Chapter 877: Unleashed!
Everyone watching in the Ninth Mountain and Sea was stunned. Even the Patriarchs in the starry sky palace were looking on with surprise. It was clear that the most-watched person in this trial by fire and these arena matches was Meng Hao.
From the beginning of the trial by fire, all the way to the end of the arena matches, his path had been one of power and prominence.
The qualifying matches for the semifinals were still underway. After enough time passed for half an incense stick to burn, Zhao Yifan finished his battle. He easily defeated Xiao Luo from the Paleo-Immortal Mausoleum, who had long since lost his will to fight. His connection with his nine most powerful corpses had been severed, making it impossible for him to fight for a spot in the semifinals.
Zhao Yifan was now the second cultivator to secure a place in the semifinals. Throughout all four of the battles he had fought, he never left his arena. He looked over at Meng Hao, who was two arenas over, and their gazes locked for a moment. Zhao Yifan’s eyes brimmed with the desire to fight, but Meng Hao’s expression was calm, and after a moment, he looked away.
An hour later, the other two battles concluded. Li Ling’er, with four battles and three victories, had successfully made it to the semifinals.
Li Ling’er had made quite the comeback. She fought her way from the bottom four into the semifinals, which caused a big stir out in the Ninth Mountain and Sea, especially in the Li Clan, where everyone was very excited.
Qian Duoduo had also won three out of his four battles. His only defeat had been at the hands of Li Ling’er. All of his other opponents had temporarily gone insane to some degree or another. Only Li Ling’er did not react to his magic at all, which secured her victory.
Fan Dong’er was eliminated. She had been defeated twice, once by Xie Yixian from the Burning Incense Stick Society, and once by Li Ling’er. All of this was a huge blow to her.
Her expression was gloomy as she sat there cross-legged on the lowest layer of leaves, staring off into the distance. Mentally, she replayed the various battles she had fought, and finally bowed her head. As of now, she understood that the reason for her failures was that her Dao Heart had been split.
That split was caused by the female corpse.
She took a deep breath, after which her expression brightened.
“This is my personal tribulation,” she thought. “However, master said that it’s actually good fortune for me. Therefore… from now on, I won’t hide the corpse. I will reveal her for all to see, and will not resist her, but accept her!” As of that moment, the mist behind her vanished to clearly reveal the female corpse.
She completely ignored all the people who suddenly turned their heads to look at her. Her eyes gleamed with determination.
In the starry sky palace, the Patriarch from the Nine Seas God World nodded his head slightly. From his perspective, this huge defeat for Fan Dong’er was actually a good thing for her.
The semifinalists had been selected!
These four people were the subject of the complete and utter attention of everyone in the Ninth Mountain and Sea.
Ling Yunzi glanced cautiously over at the white robed woman floating above the Dao Tree, and then spoke out.
“You have three days to rest, after which… we will find out who is qualified to make into the final round!”
Meng Hao sat there cross-legged, his eyes closed, not speaking. The half-headed man had remained floating near his arena this entire time, staring at Meng Hao, not even blinking.
That gaze was enough to cause anyone to feel so terrified that their hair would stand on end. However, after all this time, Meng Hao had gotten used to it, and ignored the man completely.
A day later, the Nascent Soul and Spirit Severing arena matches produced their semifinalists.
Three days later, the semifinal rounds began!
When Ling Yunzi’s voice rang out, a buzz of excitement rose up among the spectators in the Ninth Mountain and Sea.
“There’s no suspense at all! Unless Fang Mu and Zhao Yifan fight each other in the semifinals, then the final match will definitely be between them!”
“You’re absolutely right. Li Ling’er already lost to Fang Mu, so the only person for him to fight is Qian Duoduo. Qian Duoduo’s cultivation base is mysterious and unfathomable. That would be an interesting matchup.”
“Well, we’ll just have to wait and see how the matches are arranged!”
