Chapter 1013: Planning to Escape the Marriage!
“I look forward to the day when he becomes the person who controls that hand!” The sprout swayed back and forth, and faint laughter could be heard echoing out into the darkness of the void.
The option of becoming the plant or the hand seemed like a choice, but it was actually a trick question. Although there appeared to be two answers to pick from, in reality, those two answers were one and the same.
That was especially true after one’s mind was reeling after experiencing the shocking visions. Before that feeling even faded away, when one had not had a chance to digest the experience, and the heart was still unstable, whatever decision was made would clearly reveal the nature of one’s Dao, and the focus of one’s heart.
It was not a time in which random or careless things could be said. If one responded in an absurd way that did not correspond to the object of their obsession, it would be like a betrayal of oneself and result in the collapse of their Dao will.
Therefore, for someone to escape the trap and to respond that they wanted to become the person who controlled the hand was something completely remarkable. Any person who entered the ninth level of the Medicine Pavilion and faced that middle-aged man’s divine ability, and who had a cultivation base lower than him, would be incapable of speaking lies. The only thing they would be capable of doing was speaking the truth from the bottom of their heart. That was the only way to pass the ninth level!
It required not only utter self-confidence, but also total clarity of self. Furthermore, it required those who answered the question to have an unshakable belief in their own Dao!
That middle-aged man had not seen a member of the Fang Clan like that in a long time. Therefore, he decided to provide some enlightenment regarding the Dao of Essence!
“Essence IS the Dao!” thought Meng Hao. His mind rumbled as he stepped out of the door. In the blink of an eye, he was outside of the medicine Pavilion, surrounded by tens of thousands of clan members, all of whom were looking at Meng Hao, their faces filled with excitement.
The toll of the Dao bell could be heard, filling the minds of all members of the Fang Clan.
Behind Meng Hao, brilliant light shot up from the Medicine Pavilion to illuminate everything. All of the alchemists on Planet East Victory clasped hands and bowed toward Meng Hao. The sky went dark.
That was the first time that anyone had perfectly passed through the entire Medicine Pavilion. It would definitely become a legend in the Dao of Alchemy Division, part of the mythos of the Fang Clan’s Dao of alchemy.
Meng Hao’s name was now listed in the very first position on the stone stele outside of the Medicine Pavilion!
However, all of the cheering barely registered in his ears. The words he had just heard filled his ears and continued to crash around in his mind like thunder.
“Essence… is the Dao….” he murmured.
“Comprehend Essence, and you can step into the Dao Realm!” It was as if Meng Hao’s mind had been opened further, making his understanding of cultivation clearer than ever.
“Use the Nirvana Fruits to enter the Ancient Realm. Use Essence to form the Dao Realm!” Meng Hao’s eyes shone with brilliant light as the ancient voice slowly echoed away into silence. Outside of the Medicine Pavilion, the cries of the clan members gradually grew stronger in Meng Hao’s ears.
“Congratulations, on charging through the whole Medicine Pavilion, Crown Prince!”
“Congratulations, Crown Prince!”
As the cries echoed out, Meng Hao gradually recovered his senses. Soon, he was staring around in shock. Something seemed… off. There didn’t seem to be enough people in the area. There were tens of thousands, and no more….
From what he could remember, when he entered the Medicine Pavilion, there had been hundreds of thousands, perhaps even more, spread about in all directins. Feeling suspicious, Meng Hao smiled at the crowds, clasped hands, and bowed. Then he gave Fang Xi a meaningful look, and sped off into the distance.
Fang Xi followed nervously. The two of them flew out of the Dao of Alchemy Division, and before Meng Hao could even ask him any questions, Fang Xi sighed.
“Coz, something happened. After you entered the Medicine Pavilion, the clan suddenly announced a bunch of important missions. Almost all of the clan members who came to watch immediately had to go back to the clan….” Smiling wryly, Fang Xi produced a bag of holding which he handed over to Meng Hao.
Face unsightly, Meng Hao grabbed the bag of holding and scanned it. There were quite a few spirit stones inside, but it was a lot less than he had expected. It didn’t take much thought to come to the conclusion that this was definitely a counterstrike from that old fox Fang Shoudao. He turned to stare angrily at the ancestral mansion.
“That old hoodlum!” Meng Hao growled, gnashing his teeth. “That wily old fox!!”
Obviously, the old fogey had figured out that he was being conned by Meng Hao, and had devised an ingenious counterattack.
“Well, it doesn’t matter,” said Meng Hao, forcing a smile onto his face as he clapped Fang Xi on the shoulder. “You head back now, and I’ll start working on another plan.”
