Chapter 854: Secret Clues!
“He found it!” In the palace, the old men from the Three Great Daoist Societies were all watching with brightly shining eyes. This was especially true of the old man from the Immortal Ancient Daoist Rite, whose entire face glowed with unprecedented brightness.
“He is the first person from ancient times until now to tread the Ancient Road with a Spirit Realm cultivation base and find the Pāramitā Heavenly Foundation!”
“He can only observe from a distance, not get near. Based on his divine sense and willpower, he should be able to determine that it isn’t safe. He won’t brazenly get close.”
“That depends on his good fortune. In these worlds of the sixth, seventh, and eighth stages, time passes differently than in the outside world. Actually, contemplating enlightenment for one day in there is like spending ten years at it out here!”
Murmured conversations filled the palace.
In contrast, the crowds in the Ninth Mountain and Sea were buzzing with chatter.
When they saw the 99th dot of light, everyone knew exactly what it meant. Everyone was in an uproar, and now, the name Fang Mu was deeply imprinted in the hearts of everyone present.
Even as everyone on the outside was in a tumult, Meng Hao opened his eyes. He breathed heavily for a moment, then gritted his teeth and closed his eyes again. He sent his divine sense out to once again observe the nine astonishing bridges.
The bridges appeared to be complete, but Meng Hao knew that if they had been, he would have been killed simply by looking at them. Right now, even observing them from a distance caused him to be injured. Actually, it was a good thing the bridges were broken down. Otherwise, considering his cultivation base, as soon as his divine sense touched them, he would have been completely annihilated.
“Nine Heaven-defying bridges like this were actually destroyed…. These are no mere bridges! They were obviously especially created to allow cultivators to experience incredible cultivation base growth, to be able to punch through to an incredible realm of power!
“I never imagined that I would be able to see something like this here! This is extremely good fortune for me!” As he thought about it, Meng Hao’s mind suddenly trembled.
“There was never any rule about only being able to create one divine ability…. In that case, why not create two?” Originally, Meng Hao had already devised a plan to create a divine ability, but after seeing the nine bridges, a new form of enlightenment had appeared in his mind, which then transformed into the shape of a divine ability. Furthermore, he didn’t wish to give up on either of the two ideas.
The first divine ability aligned perfectly with his personality. As for the second one, Meng Hao sincerely desired to possess it.
He took a deep breath and then decided to stop thinking about it. He focused his divine sense on the nine bridges, and on resisting the pressure. Not only was he imprinting the image of the bridge onto his mind, he decided to try to get a bit closer, to acquire a bit of good fortune from the pressure weighing down.
Time slowly passed by.
Ten days later, only four people remained. The other three had finally realized they couldn’t continue to gain enlightenment from the Immortal ruins, and had decided to create their divine abilities. Of those three, the individual who had found the most Immortal ruins had found 76.
The divine abilities they created were powerful. One of them caused eleven stone steles to descend, which provoked a lot of attention.
Ten more days passed, and of the four remaining people on the Ancient Roads, two of them could not continue, and chose to create their divine abilities. One of them was the young man with the mosquitos, who had found 89 Immortal ruins. At that point, he created a thirteen-stele divine ability.
Quite a few people were astonished by this, and the young man quickly rose to prominence.
As of this moment, there were only two people left on the Ancient Road. One of them was Meng Hao, and the other was the young man in the mask, Li Yan!
Li Yan had already found the 93rd Immortal ruin, and was now the second person in the trial by fire to have exceeded Sir Fan.
He and Meng Hao were the focus of the attention of the entire Ninth Mountain and Sea.
Three more days passed. Meng Hao coughed up some blood, and his vision went blurry. During the more than twenty days that had passed, he had sustained injuries on multiple occasions as he forced himself to continue to contemplate the nine bridges, and imprint their image on his mind.
It was difficult, but with his intense willpower, he was slowly but surely able to continue to grind away. He was not so wildly ambitious that he intended to commit all nine bridges to memory, only the first one.
Finally, the twenty-first day arrived. In this special location, contemplating enlightenment for that amount of time was like spending more than two hundred years on the outside. Rumbling filled Meng Hao’s mind, and his eyes shone with the glow of enlightenment as the full image of the first bridge materialized in front of him.
In that instant, deep within his mind, he was able to sense exactly how damaged the bridge was. Suddenly, ninety-nine percent of the bridge actually vanished, and he found that the first bridge was actually… nothing more than a fist-sized rock!
It was a mere stone, but even looking at it caused Meng Hao to cough up blood, and he knew that if he approached it, he would be destroyed in body and spirit. These more than twenty days of contemplation were like two hundred or more years in the outside world.
In the moment that he understood the real situation regarding the first bridge, and the outline of the bridge itself appeared in his mind, images began to appear in his eyes, a vision.
Within the vision were nine enormous suns hauling an astonishing statue. They seemed so large that they were impossible to see the ends of. An army of countless cultivators lashed out with attacks that ripped a huge hole in the air, which they then entered.
Behind the shocking statue were nine astonishing bridges that shook the heavens. Boundless light that covered everything radiated off of them.
The scene caused Meng Hao’s mind to tremble, and reminded him of the things he had seen back in the Immortal Ancient Daoist Rite Temple. Some of the images were almost exactly the same. 1
Then, the vision changed. He saw a world-shaking war. Countless living things were being slaughtered, and heavenly bodies collapsed. The starry sky shattered, and in every breath of time, endless numbers of lives perished.
The nine bridges exerted incredible pressure, causing the starry sky to begin to collapse. Next, Meng Hao saw three enormous figures appear up above. When they joined forces, the starry sky disappeared, and the world went black, as if all the auras in existence were absorbed, condensed to form nine mountains, which then crushed down toward the nine bridges.
