Chapter 856: Paragon Bridge
This was a hope that they had held throughout all the numerous times they had hosted this trial by fire in the Ninth Mountain and Sea.
It was actually a far more important reason than disciple recruitment!
The three elders were panting slightly, but considering their high cultivation bases and levels of concentration, it didn’t matter how many years they had watched the recruitment event with such hope; they wouldn’t allow others to pick up any clues by looking at their facial expressions.
However… a virtually imperceptible flicker of astonishment could be seen in the eyes of the old man from the Kunlun Society, who seemed to have picked up on a few of the oddities about the situation.
Time passed by slowly. Several hours later, rumbling once again surrounded Meng Hao, quickly vanished… and then returned with even more intensity than before.
This indicated that the divine ability Meng Hao was creating was growing in power!
The audience in the Ninth Mountain and Sea stared fixedly at the vortex screens, and the cross-legged Meng Hao. They waited in keen anticipation to find out what miraculous divine ability he would create.
“That Daoist magic from before caused twenty-one stone steles to descend. Then he started making another divine ability. If he succeeds… I wonder how many stone steles will appear?!”
“This is unheard-of! The ancient records don’t contain information about the first time the Three Great Daoist Societies held this trial by fire, but from the time records were kept until now, nobody has shaken the stars like this shocking Fang Mu!”
“A Chosen like that would be the focus of all attention no matter which sect he joined. It’s just strange that before today, I’ve never heard of him before!”
The buzz of conversation echoed out everywhere, both in the outside world, and among the trial by fire competitors on the Ancient Road. Everyone was shaken by Meng Hao.
They were all waiting… for Meng Hao’s miraculous creation!
The next day, more shocking rumbling could be heard. The following day, the sound of it filled the Ancient Road of Dao Seeking. Three days later… it once again began anew. Even the people on the Ancient Roads of the Nascent Soul and Spirit Severing could hear it.
It had filled the entire Ancient Road!
More people were astonished than ever!
Four days later, the intense roaring that echoed out from Meng Hao left the Ancient Road via the vortexes, passing out into the Ninth Mountain and Sea.
When that happened, Meng Hao finally opened his eyes.
In that instant, boundless, radiant light poured out from his pupils, such that anyone who faced him would feel blinded by the piercing light. Meng Hao’s expression was calm as he raised his hands into the air. There in his mind was the image of the first bridge, indelibly imprinted there, never to disperse for all eternity.
As he raised his hands into the air, the world around him began to tremble, and countless rifts appeared. The air swirled, and began to scatter in layers. In just a few breaths of time, all of the land around him was shattered and began to break down. Wind screamed, and the air collapsed.
As for Meng Hao, he remained cross-legged, but as everything around him dissipated, it seemed as if he was floating in the middle of nothing, surrounded by twenty-one stone steles, each one three hundred meters tall.
It was at this point that, all of a sudden, a rumbling sound could be heard coming from the boundless void up above. It was like an echoing roar, which was accompanied by… descending stone steles!
One, two, three… a total of nine made their way down to join the other twenty-one stone steles. Furthermore, these new steles were actually silver-colored!
Their appearance was far more magnificent than the other twenty-one steles, and far more shocking.
The Patriarchs in the starry sky palace looked on with widened eyes, and the crowds out in the Ninth Mountain and Sea were immediately sent into an uproar of disbelief.
“He… he isn’t even finished creating the divine ability! He’s just mobilizing his energy, but the stone steles already descended!”
“Those stone steles are silver-colored! I’ve never even heard of such a thing!”
“This divine ability is surely Heaven-defying! If it wasn’t, how come a mere surge of its energy would cause the stone steles to descend, even before it’s complete!”
“Just what divine ability is this?!?!”
While the crowds engaged in heated discussion, Meng Hao sat there, his face calm, his eyes devoid of either joy or sadness. His mind seemed to be completely immersed in silent contemplation of the first bridge.
His energy continued to grow more intense. After enough time passed for an incense stick to burn, the image of the bridge in his mind suddenly began to expand, growing out in the blink of an eye, until it covered his entire body.
It was as if he had become the bridge!
And at the same time, the bridge… had become him!
Even more noticeable to Meng Hao was the indescribable pain that completely filled him. It was an anguish that made it seem as if a hundred streams of qi were ripping his insides open.
Great beads of sweat rolled down his face as within his body appeared… one hundred meridians!
These one hundred meridians were Immortal meridians, which previously had not yet existed inside of him. However, now that the bridge had spread out, it forced them open. Although it would only last for a moment, and was not permanent, it actually created a mold for Meng Hao’s Immortal foundation!
When you added in the ethereal Immortal meridian he already had, it was a scene that would thoroughly flabbergast anyone who could see it. However, even the three Patriarchs from the Three Great Daoist Societies would be incapable of seeing what was happening inside of him. Even if they tried to force their vision inside of him, all they would be able to see was a blinding light.
The instant the one hundred meridians were forced open inside of Meng Hao, massive rumbling could be heard as more stone steles descended from up above. Shockingly, there were nine gold-colored steles!
The sight of these nine gold-colored stone steles threw the crowds in the outside world, as well as the other competitors in the trial by fire, into complete tumult.
“Eighteen stone steles!!”
