Chapter 1047: Magic Pod Soldiers!
The stone door collapsed further, transforming into a haze of fragments that blasted toward Meng Hao. Amidst the flying rubble was the Ghost Eye, screaming as it charged in attack. Apparently it wanted to consume or possess him.
There was also a blast of cold air from within the stone chamber. In his peripheral vision, Meng Hao could see that frost had built up inside, as if it were the dead of winter. Even more shocking was that the frost was green!
“It’s poisonous!” Meng Hao was a bit shocked by the weakening of the Life Death Hex. However, in the blink of an eye, he had recovered his composure. Eyes flickering, he did nothing to evade, but instead, waved his hand out in front of him.
Instantly, his Immortal meridians surged, and Immortal power erupted. Rumbling sounds could be heard as the stone door shattered completely, transforming into nothing more than ash. However, before it could dissipate, it began to spin around, becoming a whirlwind of ash with the Ghost Eye at its center.
The wind screamed around the Ghost Eye, seemingly on the verge of completely destroying it. After all, the wind was filled with Meng Hao’s Immortal power, which could even shake the peak of the Immortal Realm.
It happened so fast that it was already over before it could even be described with words. In the blink of an eye, the windstorm surrounded the Ghost Eye. In turn, mysterious light began to emanate out of it, not a beam, but a halo that spread out in all directions.
When the light met the windstorm, the windstorm was rapidly dissolved. A moment later, the Ghost Eye charged out, screaming as it closed in on Meng Hao.
“Interesting,” he thought. He could sense that the Life Death Hex was continuing to weaken, but actually, wasn’t really paying attention to that. Rather than try to reinforce the power of the hex, he wanted to see exactly how strong the Ghost Eye was.
Before the Ghost Eye could get very close, Meng Hao took a step forward and raised his hand. A huge wind sprang up as he clenched his hand and punched out. It seemed like a simple punch, but it actually possessed the condensed strength of all of Meng Hao’s true Immortal fleshly body, as well as his 123 Immortal meridians. That one punch was enough to completely eradicate anyone in the Immortal Realm.
As the punch rumbled out, the Ghost Eye screamed. It wanted to dodge, but was incapable of even moving. The only thing it could do was whip its tentacles up in an attempt to create a defensive barrier in front of it. At the same time, the Ghost Eye, which had remained open this entire time, now closed.
Shocking rumbling sounds could be heard as the tentacles were destroyed as easily as shriveled weeds. The Ghost Eye trembled and was sent tumbling backward. Its energy immediately plummeted, and it began to grow weak and dark. As for the black imp inside, it actually grew clearer.
A moment later, the Ghost Eye collapsed completely. However, the black-shelled imp wasn’t hurt at all. It let out a piercing shriek and opened its mouth to reveal a collection of sharp teeth as it pounced toward Meng Hao.
“Eee?” said Meng Hao. His expression was one of excitement as he realized that the Ghost Eye, after having consumed so many spirit-immortal stones, and then transmogrifying, had a divine ability like this. It was actually able to resist the power of one of his punches.
As the black-shelled imp approached, Meng Hao’s eyes flickered. He did nothing to evade, but rather allowed it to close in on him. Then, when it reached him, the imp actually passed into his body, merging into him as if it were illusory.
At the same time, a powerful force of possession exploded out within him.
“Ah, so that’s what’s going on,” he thought, his eyes flashing coldly. He could clearly sense how the black-shelled imp inside of him was trying to destroy his soul and then take over his body, possessing him completely.
The power was overbearing, seemingly impossible to stop. However, a slight smile could be seen on Meng Hao’s face. Now that he knew what the black-shelled imp did, he had no desire for further testing. He snorted coldly, and a magical symbol appeared on his forehead, which was the weakened Life Death Hex. Suddenly, it stabilized; how could a mere black-shelled imp permanently weaken the Hexing magic of the Life Death Hexing?!
As soon as the Life Death Hex solidified, a miserable shriek rang out. The black-shelled imp trembled as it was wrenched out from inside of Meng Hao to appear in front of him. It shook, and its miserable cries intensified until, after enough time passed for half an incense stick to burn, it knelt in front of him, a pleading look on its face.
“As I suspected, it actually developed sentience!” he murmured. He waved his hand toward the black-shelled imp. Not daring to resist, it transformed into a black beam of light that shot toward Meng Hao’s palm, where it then turned into a black bean-like pod.
It almost looked like a medicinal pill, and yet, had no medicinal aroma. Furthermore, there appeared to be undulations of life force inside of it. Meng Hao squeezed it hard between his fingers, but no damage was done. Apparently, it was extremely resilient.
It wasn’t until he exerted seventy percent of his power that the black pod began to tremble. As cracks spread across its surface, a terrified stream of divine will suddenly shot out of it, begging for mercy.
After a moment of thought, he loosened his grip, then put the black pod into his bag of holding. Finally, eyes gleaming, he looked at the other two caves with keen anticipation.
“Similar to the peak of the Immortal Realm, huh…. And also sentient. That means that there’s a high likelihood that they can continue to grow!
“Just a single black-shelled imp is far, far more powerful than ten black-shelled Ghost Eye Beetles. And the entire reason for the transmogrification was those spirit-immortal stones!
“If I could get more of these blackpod imps, perhaps a few dozen….” Meng Hao’s eyes shone brightly as he imagined a scene in which he waved his sleeve, causing massive quantities of black pods to fly out. After turning into black-shelled imps, they would possess his enemies, which would then assist him in battle.
“Magic pod soldiers!” 1 he thought, eyes shining. Next, he sent his divine sense into the other two stone chambers. In one of them, the black-shelled Ghost Eye Beetles were currently in the process of consuming each other. In the other chamber, there was only one beetle left, although it was currently sleeping.
