Chapter 959: A Lamp!
The scene playing out in front of Fang Daohong and Fang Linhe left them shaken mentally. They immediately followed behind, staring at the terracotta soldier next to Meng Hao. When it came to the statue, Fang Daohong was slightly less surprised, whereas Fang Linhe was completely astonished.
Up in midair, the Seventh Patriarch looked closely at Meng Hao, his expression growing more serious by the moment. Based on everything Meng Hao had done along the way, and all his unprecedented accomplishments, as long as he didn’t lose his life, he would surely shake the entire Ninth Mountain and Sea one day.
“In the future, he will be the main pillar of the Fang Clan!”
Meanwhile, Fan Dong’er was still in the midst of her Immortal Tribulation, battering her Door of Immortality. In the Fang Clan Ancestral Mansion, Fang Xiushan was staring pale-faced into a crystal, observing what was happening in the Lifeslip Hall.
One after another, without even half an incense stick of time between them, the lifeslips belonging to two Ancient Realm Elders emitted cracking sounds and then shattered into pieces….
The other jade slip that he had been watching this entire time remained completely unchanged.
“Impossible…. The deaths of the previous two could be chalked up to dangers in the ancestral land. But… but a whole month has passed, Fang Hao is still alive, and two more Ancient Realm Elders are dead!
“What exactly is going on in the ancestral land? How could this be happening? What’s going on!?!?” Fang Xiushan’s eyes were completely bloodshot, and his hair was in disarray. He sat there trembling, having long since moved from his own residence to a hidden chamber.
This chamber was very close to where his son Fang Wei was in the middle of secluded meditation. At the moment, Fang Xiushan didn’t dare to set foot outside. Currently, he had no way of resolving the situation, so he had no choice but to conceal himself here.
“As long as Wei’er becomes a true Immortal, the Grand Elder will handle everything according to the clan rules. The clan is most important, so he won’t make things too difficult for me. Plus, I have father to help take care of things. This matter will soon be a thing of the past.
“Fang Hao, you shall die! If you don’t die in the ancestral land, then you’ll die at Wei’er’s hand!” Fang Xiushan’s expression twisted, and he gritted his teeth. Apparently, that outcome was the only one which could release the shock and anxiety he felt in his heart. However, he still couldn’t understand why the nine Ancient Realm Elders he had hired couldn’t kill a solitary Fang Hao. In fact, over the course of a month, four of them were now dead, while Fang Hao was still alive.
Just what had happened in there to cause this unforeseen turn of events? This was currently the source of his greatest confusion.
Even as Fang Xiushan sat there thinking, the Grand Elder was in another location in the Fang Clan ancestral mansion. He was in a rage, his face twisted in anger over what was happening in the Lifeslip Hall. He, of course, was well aware of exactly why all the Elders had died.
His eyes glinted coldly when he summoned Fang Xiushan, only to receive a reply that Fang Xiushan was in secluded meditation near Fang Wei. That caused the Grand Elder to hesitate for a moment.
At the moment, Fang Wei’s Immortal Ascension was the most important matter in the whole clan. All other matters were of secondary importance.
“Fang Wei. Fang Hao…. Let’s see which of the two of you… is the true Chosen.” After another moment of thought, the Grand Elder flicked his sleeve and left.
Back in the ancestral land, Meng Hao proceeded along. The rifts closed wherever he went, all the way until he reached the end of the Ancient Burial Ground. After having passed through regions of 100,000 rifts, he was now surrounded by thick mist.
The mist didn’t just exist in this place. The entire ancestral land was filled with it, something that was completely unheard of. Even the Seventh Patriarch was shocked.
Meng Hao stood at the edge of the Ancient Burial Ground, looking at the thick mists up ahead of him. Compared to the mist in his immediate vicinity, the mists up ahead seemed boundless, as if they covered everything, even the Heavens.
Everything was covered in endless, majestic mists.
Off to the side was another huge stone stele, upon which was written three shocking characters….
Misty Heaven Vault!
Beneath the three characters were lines of text, each one being the name of a person.
