Chapter 872: She Appears!
Meng Hao advanced as if he were crushing rotten twigs. Chen Hao fell back continuously. In the blink of an eye, dozens of lightning-like exchanges occurred between the two of them. Chen Hao constantly coughed up blood, and his energy was rapidly depleting. In the end, he slammed down onto the surface of the arena. The flames covering his body were extinguished, and blood spurted out all over. After struggling to his feet, he found a long spear leveled against his throat.
It was none other than the spear Meng Hao had acquired in the Warrior Pavilion, with the shaft made from part of the World Tree, and a sharp bone spearhead. Thanks to the power of the black feather, however, it looked completely different, and was something no one would ever recognize.
Chen Hao shivered as he sensed the murderous aura coming from the spearhead, which left his entire body feeling ice cold. Then there was Meng Hao, whose eyes had remained intensely cold from the beginning of their battle until this moment. He seemed to be waiting for Chen Hao to say something, and if Chen Hao didn’t say it… then the spear would immediately stab completely through his throat.
Meng Hao didn’t say anything. He just looked calmly at Chen Hao.
Out in the world of the Ninth Mountain and Sea, cultivators watched the match with thumping hearts. They had never heard of Fang Mu before, but now, he astonished them in battle after battle, proving that he was more powerful than any opponent could imagine!!
“He can definitely take first place!!”
“Heavens, he took first place in the trial by fire already. If he also takes first place in the arena matches, then he… he….”
“This is matchlessly breathtaking! Throughout all the years, there has never been another person like this!”
“Just who is he? There’s no way a person like him could be an obscure nobody!”
While the audiences were in an uproar, the 10th Wang Clan Patriarch floated in the starry sky. His eyes glittered brightly, and Immortal qi swirled around him for a long moment before he retracted it. The desire to fight burned strongly in his eyes.
Near Planet East Victory, Patriarch Reliance switched back and forth between smiling broadly and gnashing his teeth. He definitely had very complex feelings regarding Meng Hao.
Everyone was watching as Chen Hao lay silently in the arena. He took a deep, painful breath and looked up at Meng Hao.
“How much of your cultivation base did you use?” he asked suddenly.
“Is that really important?” Meng Hao replied coolly.
“It is to me!” said Chen Hao firmly.
“Well, not to me.” Meng Hao shook his head, staring at Chen Hao coldly and with a bit of impatience.
Chen Hao’s trembling heart filled with coldness. Then he suddenly recalled standing in the outside world, watching some of Fang Mu’s bizarre actions. Immediately, he pulled a bag of holding out from within his robe.
“There are over 3,000,000 spirit stones here. I didn’t bring many with me today, but you can have them if you just answer my question.”
Moments before, Meng Hao’s expression had been ice cold, as emotionless as a cold-blooded killer. Now, however, his eyes narrowed, and a slight smile could be seen on his face. It happened so quickly that Chen Hao stared in shock.
Meng Hao quickly grabbed the bag of holding and scanned it with his spiritual sense. Finally, his face beamed with joy.
“Elder Brother Chen, there’s really no need for this,” he said, licking his lips. “It’s just a question, right? What’s the point in pulling out so many spirit stones? Alright, alright. If I refused them, that would be an insult to you. In that case, I guess I’ll just have to suck it up and take them.” His current expression was indeed vastly different than what it had been before. Chen Hao stared in disbelief at how different Meng Hao was now, and how quickly he had changed. It seemed unbelievable how completely natural the change had come to him.
“Taking money to resolve others’ issues… Elder Brother Chen… just now I was using…
“Seventy percent full power!” These last four words were transmitted directly into Chen Hao’s mind. Of course, as to how much he actually used, naturally, that was something he would never reveal.
Chen Hao rose to his feet, taciturn. He didn’t want to believe Meng Hao, but the answer mostly lined up with his own judgement and perception. Giving Meng Hao a long, penetrating look, he finally uttered the words ‘I concede.’
Immediately, he faded away and reappeared on the first level of leaves.
Meng Hao was feeling very pleased. He had never imagined that he would be able to earn some spirit stones in the middle of fighting. Suddenly, he looked up in thought, and then an annoyed expression appeared on his face.
“How could I have forgotten about making money? If I’d thought of doing this earlier, I probably could have made a small fortune in the past few matches.”
As the battles to decide the top 8 continued, Meng Hao sat down cross-legged. After glancing around at the other battles going on around him, he looked down toward the Nascent Soul arena matches, and Chen Fan.
The Nascent Soul arena matches were also in the middle of determining their top 8. Chen Fan was soaked in blood as he fought a young woman. A look of annoyance could be seen on her face as they fought back and forth. Up to this point in the battle, the gloomy will cast out by Chen Fan’s attacks had kept the woman feeling quite suppressed.
However, this young woman was not one of the trial by fire competitors. She was a Nascent Soul Chosen from the Solitary Sword Pavilion, and was definitely powerful enough to make it into the top 4. She and Chen Fan were currently fighting back and forth.
Meng Hao watched the battle silently. Based on the level of his cultivation base, he was able to tell that Chen Fan had reached the end of the line in this battle.
Moments later, Chen Fan lost, and was unable to enter the top 8. He clasped hands silently to the young woman as his body faded away, and he reappeared down below.
Meng Hao sighed. He had sensed the deep bitterness within Chen Fan on previous occasions, but it wasn’t until Xu Qing finally departed that he came to understand why Chen Fan had fallen so low.
