Chapter 952: Nine Nethermountains
“So, there are clues about the League of Demon Sealers here!!” Meng Hao’s mind spun; he almost couldn’t believe that the League of Demon Sealers was somehow connected to the Fang Clan ancestral land.
“Return…. That voice just now said the word ‘return’!!” Meng Hao began to breathe heavily as the ancient voice of the Demon Sealing Jade faded away. However, the summons that came from deeper within the ancestral land only continued to grow stronger.
That summons was the type he felt when encountering another cultivator from the League, and it was something that only other members of the League of Demon Sealers would be able to feel in this place.
Suddenly, a new voice could be heard echoing in Meng Hao’s ears. This voice was not ancient, but rather, sounded like that of a young man.
“The Nine Demon Sealing Hexes. The Mountain and Sea Realm. The Nine Hexes united as One. A concept unknown in all the skies…..”
Meng Hao’s heart began to pound uncontrollably, and the aura around him suddenly changed. It was as if countless streams of Demonic qi were shooting toward him, accompanied by the roars of innumerable Greater Demons.
After a while, the voice faded away, but Meng Hao could feel the summons growing stronger.
Panting, he eventually turned and looked further into the depths of the ancestral land. Far off in the distance, he could just barely make out nine enormous mountains.
The summons was coming… from somewhere beyond those nine mountains!
Meng Hao’s eyes flickered as he thought about the similar summons he had felt in the Ruins of Immortality, and he felt somewhat unsettled. There was far too much about the League of Demon Sealers that he didn’t understand. As the Ninth Generation Demon Sealer, he wanted to know… what was the actual origin and purpose of the League of Demon Sealers!
He thought back to what the Sixth Generation Demon Sealer had told him, and about the terrifying events in the Ruins of Immortality that had led to him being named 13th in the Echelon by the white-robed woman. There was something very strange about how that woman had looked at him.
Meng Hao would never be able to forget that.
He had the feeling that the League of Demon Sealers… was wrapped up in some Heaven-shaking, world-shattering secret, something that defied description, a secret that was connected to all of the Nine Mountains and Seas.
After standing there silently for a bit, Meng Hao managed to settle his thoughts. His eyes shone with determination and he gazed deeply in the direction of the summons. Finally, he turned and once again bowed deeply to all of the ancestral tombs behind him.
Up in midair, the Seventh Patriarch could not hear the call or feel the summons, nor could he sense the Demonic qi that swirled around Meng Hao. However, he could tell that something strange had just happened, and despite being unable to see what it was, it left him feeling shocked.
“The aura just now on this member of the Junior generation….” A profound gleam appeared in his eyes. As time progressed, the Seventh Patriarch continued to be filled with the sensation that Meng Hao was a person of deep secrets, secrets that he himself could not see through.
As Meng Hao made his way off into the distance, the Seventh Patriarch looked back at the Quasi-Dao Patriarch Tombs, and let out a soft sigh.
“All he did was switch out some offerings. He didn’t disturb the tombs themselves, and even bowed in formal greeting. And he didn’t touch any of the items from the tombs with inscriptions…. He might be a bit greedy, but he has a good heart, and knows how to keep himself in line….
“One day, when the time comes for me to extinguish my final Soul Lamp, if I fail…. I wonder if I will be able to preserve my Dao heart. After I perish and am laid to rest here in the Quasi-Dao Patriarch Tombs, I wonder if they will erect a tombstone for me….” The Seventh Patriarch was well aware that the entire purpose of the Quasi-Dao Patriarch Tombs was to ensure that members of the Junior generation would clearly understand the madness of the Quasi-Dao Realm. It was to serve as a warning to any of them who had the chance to attempt to step into the Dao Realm!
After leaving the Quasi-Dao Patriarch Tombs, Meng Hao sat atop the terracotta soldier, which whistled through the air at top speed. Occasionally, motes of light would pulse out from the terracotta soldier and then melt into the surrounding air. Moments later, they would reappear and return to it, almost as if it were breathing.
It was something Meng Hao had just noticed as he controlled the terracotta soldier’s movements.
As he proceeded along, the feeling of the summons would occasionally get more intense, and at other times would fade. Meng Hao’s eyes flickered, although his facial expression remained unchanged. Inwardly, he remained as vigilant as ever.
Due to everything that had happened with the Sixth Generation Demon Sealer, he currently felt proverbial alarm bells going off in his head.
As he continued forward, Meng Hao scoured the lands below for possible good fortune, and also spent some time observing the terracotta soldier. He soon realized that it had some sort of strange connection with the ancestral land.
It was as if a resonance existed between them.
This realization caused certain speculations to form in his heart. After a while, he sighed, and looked at the terracotta soldier, thinking about how he didn’t wish to part ways with it in the future.
Days later, Meng Hao’s mood gradually stabilized. The summons continued to tug at him, but he had grown used to it and ignored it. Instead of following the pull, he did his best to scrape the area clean of any good fortune.
The more things he acquired, the wider his smile grew.
Eventually, the land in front of Meng Hao turned crimson in color, and he saw nine mountains.
The Nine Nethermountains!
This was the fourth region in the Fang Clan’s ancestral land, and could be considered the depths of the lands. From ancient times until now, most people could not get past the Nine Nethermountains and into the Ancient Burial Ground.
Nine mountains towered up into the sky, and when you looked at them, it seemed almost impossible to see their tops, as if they connected the ground and the sky.