Fang Xi nodded. After bowing to Meng Hao, he transformed into a colorful beam of light that shot off into the distance.
Meng Hao hovered in midair, eyes flickering, jaw clenched.
“Since you want to force my hand so badly, you old fox,” he thought, “don’t blame the Young Master for flipping over the game board!” Musing about how the first generation Patriarch had stared down Ji Tian, he turned into a prismatic beam that shot back toward the ancestral mansion.
Back in his residence, he sat down cross-legged.
After a few days passed, in the dead of night, he flickered and disappeared from within his residence and materialized outside of the ancestral mansion, where he transformed into a beam of light that shot soundlessly up into the sky.
Just when he seemed to be on the verge of bursting out into the starry sky, a powerful force bore down on him. It was like a sealing power, which spread out in all directions, forcing him to come to a stop. All he could do now was look out at the starry sky, his expression unsightly.
“So, the old fox already prepared for the possibility of me fleeing before the wedding day. From the look of things, the old fogey intentionally asked the Three Great Daoist Societies to wait for three months before coming back for me. It was all a setup!” He gritted his teeth as put all the pieces of the puzzle together. He was not happy to have been conned multiple times by Fang Shoudao. It was the feeling of being defeated by someone else in the field which you considered yourself to be most skilled at.
Meng Hao snorted coldly, and his eyes glittered. Deep inside, he was actually laughing as he turned and headed back to the clan. He settled down in the ancestral mansion, and made no further attempts to escape the marriage. Nor did he go to concoct medicinal pills. Instead, he spent all of his time poring through the clan’s ancient records, and reading through its history.
Fang Shoudao was puzzled by this behavior. During recent days, he had been constantly observing Meng Hao with divine sense. He even saw him attempt to fly away, the result of which left him feeling very pleased.
But now, he couldn’t figure him out.
“I can’t underestimate this fox cub,” he thought. “If I overlook the tiniest thing, I could end up falling into his con.” Fang Shoudao wore a very serious expression. He attempted to study the same ancient records that Meng Hao had looked at. However, he didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary, which only served to increase his caution.
An entire month passed in this fashion. Fang Shoudao was starting to get a very bad feeling. However, no matter how much thought he put into it, he couldn’t put his finger on what exactly the problem was.
Currently, Meng Hao sat cross-legged in his residence. Suddenly, his eyes snapped open, and they were shot with blood. His complexion was a bit wan as well. However, inside, he was laughing coldly.
“That’s it! I’ve figured it out!” he murmured to himself.
“During Divine Soul Nourishment, all of Planet East Victory will be covered by ripples that block Dao Realm divine sense for one breath of time. It is also during Divine Soul Nourishment that the One Thought Stellar Transformation… can be used to perform a Stellar Teleportation!
“Therefore, now is the time… to concoct some pills!” His eyes glittered for a moment before he closed them. The next morning at dawn, he rose to his feet and then shot toward the Dao of Alchemy Division in a beam of light.
For the entire past month, Fang Shoudao had been completely on edge. He knew that something was going on with Meng Hao, so as soon as he saw him fly out of his residence, he focused all of his divine sense on him. When he saw that he was heading toward the Dao of Alchemy Division, he breathed a sigh of relief.
“Hmph. What scares me is not you making your move, fox cub. What makes me nervous is when you do nothing, making it impossible to pick up on any clues. You’re just too immature.” A wide smile appeared on Fang Shoudao’s face. He was clearly very pleased with himself.
“So, it turns out he’s heading to the Pill Pavilion.” he said to himself. His eyes flashed. He was actually in fear of Meng Hao’s Dao of alchemy. However, Fang Yanxu had told him that other than the first generation Patriarch, no one had ever been able to concoct the third medicinal pill. Therefore, he wasn’t too worried.
“According to Fang Yanxu, the little hoodlum isn’t qualified to concoct the second medicinal pill. Of course, it would all depend on his enlightenment regarding certain fundamentals, an enlightenment that no one in the Immortal Realm could possibly achieve. Only those on the threshold of the Dao Realm could achieve it!
“Considering that, it seems that he simply has no way of concocting the second medicinal pill.” Fang Shoudao coughed dryly. In truth, the matter of the marriage between Meng Hao and Li Ling’er had really gotten him worried lately.
“Well, there’s nothing to be done. I’m his grandfather’s grandfather, and I love him more than anyone else in the clan. If I don’t worry about his future, then who will, right?” Fang Shoudao sighed to himself, then blinked an eye to send some more divine sense out toward Meng Hao.