Next to each name was a number.
The first name on the list was Fang Shoudao, and next to it was the number 39.
There were nineteen names in total, and the last few names on the list all had the number 1 next to them.
The names emanated an ancient feeling, as if they had existed on the stele for many years. When Meng Hao reached the ninth name on the list, his eyes widened in surprise.
The name was Fang Danyun!
He was the Dao of Alchemy Division’s current Pill Elder!
Fang Daohong stood next to Meng Hao explaining the location in a low voice. “There is no path through the Heavenly Mist Vault.
“This is the last section of the ancestral land…. The first generation Patriarch’s necropolis is located somewhere inside, although nobody knows exactly where.
“From the moment of its creation, this place has been the end of the line for the clan members who come here. According to the rumors, nobody has ever found the necropolis within the mists. The reason for that, of course, is that there is no path inside.
“From ancient times to now, only nineteen Senior clan members have ever made it to the Misty Heaven Vault, and those numbers next to their names are how many steps they were able to take inside.”
Meng Hao’s eyes focused intently on the stele.
“Nobody’s ever been able to step into the necropolis?” he asked. As he looked at the list of names and numbers on the stele, he sent his divine sense out into the mists. As soon as it entered, it encountered an intense repelling force, and was expelled. These mists truly seemed to be like an impenetrable fortress that did not allow anything to enter.
“Prince,” Fang Daohong hurried to say, “you really shouldn’t try to go in…. This is a place where people under the Immortal Realm can’t even enter. Not even the Dao Guardsman can go in.
“If you want to enter the Misty Heaven Vault, you have to meet two conditions. First, your cultivation base has to be in the Ancient Realm or higher so that you can use your Soul Lamp to guide the way. The second requirement is that you have to possess a corporeal body.”
Meng Hao didn’t respond. He sent some divine will into the terracotta statue, and sent it forward toward the mists. However, as soon as it touched the border, the same force shoved back, making it impossible for the terracotta soldier to move forward. When he tried to force it to do so, a terrifying pressure exploded out from within the mists.
Meng Hao’s mind was shaken, and he immediately pulled the terracotta soldier back.
“Prince, your… your cultivation base isn’t in the Ancient Realm, and you have no Soul Lamp. You simply can’t proceed.” Fang Daohong glanced over at Meng Hao and stepped toward the mists.
As he did so, he inhaled deeply and nine Soul Lamps appeared around him. As they rotated around him, they slowly merged together. When they had combined into a single lamp, they floated forward to make contact with the mists. As soon as the lamp touched the mist, it sank back by a centimeter.
“Look, Prince,” said Fang Daohong, sighing slightly and stepping back to stand next to Meng Hao. “This is my limit, only a single centimeter. If you had a powerful Soul Lamp, you would be able to resist the mists and get much further in.”
Meng Hao frowned. Having gotten all the way to this point, he just couldn’t resign himself to leaving. If this was the first generation Patriarch’s necropolis, then it meant that the Fang Clan’s most powerful Daoist Magic, the One Thought Stellar Transformation, would be inside.
It was like standing in front of a mountain of treasure and being incapable of reaching it. To Meng Hao, it was a very intolerable feeling.
However, he was not the type of person to be easily convinced by what could be fallacious information. He stepped forward and, as he stood there in front of the mists, extended his right hand and pushed it forward. Immediately, a powerful force pushed back, as if there were an invisible barrier which prevented him from pushing his hand in at all.
Meng Hao tried pushing a few more times before letting out a resigned sigh. He was just about to retract his hand when his eyes then went wide as he suddenly sensed his Immortal meridian pulsing wildly in a way it never had before. It was almost as if it were reacting to something that existed inside the mists, something that was attracting his Immortal meridian.
Meng Hao had experienced such a sensation before; it was the same sort of feeling he got when the Immortal meridian had strengthened itself by consuming the massive quantities of energy from the stone steles in the Three Great Daoist Societies’ trial by fire.