Roaring sounds could be heard drifting out occasionally from the nine mountains. They were sounds miserable and savage, shocking to the extreme.
There were many dangerous areas here, and many aspects that could easily kill you. Such fatal aspects came in the form of various beasts, as well as from the nine mountains themselves.
A thick aura of death filled the area, and from a distance, Meng Hao could see layers of gray mist swirling around the mountains. Because of the gray mists, the entire area was blurry and difficult to see clearly.
About the time that he neared the Nine Nethermountains, the parrot and the meat jelly caught up with him. Many of the parrot’s feathers were missing, and it looked disheveled and out of sorts. However, its expression was one of extreme satisfaction.
As it flew over, it didn’t even wait for Meng Hao to call out to it before it looked over at the nine mountains, heard the roaring coming from within them, and suddenly shivered. Looking extremely excited, it let out a few piercing squawks and then sped toward the mountains, brimming with energy. The meat jelly bell jingled the whole time.
“You can’t do this! It’s wrong! It’s immoral! It’s shameless! I’m going to convert you….” The echo of the meat jelly’s garrulous chatter rang out from off in the distance.
Meng Hao glanced at the parrot for a moment and then ignored it completely. This place might be full of dangers, but the parrot and the meat jelly were capable enough, and would be very difficult to kill.
In front of the Nine Nethermountains, a stone stele rose up roughly three thousand meters tall. It emanated an archaic aura that seemed to indicate that it had existed for many, many years.
There were three lines of text on the stele.
“Nine Nethermountains, filled with endless treasures. Each one of these mountains is filled with endless opportunities. Any who challenge the mountains will have the chance to get good fortune and divine abilities!
“They are a deadly trial by fire. For those under the Immortal Realm, half a mountain is your limit. For those under the Ancient Realm, you will be able to proceed through three mountains. If you can pass through all nine mountains, you can acquire the secret magic of the Nethermoon!
“Fang Clan descendants can use their bloodline to open the path through the mountains. Whether you live or die is up to fate!”
The words were not attributed to any person in particular, but they seemed to be filled with an intense pressure, indicating that any person who entered this place would be facing grave danger.
Meng Hao looked at the nine mountains, and an odd expression could be seen on his face. Gradually, his eyes began to shine, and he licked his lips. He glanced down at the terracotta soldier, which then began to shrink rapidly. In the blink of an eye, it was only about three meters tall.
“This ancestral land really is a Blessed Land for me!” To other clan members, it was a place of extreme danger. To him, though, these weren’t nine dangerous mountains, they were nine treasure mountains.
He slapped his bag of holding, producing the bloodline jade slip. After scanning it with divine sense, he smiled.
The seven Ancient Realm Elders had all scattered in different directions. One of them was inside of the Nine Nethermountains. Obviously, he had tried to acquire some of the good fortune therein, but had ended up trapped and unable to extricate himself.
“Well, no need to get anxious. Just wait for me to track you down.” Meng Hao’s eyes began to shine brightly, and he cleared his throat. Immediately, the terracotta soldier began to walk forward into the mountains.
Meng Hao quickly flew up to sit on the statue’s shoulder as it began to charge forward.
“Challenge one mountain at a time, and then clear all nine of them of treasure….” These thoughts immediately filled him with excitement.
As the terracotta soldier sped along, the Seventh Patriarch sighed and looked on helplessly. When he saw the light shining in Meng Hao’s eyes, he began to murmur to himself.
“To him, these really are treasure mountains. The little scoundrel has the Dao Guardsman to protect him, leaving him free to do whatever he wants!
“Now that I think about it, if I had the Dao Guardsman to protect me when I came here for the first time, how could I possibly have left any of the treasures in these mountains to be passed on to anyone else?” There was nothing he could do, so the Seventh Patriarch calmed himself, looked at Meng Hao charging into the mountains with the terracotta soldier, and sighed.
Time passed. Meng Hao sat on the terracotta soldier’s shoulder, which wielded its greatsword the entire way as they charged into the first mountain. When they encountered restrictive spells, they would simply break through them. When they encountered beasts, they would put them down. When they encountered obstacles, they would smash them to pieces.
Nothing could stand in their way and nothing could stop them!
Things weren’t thrown into absolute chaos, but suffice to say, the first mountain was filled with miserable shrieks and roars.
“Whoah! That boulder actually has a carving of a magical technique! Pretty nice! I’m taking it!
“Who could be so immoral as to leave a bunch of Immortal jade laying around in this place! I’m taking it!
“So many spirit stones…. Hey, slow down, Onyx! Let me pick these things up, then we can keep going!”
Meng Hao’s eyes continued to grow brighter, and he quivered with excitement. He had collected quite a bit of Immortal jade and spirit stones so far, as well as a good collection of magical items. A deafening roar could be heard as he neared the mountain’s peak, heralding the approach of a two-headed giant.
The giant held an enormous cudgel in its hand, and was clearly the mountain’s boss, tasked with guarding the mountain peak. When it leapt out, roaring, the terracotta soldier’s aura surged.
The surging aura caused the previously overbearing two-headed giant to shiver, and immediately cease roaring. It stared blankly at Meng Hao, then at the terracotta soldier he was standing on, and cold sweat began to drip down its two foreheads.
After looking at them for the space of two breaths, the two-headed giant let out a plaintive shriek, then turned and fled back inside the mountain, vanishing without a trace.