Chapter 1054: Little Haowie Needs To Be a Good Boy
Meng Hao was just about to leave when he heard the words and stopped in place, his heart thumping.
He slowly turned to look back at the nine Sea Realm Demons who had repeatedly done everything they could to provoke him. Although he was truly convinced that his own excessive killing had caused this irreconcilable conflict, the regret he felt was mostly gone thanks to the actions of these Demonic cultivators.
Sometimes, it doesn’t matter who is right or wrong. Sometimes the only thing that matters… is who has the power to back up their words!
Only the powerful could back up what they said!
As soon as Meng Hao heard the Sea Realm Demon mention the word ‘bet,’ he thought for a moment and then smiled. It was a bashful smile, and a bit apologetic.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” he said hesitantly.
“Cut the crap!” said the Demonic cultivator. “Do you have the guts to make the bet, or not!?” Immediately, the other Sea Realm Demons started laughing. As for Long Tianhai, he looked over with cool indifference.
They didn’t know Meng Hao, so they had no idea that concealed beneath that bashful smile was a temper so violent that even words like conniption or paroxysm couldn’t describe it.
“No bets for me!” Meng Hao took a deep breath and decided to take the high road for once. He once again turned to leave.
“So it turns out that the Crown Prince of the Fang Clan doesn’t dare to make real bets,” said the seventh of the nine Demonic cultivators. “The only thing he can do is bully Fan Dong’er!” His words were venomous and cold, and instantly put Meng Hao in a bad position with the other disciples of the Nine Seas God World.
“Crown Prince?! Pshhh, weak. Seems like the Fang Clan… is nothing special after all!”
“Don’t even mention the thing about being a joint disciple of the Three Great Daoist Societies. This guy is as cowardly as a mouse!” The Demonic cultivators continued to spew increasingly vitriolic words. Their taunts were reaching the point of being direct verbal attacks.
Meng Hao once again stopped in place and slowly turned around. His face was bright red, as if he was barely capable of containing his rage as he stared at the nine cultivators, panting.
“What a bore! This guy can’t do anything other than cheat! Useless! Even when making bets, the only thing he can do is bully girls! Screw him!”
“Alright, what do you want to bet!?” growled Meng Hao through gritted teeth. He glared at the Demonic cultivators and took a few steps backward, as if he were bracing himself to do something he didn’t want to do, but had no choice but to do.
The Nine Demons of the Sea Realm looked at him with cold smiles. The person to reply was the third Demon, a woman.
“Well,” she said, “obviously we’ll bet to see if you can get into the top ten of one of the other golden gate stone steles! Without cheating like you did in the ninth stele, of course.
“As for the stakes, let’s say 100,000 Immortal jades, as well as 5,000,000 spirit stones!
“If you can’t get into the top ten, you don’t have to pay any spirit stones, you just have to get the hell out of the Ninth Sea! And if you ever step half a foot back inside, you’ll be killed in body and spirit!”
Meng Hao’s face twitched slightly, and after taking a deep breath, he started laughing loudly.
“What piddly stakes! You want to bet with me like that? Fan Dong’er and I have a long-standing friendship that you don’t even know about. Our bet from before was just for fun! If you really want to make a wager, then you have to put up 10,000,000 Immortal jades!!
“Do you have the guts to make the bet, or not!?” Meng Hao spoke the words especially loudly. After pausing for the space of a few breaths without hearing a response, he started to laugh coldly.
“If you don’t have the guts, then forget about it,” he said, quickly backing up as if he wanted to take advantage of the silence to leave.
“You’re on!” Long Tianhai said coolly, his first time speaking. “However, if you lose, you’ll have to leave behind your four limbs for us as a souvenir.” His words instantly caused the other eight Demonic cultivators to look very excited.
“You….” said Meng Hao, appearing to be very shocked. His face was extremely grim as he stared back at Long Tianhai. Finally, he took a deep breath, gritted his teeth hard and said in a cautionary tone, “What I said was 10,000,000 immortal jades PER golden gate stone stele. With eight steles, that means that if I can get into the top ten of all of them, you’ll owe me 80,000,000!”
