Chapter 946: A Certain Object, a Certain Person
What was it waiting for?
This was a question that no one in the Fang Clan had been able to answer for generations.
Meng Hao looked at the statue, weeping, fully aware… that the statue had been waiting for him.
It had waited here alone for him for tens of thousands of years….
The reason it had flown here to the Fang Clan was because of the soul blood that had emerged from Meng Hao’s forehead to connect him to the statue. Because of that, it didn’t matter how much time separated them, or who ended up taking possession of the soldier. Meng Hao… was always its original master. 1
Years ago, before Meng Hao had even been born, the statue flew through space, guided by his blood, all the way to the Fang Clan. It had found a place where it sensed a familiar bloodline, and then chosen to wait there in silence.
This was the simple answer to the question asked by so many members of the Fang Clan.
This was only one of the two statues that had been created for Meng Hao by Ke Yunhai.
As for the other statue, perhaps it had fallen in battle at some point throughout the years. Or perhaps it was in some other distant location, standing alone and looking off into the sky just like this statue, waiting for Meng Hao to come.
Time passed by slowly, and eventually, Meng Hao sat down cross-legged on the statue’s head. He patted the surface of the statue, and his expression continued to be one of reminiscence. He recalled everything that had happened in the ancient Demon Immortal Sect, and his heart filled with sorrow.
Sometimes, a certain object will make you think of a certain person.
When Meng Hao looked at the statue, he missed Ke Yunhai. He missed the man he had called father in that ancient world.
At the same time that Meng Hao sat down on the statue, there were nine areas in the Fang Clan ancestral land where the air distorted, and nine black-robed men emerged. They immediately produced jade slips that they could use to detect bloodlines, then transformed into beams of light that shot away from their original locations.
Killing intent boiled in the ancestral land.
One of the black-robed men held the jade slip in hand, and the desire to kill gleamed in his eyes as he realized that he was the closest of them all to Meng Hao. He made no effort to conceal the level of his cultivation base. Power exploded out as he shot through the air in a beam of light, following the jade slip’s guidance.
His cultivation base caused the clouds up above to seethe, and the ground to shake. This was an Ancient Realm cultivation base, and as he sped through the air, it was possible to see nine lamps behind him.
They were wooden lamps that burned with green flames. Eight of the lamps were lit, one was extinguished.They began orbiting around the man, and they pulsed with the power of a natural law of Heaven and Earth!
The Ancient Realm is also called the Ancient Soul. Based on the accumulations and preparations made in the Immortal Realm, a minimum of nine Soul Lamps will appear upon breaking through to the Ancient Realm. More can appear depending on the profundity of the cultivator’s cultivation base. To proceed through the Ancient Realm, the lamps must be extinguished one by one. The extinguishing of each lamp counts as a deadly test, and if the cultivator can extinguish all of the lamps and remain alive, then they will be qualified to step into the Dao Realm!
However, to do so is incredibly hard!
The more Soul Lamps one possesses, the harder it is to break through, and the greater the chance of death. At the same time, though, the more Soul Lamps one has… the more shockingly powerful they will be if they succeed in breaking through!
That was so much so that there were some people with ten or more Soul Lamps who, after reaching the late Ancient Realm, were qualified to fight with someone in the Dao Realm!
In any given clan or sect, a cultivator with one extinguished Soul Lamp would be considered to have the status of an Elder. The single stamp of a foot could shake everything. Just one such person would be enough to slaughter Meng Hao, but Fang Xiushan was obviously uneasy about the situation. It was impossible to say what vast price he had paid, for he had actually hired nine almighty Ancient Realm cultivators, each of them with one extinguished Soul Lamp. Clearly, he wanted no mishaps or accidents in having Meng Hao exterminated.
Meanwhile, a vague image appeared high up in the air where it was impossible for anyone to see. An old man hovered there, looking down at Meng Hao, who was still sitting on the statue’s head.
This image was none other than the divine will of the Seventh Patriarch from the subterranean cavern beneath the Fang Clan.
When he saw Meng Hao sitting there abjectly on top of the statue, he gaped in shock.
“What’s the kid doing?” he thought.
Meng Hao sat there atop of the statue for a while before raising his head and looking off into the distance, where he saw a figure speeding toward him like an arrow piercing through the roiling clouds.
The figure moved with incredible speed, bursting with astonishing energy that seemed capable of splitting Heaven and Earth. This was a power that Meng Hao could never fight against. Behind the figure were nine lamps, eight burning and one extinguished, which emanated a primordial will that cast strange colors into the sky.
Meng Hao’s eyes widened. This was his first time seeing Soul Lamps, and after a moment of consideration, the coldness in his eyes grew more intense.
“Soul Lamps are cultivated in the Ancient Realm….” he murmured. “So, an Ancient Realm expert has appeared in the ancestral land. Fang Xiushan… is this the expression of your killing intent?” He looked at the figure that split the air as it shot toward him. It was a powerful expert wearing a black robe, and he was closing in rapidly.
He made no effort to conceal his monstrous cultivation base or his massive killing intent. A wind kicked up, spreading across the lands and kicking up dust. The wind couldn’t dispel the bleak feeling that lay over the land, and in fact, made everything even more harsh and desolate.