Meng Hao flew through the Dao of Alchemy Division, causing rumbling sounds to echo out. After a month being away, it was his grand return. As various clan members caught sight of him, they began to speculate about what exactly he was doing. Then, people began to realize that he was heading toward the Pill Pavilion, and excitement began to build.
“Could it be that after charging through all of the Medicine Pavilion, the Crown Prince is now going to challenge the Pill Pavilion?”
“The Crown Prince was already able to concoct one of the three great medicinal pills, the Skypalace Sunspirit Pill. Could it be… that he’s going to try to concoct the other two pills?!”
Even as they made their speculations, they flew into the air to follow Meng Hao. It didn’t take long before the entire Dao of Alchemy Division was astir. As for Meng Hao, he shot through the air at top speed, making no attempt to conceal his actions as he whistled toward the Pill Pavilion.
Soon, he was standing directly outside of it, surrounded by clusters of curious clan members.
What they saw was Meng Hao unhesitatingly approach the second drum, raise his fist, and strike the drum’s surface.
A sonorous boom resonated out, causing everything to shake. The entire Dao of Alchemy Division trembled, and even the ancestral mansion reverberated with the sound.
“The Crown Prince really is going to try to concoct one of those legendary medicinal pills!!”
“He already concocted the Skypalace Sunspirit Pill, now he’s going to try to make a Sea Cleaving Heaven Defying Pill!!”
The sound of the drum echoed out in all directions, causing even more clan members to approach. This was not like the Medicine Pavilion, where people couldn’t see inside. Anyone could bear witness to the concocting of the legendary medicinal pills.
Meng Hao stood outside the Pill Pavilion, hand still clenched into a fist. It was at this point that the list of rewards for concocting the medicinal pill appeared in front of him.
“Sea Cleaving Heaven Defying Pill! Whoever concocts this pill will receive a reward of 1,000,000,000 spirit stones, 1,000,000 Immortal jades, 20,000,000 merit points, 100,000 medicinal plants of your choice from the Dao of Alchemy Division, six clan Daoist magics, and one Ancient treasure. The Dao Bell will toll 18 times! The ingredient fee is 10,000,000 merit points for one set.”
In the blink of an eye, Meng Hao’s clan merit points were reduced by 10,000,000!
A jade slip then appeared in front of him. At the same time, a vast collection of medicinal plants appeared, which floated around him in the air. In total, there were 99 different plants.
Meng Hao raised his hand to take the jade slip. After scanning it with divine sense, he could see the method for how to concoct one of the Fang Clan’s three great medicinal pills, the second pill… Sea Cleaving Heaven Defying Pill!
After glancing at the formula, Meng Hao’s eyes narrowed, and he understood why it was so difficult to concoct the pill, and why nobody from the Dao of Alchemy Division had successfully done so over the years.
“The difficulty in concocting this pill comes from the grafts that are involved. There is no grafting technique, only a rough pill formula. Furthermore, the pill formula doesn’t even list the names of the plants and vegetation involved. All it does is list the degree to which certain characteristics are required of the plants.
“You need to use these 99 medicinal plants to graft 100,000 different plants that all harmonize with each other. That is the first step, Sea Cleaving.
“As for the Heaven Defying part of the pill, it seems so profound. How do you concoct that portion?” After a moment of silence, Meng Hao’s eyes flickered with a bright glow, and he thought back to what the middle-aged man had said on the ninth level of the Medicine Pavilion.
“The Essence is the Dao, the basis of everything that defies Heaven!
“I understand now. This medicinal pill is difficult to concoct because… it requires Essence! That’s why Pill Elder couldn’t concoct it, and yet… Fang Yanxu from the Medicine Immortal Sect could!” Meng Hao felt as if his mind were being struck by lightning. Then, everything became clear.
“Essence…. well, I have that too!” It was at this point that his terrifying Divine Flame Immortal meridian roared to life inside of him. His cultivation base surged, and massive pressure rolled out. The surrounding clan members were shocked to discover that Essence ripples were pouring out of Meng Hao!
They might be weak, and as vastly separated from the power of the Dao Realm as Earth is from Heaven. However, it was definitely Essence power!
It wasn’t enough power for Meng Hao to reach the Dao Realm, but if all he was doing was concocting pills….
“It’s enough!” A smile broke out on Meng Hao’s face as he waved his right hand, causing all 99 medicinal plants to fly toward him. Then, they blurred as he began to graft them together at high speed.
Er Gen included a note at the end of this chapter commenting on how it was longer than usual. His chapters are usually 3,000 Chinese characters, which usually works out to around 2,000-2,200 English words. This chapter was 3,500 characters, and around 2,600 words.