Gasps could be heard in the crowd, from both ordinary cultivators and Demonic cultivators alike. This was an incredible, shocking wager, the types of which were rarely seen in the Ninth Mountain and Sea.
“80,000,000 Immortal jades…. Heavens! How many spirit stones would that be worth?”
“Enough to equal the life savings of an entire mid-sized clan of cultivators!”
“These people are crazy….”
Even as the crowd went into an uproar, the nine Sea Realm Demons were internally shaken by Meng Hao’s words. Even Long Tianhai’s face fell.
10,000,000 pieces of Immortal jade was a sum they could just barely scrape together. As for 80,000,000… that far exceeded their limit. Even for the Demonic Cultivator Horde as a whole, it was no small amount.
The other eight Demonic cultivators hesitated. Their plan to make a bet with Meng Hao had been come up with on the fly, and had quickly reached the point that they didn’t dare make any decisions unilaterally. All of them turned to look at Long Tianhai.
An unsightly expression could be seen on his face as he stared at Meng Hao.
Meng Hao seemingly sighed inwardly, and was just about to speak up as if he were going to give the Demonic cultivators a way out of the bet, when Long Tianhai’s eyes glittered.
“You’re on,” he said. “However, we’re going to change things a bit. If you don’t get into the top ten of all of the golden gate stone steles, then not only do you have to forfeit your four limbs, you also have to give me… your place in the Echelon!” After the words left Long Tianhai’s mouth, utter silence reigned.
Most people had no idea what the Echelon was. However, from the way the Three Great Daoist Societies treated Meng Hao, people could speculate. The matter of the Echelon was not something that could be kept secret forever, which Meng Hao knew. That was why he had taken the initiative to bring up the matter publicly earlier.
Sometimes a matter being public rather than secret can lead to certain unexpected advantages.
Deep in Meng Hao’s eyes was a flickering coldness that no one could detect as he looked at Long Tianhai. They stared at each other for a moment, and within Long Tianhai’s eyes, Meng Hao saw no trace of the coolness and disregard from earlier. Instead, he saw schemes and deceit.
“He was putting on an act earlier!” he thought, eyes glittering.
Finally, he smiled coldly and said, “Well in that case, I don’t need 80,000,000. I want 300,000,000 Immortal jades! Add in one Dao weapon, and Meng Hao will take this bet with your Demonic Cultivator Horde!” Meng Hao’s words were met with a chorus of gasps from the audience.
300,000,000 Immortal jades was an astronomical sum. It was terrifying even to think about. Even for the Four Great Clans it would be a deleterious blow to be forced to hand over so much money. As for the Nine Seas God World, their reserves might be deep, but the Demonic Cultivator Horde only had access to thirty percent of the clan’s resources. If they lost, it would be a severe blow to their foundation.
As for a Dao weapon, that was a magical item that only a Dao Realm expert could wield. Such things were rare in the Ninth Mountain and Sea, and in fact, only three existed, one of which was in the possession of the Demonic Cultivator Horde.
If they lost the bet, and the weapon, it couldn’t quite measure up to the value of a place in the Echelon. However, if they won… it would all be worth it!
The crowd was in an uproar, and the noise only continued to get louder. An incredible wager like this was enough to cause cultivators of all Realms to be filled with excitement.
The nine Sea Realm Demons all sucked in deep breaths.
Long Tianhai remained silent for a moment before a bizarre gleam appeared in his eyes. Considering that Meng Hao had mentioned the Demonic Cultivator Horde, he knew that Meng Hao had already pieced together some clues as to what was really going on.
However, he didn’t care. What he wanted… was Meng Hao’s place in the Echelon. Before Meng Hao had arrived in the Ninth Sea, he had put various plans in place. He had never imagined that one of the first things Meng Hao would do after arriving would be to immediately reveal publicly that he was in the Echelon. Now that many people knew about the matter, most of his plans were rendered unusable.