The bridges… shattered!
The vision abruptly ended. Meng Hao had no time to thoroughly analyze the images before they vanished. He was left standing there, his jaw slack, his eyes wide. His mind was blank and trembling.
“Those nine mountains….” Meng Hao was panting. From what he could sense, he had only been able to glimpse a tiny bit of some huge secret.
“Why does the world I live in consist of only nine mountains and nine seas, with four planets circling around each of those mountains?!
“I never thought about it too much before, but how come Planet South Heaven is so special? Why did that Outsider want my parents to guard it?!
“Also, what about that place I went to underneath the Ancient Dao Lakes on Planet South Heaven? That being which was crushed and then sealed there said something like… Immortals are the source of all chaos! 2
“What exactly does that mean?!” Meng Hao’s breathing was unprecedentedly ragged, and he was shivering all over. He now had an idea of what it all meant, but didn’t dare to consider that it was true.
As his mind trembled, the nine bridges in front of him vanished. This time, they really were gone; even when Meng Hao searched with his divine sense, he was unable to find them.
After a long moment of silence, Meng Hao sighed lightly. The matter of the vision was something far removed from the current situation, and considering the level of his cultivation base, he wasn’t really qualified to begin to probe such secrets.
“One day, I’ll understand it all!” he thought, his eyes shining with determination. He took a deep breath and sent his divine sense out one last time. Seeing that it was impossible to locate the bridges, he decided to search for the Immortal pavilion that Ling Yunzi had mentioned.
Several days later, he still remained empty handed. No matter what methods he used, even closing his eyes, he was unable to detect any Immortal pavilion. In fact, he was now fairly certain that he would be unable to find it at all, so he decided to sit down cross-legged in the location where the nine bridges had stood, and begin to create his divine ability!
He quickly slipped into a trance.
Many ideas and thoughts flitted through his mind, as well as numerous flickering images. The enlightenment he had received in the 99 Immortal ruins began to merge together, until finally, a will exploded out from within his mind that was a divine ability belonging solely to him.
As Meng Hao was piecing together the enlightenment to create a divine ability, Li Yan had passed the 95th Immortal ruin, but could not find the 96th.
After a while, he had no choice but to stop regretfully and begin to create his divine ability.
By this point, everyone out in the Ninth Mountain and Sea, as well as the Patriarchs in the starry sky palace, were now waiting to see what types of divine abilities Meng Hao and Li Yan would create.
There was something else going on that nobody in the palace noticed. Although the elders from the Three Great Daoist Societies seemed to be looking at the vortex screens with glittering eyes, deep within their gazes could be seen faint sighs of disappointment.
Such sighs were deeply hidden, yet seemed to be a disappointment that was not entirely unexpected.
Days passed, and the anticipation among the audience out in the Ninth Mountain and Sea only continued to grow.
“Just what types of divine abilities are Fang Mu and Li Yan creating? Which one will have the most stone steles?!”
“My guess is Fang Mu. After all, he gained enlightenment from 99 Immortal ruins. That’s unheard of!”
“It won’t necessarily be Fang Mu. It could be that he just took advantage of some lucky situations. In the end, I bet the best divine ability will be created by Li Yan!”
“If neither of them can create a sixteen-stele divine ability, then that means Wang Youcai will take first place in the sixth, seventh, and eighth stages!”
Two more days passed, when suddenly the area around the masked Li Yan burst into flames.
The flames were black, and instantly set the Heavens ablaze. Li Yan’s eyes opened, and his pupils were composed entirely of fire!
Flames roared all around him, covering the land, burning everything. The entire world became a sea of flames, and then began to melt, as if it couldn’t sustain the heat. The people outside in the Ninth Mountain and Sea were now able to clearly see Li Yan and everything that was happening in his world.
Gasps rang out from many areas in the Ninth Mountain and Sea, and in the palace in the starry sky, the Patriarchs looked on with strange gleams in their eyes. The old man from the Bones of the Flamedevil, one of the Five Great Holy Lands, couldn’t help but observe with wide, glowing eyes.
“Li Yan is incredible! What type of flame divine ability did he create? It can actually melt the entire world!”
“He’ll definitely get at least sixteen steles. His divine ability appears to be on a similar level as Wang Youcai’s, but from the feel of it, it’s more powerful!”
Li Yan slowly stood, a proud expression on his face beneath the mask. Then, he breathed in three times.
Each breath caused everything to tremble, and the flame sea to spread out even farther. After three breaths, the entire world was engulfed in flames. Finally, Li Yan inhaled deeply.
When he inhaled, all of the flames in the world began to churn and roil, tumbling toward Li Yan as he sucked them into his body.
Next, a rumbling sound emanated out from his body, and although no one could see any flames, when they looked at Li Yan himself, it caused them to feel twinges of pain like that caused by fire.
“A body magic!”
“Heavens! That’s the most difficult thing to create! A body magic!!”
“It’s not just any body magic, that’s almost a Daoist magic!”
“Although it’s not a complete Daoist magic, it’s definitely unique. If in the future he continues to cultivate it to the peak, there’s a high likelihood he could refine it into a true legacy Daoist magic!!”
Check out a recording made by Deathblade to go along with this chapter, located here.
- Meng Hao saw similar things in the vision in chapter 819 ↩
- I think this might be a slipup on Er Gen’s part. In the scene underneath the Ancient Dao Lakes in chapter 731, nothing is mentioned about Immortals being the source of chaos. I double checked with the original Chinese and didn’t see anything to that effect. The only similar words were actually uttered by that monkey in chapter 789, and were heard by Meng Hao in his other vision in chapter 819. I’ll continue to check into this to see if there’s a reference I missed, and if any of you readers happen to know, please feel free to leave a comment. ↩