As the audiences waited in anticipation, Meng Hao vanished from his spot in the arena. Before he or any of the other semifinalists reappeared, a virtually imperceptible flicker could be seen in the eyes of the woman floating outside the Dao Tree. Apparently, that flickering did something to the Dao Tree.
Moments later, everyone appeared.
When Meng Hao emerged from the light, he was just beneath the golden leaf at the top of the Dao Tree.
The leaf he currently stood on was silver-colored, one of only two such leaves on the Dao Tree.
When Zhao Yifan appeared, the person he found facing him… was not Meng Hao! Instead, Li Ling’er emerged from the glittering light.
As for Meng Hao’s opponent, it was the crazy old man, Qian Duoduo.
These were the exact match ups that the audiences in the outside world had wanted, and the excitement and anticipation was building. Of course, the Patriarchs in the starry sky palace noticed that something odd had just happened, and many faces flickered. The old men from the Three Great Daoist Societies took deep breaths, and looks of excitement appeared in their eyes.
“So, she actually did something to interfere with the Dao Tree!”
“That shows that she approves of the competition!!”
Back in the arena, Meng Hao’s face was calm as he watched Qian Duoduo approaching. In this group of semifinalists, Meng Hao and Qian Duoduo had both risen up from through the trial by fire to reach this point.
Qian Duoduo looked at Meng Hao silently for a moment, and a bright light could be seen coalescing within his eyes. His energy began to rise up, reaching a level far beyond that which had been seen in previous matches.
Not even when he was defeated by Li Ling’er had he focused so much energy.
“I am Qian Duoduo. Greetings, Fellow Daoist Fang. During this battle, I will use all the power I can muster. I want to take first place, and my only chance to do that is by defeating you!”
Meng Hao gazed at Qian Duoduo. He had been paying attention to this old man earlier. The fact that he had made his way through the trial by fire all the way to here proved that he was beyond ordinary.
That was especially the case considering he had won a victory over Xie Yixian. Although Meng Hao had seemed relaxed in his fight against Xie Yixian, if he didn’t have the Blood Demon Grand Magic to steal the young man’s life force, the battle would have been very difficult. Of course, based on the power of Meng Hao’s cultivation base, the Burning Incense World would not have been able to restrain him forever.
In any case, Meng Hao wasn’t sure exactly how this old man had managed to win out over the Burning Incense World.
“Every person who fought him went crazy,” he thought. “Even Xie Yixian and the other people he defeated all showed signs of insanity to some extent or another.” Meng Hao’s eyes glittered brightly. “Interesting.”
Clenching his right fist at his side, he nodded at the old man.
Qian Duoduo took a deep breath, and then all of a sudden, his body began to inflate like a balloon. Cracking sounds could be heard as his emaciated frame suddenly bulged with muscles. In the blink of an eye, he had grown taller by two heads, and his energy surged with power.
The sight of it caused Meng Hao’s eyes to shine. The audiences in the outside world were shocked; Qian Duoduo had never done anything like this in his previous matches, not even when he fought against Li Ling’er.
Qian Duoduo flew into the air with incredible speed, leaving a ghost image behind as he shot forward to appear directly in front of Meng Hao. He immediately sent out a punch that was met by Meng Hao’s palm.
As a massive boom shook the arena, Qian Duoduo’s foot spun through the air toward Meng Hao in a roundhouse kick.
Meng Hao’s eyes were shining even more brightly now. He didn’t retreat, but rather took an exploratory step forward. He waved his hand, causing numerous streams of water to materialize around him, which then formed together into a massive river that swept across the entire arena.
A bang rang out as Qian Duoduo fell back. However, he immediately performed an incantation gesture, causing the image of a sun and moon to materialize. They rotated rapidly, creating a vortex that surged toward Meng Hao. Meng Hao’s expression was the same as ever as he transformed into a vulture that charged toward the old man. It was at this point that a look of surprise appeared in Qian Duoduo’s eyes, and he suddenly let out a loud shout.