Meng Hao could sense that it wouldn’t be very long before two more blackpod imps would be emerging from the stone chambers.
Muttering to himself, he summoned five more black beetles, which he placed into the chamber with the broken door, then fed some more spirit-immortal stones. Then he waved his hand, causing a glittering shield to appear that replaced the shattered door.
It was about this time that the puppet boy flew down through the water and the shield, and then entered the residence. He clasped hands to Meng Hao, and then handed over a bag of holding.
Meng Hao immediately looked very excited, and instantly put the matter of the Ghost Eye Beetles aside. He grabbed the bag of holding, scanned it, and then his brow furrowed. There were obviously far fewer spirit stones and Immortal jade inside than had been in the bag before.
Of course, it was better than nothing. It was still a hefty sum, even if it was less than before. Meng Hao waved his hand to send the puppet boy away, then sat down cross-legged and once again began to use the copper mirror to duplicate the Paragon’s blood.
Time passed, and Meng Hao’s life of sitting there duplicating with the copper mirror began once again. His eyes were bloodshot, and he continuously uttered vile curses. The copper mirror’s ability to consume spirit stones, and the pain that came along with it, was something that he thought he had grown numb to. However, as it turned out, he was anything but numb.
Thankfully, his supply of Paragon’s blood was growing larger. About a week later, he now had eighty portions!
During that time, he had sent the puppet boy out over ten times. Each time, he came back with fewer and fewer spirit stones and Immortal jade. Right now, Meng Hao was just looking up and taking a deep breath as the puppet boy returned again.
Unfortunately, this time the puppet boy had no bag of holding, only a jade slip.
When Meng Hao jaw that it was a jade slip, he smiled bitterly. He’d already had a bad feeling about what had been happening, so he wasn’t surprised when he picked up the slip, scanned it with divine sense, and heard the enraged voice of Ling Yunzi.
“No more! What do you do with all the spirit stones, boy, eat them?! Or do you just crush them into bits for fun!?!? It’s only been half a month! Do you have any idea how many spirit stones and Immortal jade you’ve taken away!?!?
“The Nine Seas God World has been saving up Immortal jade and spirit stones for countless years, and you’ve already sucked away ten percent!!
“Dammit! I know I said all the resources of the sect were available to you, but… but the way you’re clearing us out is intolerable! No more! Until we open the Windswept Realm, we have no more! Do you hear me!?”
Meng Hao felt a bit awkward. Although the jade slip only contained divine sense, and Ling Yunzi hadn’t come personally, Meng Hao could imagine how enraged he, as well as Granny Nine and Godmaster, must look.
“I don’t want to waste so many spirit stones either,” he grumbled. “It hurts me too!” He was also shocked at the wastage of spirit stones and Immortal jade, and it truly did pain him inwardly. He felt a bit wronged, actually. He hadn’t actually calculated how much he had spent, not because he couldn’t, but because he was worried that if he knew for sure, he might pass out from the pain of it all.
“Besides, it was a measly ten percent, that’s all! The Nine Seas God World is so mighty, and yet so stingy!” Clearing his throat, he continued to use divine sense to examine the message Ling Yunzi had sent.
“I bet you’re not convinced, are you, kid? You think that ten percent isn’t very much. Well let me tell you, you little whippersnapper, our faction only has access to forty percent of the total cultivation resources of the Nine Seas God World. The Demonic Cultivator Horde controls thirty percent, and the other two factions control fifteen percent each.
“If you want more cultivation resources, well, we can’t give them to you. Go challenge the golden door stone stele trials by fire. Win some rewards there. Because you’re in the Echelon, the rewards you can get will be double or more. When you win those rewards, the cost is divided out among all the factions!
“If you’re skilled enough, then in the following two and a half months you can clear out all the resources of the Nine Seas God World, but at least then the other factions will lose out as well, not just ours!!” Ling Yunzi’s last words were uttered through clenched teeth. Clearly, the last half month had been one long headache for him, Granny Nine, and Godmaster.
If Meng Hao weren’t in the Echelon, they would most likely have long since descended upon him and slaughtered him and put an end to this no-good, spirit-stone devouring black hole of a glutton.
Meng Hao frowned as he retracted his divine sense from the jade slip. He looked over at the copper mirror, and then at his 80 vials of Paragon’s blood.
“I still need twenty vials!” His eyes then began to shine with a frightening light, and a glimmer of obsession. For the sake of completing the Paragon’s blood, and for the sake of fully absorbing his Nirvana Fruits, Meng Hao was even beginning to think about resorting to robbery and theft.
“I guess I should go check out the trials by fire!” With that, he clenched his jaw, rose to his feet, and walked out of the residence.
As soon as he stepped outside, he heard the sound of organized, choral singing coming from the pool of water.
“Come, come, sing with Lord Fifth. No singing out of key, now! Here we go! I was a bad kid when I was young, I’m a little seafood dish! Lalalalala! Seafood dish. Dobedobedoooo…. seafood dish.”
- This “magic pod soldiers” is actually a Chinese idiom based on a story where some magic beans turn into an army. Technically, what I’m translating as “black pod” or “blackpod” could also be translated as “black beans.” However… I’m sorry, but that’s just TOO goofy of a translation. I can’t stand the thought of Meng Hao having “black bean soldiers.” If he did, I would be tempted to add a line before he used them in which he asked his opponent “Would you like refried beans or black beans?” Besides, a pod is defined as a “two-valved seed vessel, as that of the pea or bean,” so I say it’s close enough. In any case, if anyone wants to write a fan fiction about these guys forming a band with Lord Fifth and going on tour, I can think of lots of great band names to go along with it ↩