Meng Hao started panting, and his eyes began to glitter brightly. He had an intense premonition that if he could get into the Misty Heaven Vault, then perhaps… he could break through to true Immortality right here in the ancestral land!
Meng Hao immediately began to attempt numerous methods to succeed. After two hours passed, he finally had to admit… that it was a place he really wasn’t able to enter.
“Prince,” said Fang Daohong, “there’s no need to keep trying. We still have less than a month before the ancestral land opens up again. There are still other places with good fortune, places that you can easily get to with the Dao Guardsman. As for this place here… without a Soul Lamp, you might as well just forget about it.”
Meng Hao stood there silently.
Up in midair, the Seventh Patriarch was currently paying close attention to what was happening. He watched Meng Hao make his repeated attempts, then sighed, and his eyes flickered with disappointment.
“I guess I set my expectations too high,” he thought, shaking his head. “The Misty Heaven Vault requires an Ancient Realm Soul Lamp. That’s something the Dao Guardsman can’t help out with. The more powerful the Soul Lamp, the further into the Heavenly Mist Vault you can get. However, not even Eldest Brother, the Earth Patriarch, could get more than 39 steps in.”
Suddenly, Meng Hao looked up at the Misty Heaven Vault, and his eyes began to gleam with light of curiosity.
“You need a Soul Lamp…. A Soul Lamp to lead the way…. A lamp…. I have a lamp!” Meng Hao began to pant as he glanced back at the Soul Lamps circling around Fang Daohong. Just now, a completely preposterous idea had formed in his mind.
It was a completely absurd plan, and it involved an object he had never before thought to associate with the Soul Lamps of Ancient Realm cultivators.
Even now, it seemed like something completely improbable.
Finally, though, it reached the point where he couldn’t hold back. He just had to try, so, eyes flickering, he slapped his bag of holding… causing a bronze lamp to suddenly fly out!
This bronze lamp was none other than the one he had acquired from the temple hall in the ruins of the Immortal Ancient Daoist Rite Temple, the same treasure from which he had acquired his Immortal meridian, that now contained a flame from the Essence of Divine Flame.
Holding the bronze lamp in hand, Meng Hao took a deep breath and then slowly walked toward the wall of mist up ahead. When Fang Daohong and Fang Linhe caught sight of the bronze lamp, they gaped in shock. Were it not for the fact that Meng Hao held their lives firmly in his hand, they would most certainly be incapable of holding back from laughing at Meng Hao’s apparent insanity.
However, their expressions quickly changed to ones of open-mouthed astonishment, and they began to tremble uncontrollably.
As Meng Hao neared the mists, rumbling sounds suddenly filled the air. Strange colors flashed as everything shook. The mists began to fall apart, churning in an unprecedented fashion. All of the mists inside of the ancestral land seemed to be going crazy, and immediately, more mist began to surge out from every nook and cranny, making it so that the entire ancestral land became just like the Misty Heaven Vault.
The mist was trembling, almost as if in fear!
Meng Hao’s bronze lamp seemed to have cast the entire ancestral land into a state of awe, and the mists almost appeared to be prostrating themselves in worship!
As for the mists directly in front of Meng Hao, as soon as the bronze lamp neared them, they seemed to be torn apart with domineering force. It didn’t matter who this place previously belonged to, or who used to dwell here, as of this moment, everything was submitting to the bronze lamp.
Amidst the rumbling, the mists were torn apart… and parted down the middle!
A path was carved out… which led straight ahead!!
It was a huge path, at the end of which, shockingly… was an enormous, pitch-black temple hall!!
This sight caused Fang Daohong’s and Fang Linhe’s minds to reel, and their hearts to lurch with enormous waves of shock. They trembled violently, filled with unspeakable astonishment. Even knowing that Meng Hao had taken control of the Dao Guardsman hadn’t turned their world upside down as much as the scene that was playing out in front of them right now!
The Seventh Patriarch had been on the verge of turning away and leaving.
“Impossible!!” he said, voice quavering.
He began to tremble, and his mind filled with roaring and he almost fell out of the sky in shock. Even his cultivation base was now somewhat unstable.