Time passed, and rumbling booms echoed out. Gradually, victory and defeat were determined in multiple arenas. However, it was at this time that, all of a sudden, numerous figures began to appear outside of the Dao Tree. They hovered there, faces blank as they stared at the arena matches on the Dao Tree.
Each and every one of these figures emanated auras that would cause anyone to tremble. Ling Yunzi and the other two old men immediately started to get nervous.
By the time the battles to select the top 8 had concluded, there were numerous terrifying figures outside of the Dao Tree. One of them had the upper body of a cultivator and the tail of a snake. The creature materialized in midair, then looked coldly over at the Dao Tree, her eyes flickering with a bloodthirsty gleam.
There was another shocking thing that attracted all eyes. It was not a living creature, but rather, an enormous battle-ax. The head of the ax was carved with mountains and rivers, and appeared to be flecked with rust. The battle-ax made no sound as it materialized, but after it appeared, most of the other entities near it immediately moved away.
This battle-ax sent the crowds out in the Ninth Mountain and Sea into an uproar. However, there were actually few people who knew what the battle-ax represented, other than… the Patriarchs in the starry sky palace.
The three Patriarchs from the Three Great Daoist Societies all rose to their feet. Their expressions were deeply solemn, and within their eyes could be seen gleams of hope and excitement.
The Patriarchs from the other clans also had serious expressions as they stood up. One of the main reasons they had agreed to hold the arena matches in the Ruins of Immortality was because of the plan that had been laid out before them earlier by the Three Great Daoist Societies.
If that plan succeeded, then all of the sects would benefit.
“So… will SHE appear…?” asked the old man from the Kunlun Society. When he spoke the word ‘she,’ his voice quavered a bit.
“Perhaps, perhaps not,” said the Patriarch from the Sublime Flow Sword Grotto. “Either way, we have a chance.”
Back in the location of the Dao Seeking arena matches, the top 8 had been selected. They stood on their eight respective green leaves, the center of all attention.
Those eight cultivators included Meng Hao, the garrulous old man, Zhao Yifan, Fan Dong’er, and Li Ling’er. In addition to those five, there was the young man from the Paleo-Immortal Mausoleum, who fought using corpses and coffins.
The seventh person was the tall, muscular man from the Kunlun Society who attacked with descending mountains. He was the one who had defeated Sun Hai.
The last person was the youth from the Burning Incense Stick Society. He had a third eye on his forehead, and throughout all the matches, had only ever attacked anyone once. All the other times, he merely transmitted some words, whereupon his opponents would prostrate themselves on the ground and look at him with fanatical piety.
Of these eight people, six were Chosen, and two were competitors from the trial by fire. They were now the focus of all attention from the outside world.
Countless eyes looked on with anticipation, waiting to find out which of the eight would make it into the semifinals, and after that, the final battle!
“The semifinal qualification matches will be different than the previous matches,” said Ling Yunzi, his voice echoing out in all directions.
“Victory will no longer be determined by a single battle. Each and every one of you must fight at least four battles!
“First, we will determine who are the top 4 and the bottom 4. The winners of the first fight will become the top 4, the losers will be the bottom 4.
“Then, each of the top 4 will fight the remaining three competitors who they did not fight previously. In the end, the four people who end up with the most victories will become the final 4!
“The outcome of any tie will be determined by a tie-breaking match.
“You will have three days to rest and recuperate. After that, the semifinal qualification matches will begin!” This method of determining the final 4 would prevent anyone from winning out through sheer luck. Furthermore, the final 4 would well and truly deserve to be called the most powerful!
The Three Great Daoist Societies had decided on this method, and none of the other sects had disagreed.
Time passed. Meng Hao sat there cross-legged, feeling quite confident. However, the other seven people in the competition were all powerful experts, especially Zhao Yifan and the others. Meng Hao had already tangled with them on Planet South Heaven, and was very curious as to how the coming matches would turn out.
Even more curious were the audiences out in the Ninth Mountain and Sea. Many bets had already been placed on the final outcomes.
“Zhao Yifan will definitely make it to the semifinals!”
“Fan Dong’er will most likely make it as well!”
“I wonder if Fang Mu will be able to continue his legendary run!”
Three days later, just when Ling Yunzi’s echoing voice was announcing the beginning of the semifinals qualification matches, and all eyes in the Ninth Mountain and Sea were focused on the vortex screens in anticipation….
Suddenly, music could be heard drifting toward the Dao Tree from off in the distance. The music drifted slowly about, echoing in the ears, penetrating the mind. Everyone who heard it suddenly felt sorrow in their hearts, which immediately influenced their emotions.
It was a sad song, filled with longing, as if it were recalling the past, and an old friend.
As the music echoed about, a woman approached from off in the distance. She wore a snow-white gown, and was stunningly beautiful. She approached slowly and came to a stop above the Dao Tree. Her face was ice cold, seemingly devoid of any emotion whatsoever.
Her sudden appearance on the scene caused everyone to stare in shock. She was as different from the other beings in the Ruins of Immortality as black is from white. Immediately, the black wind shuddered, and the huge roc let out a miserable shriek; they both fled in terror at top speed.
Apparently, that roc had been killed by the woman in the past!
As for the blood-colored eye, it shrank back, trembling, and then fled. The other almighty figures all dropped to their knees and then… kowtowed to the woman!
As for the naga cultivator, she let out a shriek of astonishment and then fled, terrified.