The word seemed to contain some bizarre power that poured into Meng Hao’s ears and entered his mind. Suddenly, his mind began to spin, and wicked thoughts suddenly rose up unrestrained within his heart.
Because of the wicked thoughts, Meng Hao was incapable of maintaining the vulture form, and once again returned to human shape. Qian Duoduo then performed an incantation gesture with his right hand and then waved his finger. Meng Hao snorted coldly and was about to attack when…
“WICKED!” roared Qian Duoduo.
This time, the sound was like a thunderclap that exploded in Meng Hao’s mind. Wicked thoughts multiplied in him with an unbridled frenzy. He was incapable of controlling the thoughts, which filled him with a sensation of insanity.
Gradually, Meng Hao realized that the Devilish will that he had severed during his time of Severing the Devil and Seeking the Dao… was now reappearing. In the blink of an eye, the Devilish will consumed the wicked thoughts. Apparently, the Devilish will had been inside of him all along, hiding deep inside of him, sealed away.
Now, in response to Qian Duoduo’s astonishing magical technique, the Devilish will was forming once again!
In the blink of an eye, Meng Hao and Qian Duoduo exchanged dozens of moves. Qian Duoduo ended up calling out the word ‘wicked’ six times. Each time, it caused Meng Hao’s magical techniques and attacks to be interrupted. For the first time in all of his arena matches, Meng Hao was now forced into constant retreat.
Blood oozed out of the corners of his mouth, and his eyes were bloodshot. A terrifying aura seemed to be on the verge of being unleashing from inside of him. Qian Duoduo was the one responsible for releasing the Devilish will, although he actually had no idea what he was unleashing. Despite not knowing what he was dealing with, he was still very excited, and continued to unleash monstrous attacks.
When the crowds out in the Ninth Mountain and Sea saw what was happening, their expressions flickered in astonishment.
“Fang Mu is actually being beaten back!!”
“Just what magical technique is Qian Duoduo using to be able to stifle Fang Mu?!”
“Could it be that Fang Mu will finally be defeated!?!?”
As the audiences buzzed in astonishment, Qian Duoduo attacked relentlessly, causing repeated booms to echo about. Meng Hao’s face was pale, and his eyes were completely bloodshot, as if he were on the verge of going insane. Blood oozed out of his mouth, and yet, a faint grin suddenly blossomed on his face.
“You’re finished!” Qian Duoduo transmitted into Meng Hao’s mind, so that only he could hear. “My magic can steal good fortune from Heaven and Earth! It doesn’t matter how strong your willpower is, if you have even a scrap of wicked thoughts in your heart, they will be evoked by my magic!
“When the wicked thoughts explode out, they will cast your body into flames, and you will be defeated!
“I must use this art on you in order to secure my chance at taking first place. I’ve been holding back this entire time, and I even let myself be defeated by Li Ling’er because I was sure I would make it into the semifinals, and I didn’t want you or Zhao Yifan to be on guard..
“The only thing you can blame is your own bad luck, since you’re letting Zhao Yifan off the hook by giving him a chance to prepare some defenses!
“I will unleash all of your wicked thoughts, transforming them into a fire of retribution to burn your soul, to destroy you in body and spirit!
“WICKED!” he roared, performing an incantation gesture and pointing at Meng Hao. This was… the ninth ‘wicked!’
As soon as the words left his mouth, the Devilish will inside of Meng Hao surged and was completely unleashed. His eyes were bright red as he was wrapped up in a gloomy, ruthless madness. Deep within that madness, was an unprecedented coldness.
Black flames leapt from his skin and raged madly high into the sky. However, the flames didn’t hurt Meng Hao in the least. He looked up at Qian Duoduo, and a rumbling filled the old man’s mind. His face instantly fell.
“These aren’t wicked thoughts! What… what exactly did I unleash!?!?”