However, the stakes Meng Hao had mentioned just now were vast, and were somewhat imbalanced when compared to a place in the Echelon. It was a decision he couldn’t make on his own, so he stood there silently for a moment, apparently conferring with someone. Finally, he gritted his teeth and looked over at Meng Hao, a gleam of determination in his eyes.
“The Dao weapon is off the table. But the 300,000,000 pieces of Immortal jade… we can do!”
As soon as the words left his mouth, Meng Hao sighed with relief. He had brought up the Dao weapon as a way to test out how determined the Demonic Cultivator Horde was. If they were even willing to put a Dao weapon on the table as stakes, then… he would have immediately declined the wager. No matter how much face he lost, he would never have agreed.
The fact that the Demonic Cultivator Horde refused to put the Dao weapon up as stakes revealed that there was a possibility that the result of the bet would be upheld. This matter most likely involved the machinations of a Dao Realm expert. However, Meng Hao knew that in all matters, risks had to be taken!
His eyes shone with a strange light as he looked over at Long Tianhai.
“This is a big matter. I’ll give you my answer in a month!” Having said that, he turned and shot off into the distance. Waiting for a month gave him the option of both going on the offensive, or remaining on the defensive. Furthermore, it negated the previous comparisons that had been made between him and the nine Sea Realm Demons. Everyone was now completely focused on the matter of the wager.
Long Tianhai also realized this. He watched coldly as Meng Hao left, his eyes flickering with a gleam of killing intent.
Meng Hao transformed into a beam of light that shot back toward his Immortal’s cave. After passing down through the water and the shield, the first thing he saw was the parrot, surrounded by the two trembling blackpod imps.
The parrot started singing, after which the Demonic cultivators chimed in.
“I was a bad kid when I was young, I’m a little seafood dish, lalalalala, little seafood dish, dobedobedoooo, little seafood dish….”
Meng Hao stood there silently for a moment, staring at them, after which they switched to a different song.
“Come, come,” the parrot shouted excitedly. “Last night Lord Fifth had a dream about another song. Once we get it down, Lord Fifth is going to host a big singing contest for the entire Ninth Mountain and Sea! Alright, sing with me!” Off to the side, the meat jelly started to beat a drum enthusiastically.
“We’re all seafood, our whole family is seafood! Righteous Lord Fifth, mighty Lord Third, lalalalala, we have to make the seafood be good! Dobedobedoooo, we have to make the seafood be good….”
When Meng Hao heard this, his mind spun, and all of a sudden the world seemed like a worse place. He felt bad for the Demonic cultivators, as well as Su Yan. At the moment, Su Yan seemed to be deeply shaken. She was staring at the parrot with gaping jaw, as if… the parrot had completely turned her world upside down.
Meng Hao cleared his throat and waved his hand toward the blackpod imps that seemed to be acting like backup singers next to the parrot. Instead of resisting him, they gladly flew toward him as if he were rescuing them from a disaster. Immediately, they transformed into black pods that came to rest on his palm, after which he stowed them away in his bag of holding.
The parrot didn’t look happy. Glaring at Meng Hao, it said, “Come, come. Lord Fifth just thought of a new song. Let’s all sing it together.
“Little Haowie needs to be a good boy….”
A brutal gleam appeared in Meng Hao’s eyes as he stared at the parrot for a moment. Then he ignored it, turning and walking back into his residence. The wave of a hand caused a sealing shield to appear that blocked out all of the racket from outside.
Moments later, the puppet boy flew out to go collect his reward from the ninth golden gate stone stele, and the smaller rewards for making it into the top 100 of the other eight stone steles.
Meng Hao sat down cross-legged, took a deep breath, and then gazed at the copper mirror with a look of anticipation.
“This time, I’m pretty sure I got enough Immortal jade to complete my work with the Paragon’s blood!”