“Heavens! Nine silver steles and nine golden steles! The divine ability isn’t fully created yet, but… but there are already eighteen stone steles!”
“This guy is peerless among Chosen!!”
Meng Hao couldn’t hear the buzz of conversation from the outside world. His body was trembling, and he was filled with the sensation that this divine ability that he had created was indescribably powerful. It seemed like a magic that he was actually incapable of wielding with his current cultivation base.
It was a magic that required all one hundred meridians to be genuinely open before it could be used!
Even a weaker version would still need at least fifty meridians.
At the moment, all of his one hundred meridians had been forcibly opened, but Meng Hao knew that it was only temporary. He was borrowing power from his own good fortune, a result of his creation of a divine ability, and it was something that wouldn’t last for very long. However, to Meng Hao, it was still incredible good fortune. It opened up a path for him, so that all he had to do was take a step forward, and he would be able to proceeded unhindered into true Immortality.
“Even if I can’t actually use this magic for the time being, I will still see it completely created!” His eyes shone with determination as the full power of his cultivation base surged into action, causing an intense roaring to fill the air.
Gradually, the image of a bridge started to be visible behind him!
The bridge was just a vague illlusion. If a perfectly clear image of the bridge could be considered a hundred percent, then this illusory image would only be ten percent!
However, even with only ten percent clarity, it was still filled with an archaic, ancient aura. It seemed to be filled with a natural law that did not conform with the Nine Mountains and Seas. That natural law was Heaven-defying, as if it could split open the vault of heaven, and place the Heavens… beneath its feet!
The energy was boundlessly domineering, as if, when it looked out, all living things would have no choice but to worship on bended knee! This was a supreme power!
Meng Hao began to tremble with increased intensity. The one hundred meridians that had been opened had been shining with boundless light moments ago, but were now beginning to grow dim, as if their light were being sucked in by the bridge.
In the blink of an eye, only thirty of the meridians remained open. At this point, a frenzied determination shone in Meng Hao’s eyes. He tilted his head back and roared, and the remaining Immortal meridians inside of him went dim. In that instant, the bridge behind him suddenly became twenty percent clear!
That twenty percent caused all three Ancient Roads in the Ruins of Immortality to quake. Up above in the palace, the Patriarchs’ minds were reeling. They appeared to be completely shaken. Outside in the Ninth Mountain and Sea, there were even some cultivators who coughed up blood.
Furthermore, up above in the void appeared nine… seven-colored stone steles!
Nine silver. Nine gold. Nine seven-colored!
The entire world was dumbfounded!
“What divine ability is that!?!?”
“That’s beyond a Daoist magic, and even above a secret magic! Just what magic is it?!”
“Could it be… could it be a legendary Paragon magic!?!?”
With the exception of the three Patriarchs from the Three Great Daoist Societies, everyone in the starry sky palace was on their feet, faces filled with astonishment.
“Paragon magic!! For Fang Mu to be able to create a Paragon magic while in the Spirit Realm means that his intuition is stupefying!!”
“He can’t actually use the magic right now, but in the future, when his cultivation base rises into the peak of the Immortal Realm, he’ll be able to use this magic to slay experts of the Ancient Realm!”
The Patriarchs were now in an uproar. The spectators out in the Ninth Mountain and Sea were completely astonished, and were staring with wide eyes and open mouths. They didn’t know what Paragon magic was, but when the bridge appeared behind Meng Hao, they could sense their cultivation bases trembling!
Blood sprayed out of Meng Hao’s mouth, and he was incapable of continuing on any further. The bridge winked out, and his body returned to its normal state. However, he felt completely exhausted, almost as if he were ill, and his face was ashen. But his eyes shone with unprecedented brightness.
“When that bridge appears, it is supreme and unparalleled. In that case, its name shall be…
“The Paragon Bridge!!
“This is my second divine ability!”
Meng Hao slowly rose to his feet, under the eyes of the countless people watching in various locations.
Meng Hao took a deep breath, then closed his eyes and sent his divine sense out to the forty-eight stone steles.
He suddenly inhaled, and the stone steles trembled and began to emit Immortal qi. It transformed into a gentle power that rushed toward Meng Hao, surrounding him like a vortex. As he absorbed it into his body, his Immortal meridian almost seemed to come alive as it voraciously consumed the qi.
Thirty percent, forty percent, fifty percent, sixty percent, seventy percent!!
Before coming to the Ruins of Immortality, Meng Hao’s Immortal meridian had only been illusory. But now, it was consuming Immortal qi with shocking speed. The stone steles began to vanish, and by the time the last one was gone, the Immortal meridian inside of him was fully eighty percent solidified!
This was an Immortal Ancient Dao meridian, formed by the ancient bronze lamp. It was an Immortal meridian that exceeded that which any modern cultivator could have, and came from ancient times. According to Shui Dongliu, it had even changed Meng Hao’s destiny!
Now, it was eighty percent complete, and radiated Immortal might. Now, Meng Hao’s cultivation base exploded with intense energy, that of a true Immortal!
With an Immortal meridian that was eighty percent complete, he now seemed to be undergoing huge transformations. Although he clearly was not a true Immortal yet, he was actually… even more powerful than Pill Demon when he had become a true immortal!!