The moment Meng Hao saw the black robe, killing intent flickered in his eyes. He immediately thought back to how he had fled from deadly pursuit in the starry sky.
“So, I guessed correctly,” he thought. “It was Fang Wei’s bloodline who tried to prevent me from making it back to the clan alive.” His face was calm as he faced the wild wind. His robes and hair flapped in the wind, and yet, he continued to calmly pat the statue’s head.
The Seventh Patriarch’s divine will image floated in midair, astonished. In his opinion, Meng Hao was now facing an Ancient Realm expert with one extinguished Soul Lamp. For him to be acting so calm left the Seventh Patriarch in a state of wonderment.
“Let’s see what kind of trump card the kid has to get him out of this deadly situation,” thought the Seventh Patriarch, smiling and paying close attention. He had already decided that he would take action in the moment before Meng Hao would actually be killed.
The reason he had come here, though, was not for Meng Hao, but rather, for those people who had dared to violate the clan rules.
Screaming wind filled the air as the black-robed man shot toward Meng Hao. He was middle-aged and very skinny. His expression was calm, without the slightest bit of excitement visible. To him, killing a member of the Junior generation who wasn’t even an Immortal, was far too simple of a task.
It didn’t matter if his target had a rare true Immortal fleshly body. To him, Meng Hao was merely a member of a younger generation. In his opinion, Fang Xiushan was making a mountain out of a molehill to ask nine people to all attack Meng Hao.
By this point, he was about 3,000 meters away from Meng Hao. In a flash, that distance shrank to only a few hundred meters.
He said nothing, just extended his right hand and pointed toward Meng Hao.
In response, the land up ahead twisted as a huge fissure opened up. It looked like a vicious, evil dragon that shot toward Meng Hao.
Bizarre colors flashed, and natural law manifested. The light and the darkness in the world seemed to be in flux.
From a distance, the sky appeared to have become a huge net; as soon as the fissure appeared in the ground, the entire sky seemed to have shattered!
Meng Hao’s pupils constricted. The man’s arrival made it seem as if a stifling pressure were weighing down on the entire area, like Heavenly might. The pressure caused his blood to seethe, and his cultivation base to begin to shatter. Even his fleshly body began to emanate cracking sounds.
“So this is an Ancient Realm expert, huh…?” A strange light gleamed in Meng Hao’s eyes as the air ripped apart in response to the man’s waving finger. This man’s manipulation of the natural law of Heaven and Earth had already reached the acme of perfection; apparently, if this man wanted the air to rip apart, then the air would absolutely do just that.
An intense sensation of deadly crisis rose up in Meng Hao.
However, as that fissure snaked toward him, Meng Hao’s lips twisted up into a smile of ridicule.
In that moment, he did not move. What moved was the statue beneath him!
The statue’s eyes had previously been blank, without the slightest sign of life. But now, they suddenly began to shine with bright light that turned into consciousness. The face now flickered with expression, and its aura roiled out.
It was nothing more than an aura, and yet it caused Heaven and Earth to tremble, and the fissure that was extending rapidly toward Meng Hao suddenly vanished into nothing!
The massive net up in the sky also collapsed.
Rumbling sounds echoed out in all directions, and the ground quaked. The mountains themselves shook as Meng Hao’s statue seemed to wake up from a slumber that had lasted for tens of thousands of years. It was as if it were being resurrected from the dead.
Its aura grew stronger and stronger, growing infinitely close to the level of a Paragon. This type of Paragon was not the same type of Paragon as the title held by that white-robed woman who had appeared in that year in the Three Great Daoist Societies’ trial by fire. This was… the Quasi-Dao Realm, which was referred to by the title Paragon in the Nine Mountains and Seas!
As for why exactly it was referred to in that manner, there was a specific reason!
The terracotta soldier’s eyes were growing brighter and clearer, and its energy was surging to monstrous heights. It was as if the statue was now rising up to accomplish the mission assigned to it by Ke Yunhai all those years ago!
Its mission… was to protect Meng Hao for all time, to eternally act as his safeguard!
It was to never allow Meng Hao to come to any harm, to never experience grief, and most definitely to never be killed. That… was the statue’s mission, and the entire purpose why Ke Yunhai had created it.
Meng Hao sat on top of the statue, and he saw Ke Yunhai in his mind’s eye. His face was stern, but his eyes were filled with love. Yet again, tears appeared in Meng Hao’s eyes.
Once again… he felt Ke Yunhai’s fatherly love.
This time, it was manifested in the real world.
Cracking sounds could be heard, and everything shook. Fissures appeared in the mountain chains and then spread out in all directions.
The middle-aged man’s face flickered with disbelief and astonishment, and his mind reeled. He subconsciously stopped in place, and his eyes widened.
He was also a member of the Fang Clan, and what he was seeing left him stupefied. He watched with his own eyes as the legendary protector of the ancestral land and the Fang Clan itself, that enormous statue which had never budged over countless years… suddenly moved!
He saw Meng Hao sitting atop the statue as it lifted its right foot and took a step forward.
From a distance, the statue looked boundlessly tall and shockingly powerful. When its foot landed on the ground, the entire world quaked. At the same time, the statue’s arms moved, and cracking sounds could be heard as the mountains that were connected to the statue crumbled, transforming into nothing but rocks and dust that rolled off of the statue down onto the ground.