned is not him, so I will do nothing to stop you.”
Next to him was an old man from the Sublime Flow Sword Grotto. He smiled slightly, a smile that seemed somewhat cold and almost looked like a fierce sword.
“I have also taken a liking to this child, but… huh?” The old man from the Sublime Flow Sword Grotto had just begun speaking when suddenly, his face flickered, and he looked over at the screens. Next to him, the Patriarchs from the Nine Seas God World and the Immortal Ancient Daoist Rite did the same.
“He’s gained enlightenment from 91 Immortal ruins!”
On the Ancient Road of Dao Seeking, Meng Hao stood in a tall pagoda. When his eyes opened, they seemed confused, but quickly regained clarity. Without pause, he left and headed in another direction.
He sent his divine sense out, looking for more Immortal ruins, eventually finding the 92nd, and then the 93rd….
Time passed by on the Ancient Roads. One person after another created their divine abilities, but none were as shocking as those which had occurred earlier. Chen Fan created his divine ability, but only eight stone steles descended in response.
At any other time, it would have been shocking, but at this point, it was nothing especially noteworthy.
Time passed, and now more attention was being paid to the participants who had not created their divine abilities yet, but were still continuing to gain enlightenment from the Immortal ruins. Everyone understood that these people would either fail, or would have Heaven-defying results.
Once again, Meng Hao became the center of attention. By now, the number of Immortal ruins he had gained enlightenment from had exceeded that of Sir Fan!
“Does he really seem like the kind of person who can gain enlightenment from all 99 ruins? From ancient times until now, less than a hundred people have ever done that! Of course, of all those people, Sir Fan was the only person that ended up creating a nineteen-stele divine ability!”
“No one else could measure up to Sir Fan. I wonder how many stone steles… will descend when Fang Mu creates his divine ability!?”