Chapter 1094: The War of the Nine Nations Begins
A massive wind surged up. It was as if the Windswept Realm was building up power, which could explode out at any moment.
Once that power erupted, the Nine Nations would be swept into war, a war between all cultivators. It heralded… the Echelon battles!
It would determine who was truly number one in the Echelon, who was the true peak power amongst them. To become an Echelon cultivator, one had to be a Chosen among Chosen in any given Mountain and Sea. They were people who could, based on their own cultivation base… challenge experts above their own level!
Blazing suns like that were people who wouldn’t easily accept being inferior to others; they were people who strove to be the champion of their generation!
Actually… despite the fact that young man from the First Mountain and Sea was publicly acknowledged as the number one in the Echelon… how could the others fear him?!
The fighting would happen one way or another. Furthermore, in the Windswept Realm… this was a chance for all members of the Echelon in this generation… to experience their first true war!
The war began in the instant that Meng Hao stepped onto the mountain peak, and the light from the central temple shot into the sky, revealing the statues.
As of that moment, Meng Hao’s name spread throughout all Nine Nations, and was fixed firmly into the minds of all the cultivators from the Nine Mountains and Seas, and all of the other members of the Echelon.
It was at this point that a figure could be seen speeding along through the Fifth Nation. It was a young woman, incredibly beautiful, although frowning slightly. Behind her were eight beams of light, doggedly pursuing her with deadly intent.
Each one of those pursuing figures was in the Ancient Realm. Furthermore, these people did not have less than five extinguished Soul Lamps; rather, they were so profound as to be unreadable!
That was supposed to be an impossibility in the Windswept Realm, and yet… it clearly wasn’t!
The woman was none other than the successor of the Immortal Ancient Daoist Rite, Xue’er. As she sped along, she looked up and saw the light coming from the central temple. She saw the statues and the mountains up in the sky, and she saw Meng Hao. At long last, she also heard his name.
“Is it him…?” she thought. Despite being pursued the way she was, her eyes shone with a brilliant light, and she instantly committed Meng Hao’s name to memory. Then, she continued to fly along, and her eight pursuers whistled after her as they tried to catch up.
Meanwhile, back on Mount Whiteseal in the Ninth Nation, Meng Hao took a deep breath and looked back down from the sky. The fire in the statue’s hand cast light into his eyes, filling them with a strange flickering.
After a moment passed, he smiled.
“So, I broke the previous record…. I bet that really sets off the other Echelon Chosen. Well… GOOD!
“I don’t care what other strange things there are in this Windswept Realm, or what Jian Daozi and his pals are scheming… they have nothing to do with me!
“I never imagined that I wouldn’t even need to go to the central temple to find a method for fully absorbing my second Nirvana Fruit and… stepping into the Allheaven Immortal Realm!” Meng Hao took a deep breath. His heart burst with anticipation, and intense excitement filled him.
Without any hesitation, he stepped forward and sat down cross-legged. Next, he released Chu Yuyan from his bag of holding. After looking around for a moment, Chu Yuyan was clearly shaken. She could sense how different the Windswept Realm was, and without any further prompting from Meng Hao, she sat cross-legged and began to practice cultivation. Her focus was now breaking through into the Immortal Realm.
Meng Hao nodded silently, then sent out his divine sense into the flame. Instantly, he could detect the three hundred great Daos inside, the three hundred natural laws, the three hundred Essences!
He had the sudden premonition that the more Essences he came to understand, the easier it would be to absorb his second Nirvana Fruit.
“If one nation isn’t enough, then it will have to be two. If all of the Nine Nations and their 2,700 Essences are insufficient, then I’ll go to the central temple, and use 3,000 Great Dao Essences to fully absorb my second Nirvana Fruit!” He closed his eyes and fully poured his divine sense into the flame.
At the foot of the mountain, Jian Daozi’s face flickered. Behind him, the other old men were staring reverently at Meng Hao. After a while, they began to disperse.
Time passed. A month went by in the blink of an eye. During that time, the Windswept Realm seemed peaceful and quiet. However, dark undercurrents swept about. Although fighting had not yet burst out between the ordinary cultivators, and the Echelon cultivators were still adapting themselves to the locale, the mortal armies of the Nine Nations had already begun to wage war.
The armies of the Nine Nations had long since prepared for this war, and now they began to march toward the center of the Windswept Realm… to the region of the central temple.
That area consisted of an enormous plain, at the very center of which was the temple, which was a restricted area. The grass on that plain was white, and the soil was black.
Also located on the central plain were nine towering pagodas. They were ancient and archaic, as if they had existed there for countless years.
Each one of the pagodas stood for one of the nations, around which the armies of the Nine Nations clustered. Each nation had over a million troops; added altogether, there were a total of nearly 10,000,000 soldiers on the battlefield.
Chaotic fighting instantly broke out. None of the nations allied with each other, ensuring a massive battle royale involving all nine of the nations.
Miserable screams rose up into the air, along with the cries of rage that came before death as countless soldiers were slaughtered. The blades and spears that they wielded seemed to indicate that their mission was to cover the black soil with blood until it turned purple.
Under the orders of their marshals and generals, the armies rapidly turned the entire area into a sea of blood.
There was no right or wrong in the fighting. No one questioned why it was happening. They simply fought an eternal battle, and sometimes, it seemed as if they weren’t fighting for the right to live, but the right to die!
As the casualties piled up, the nine pagodas began to glow with the color of blood. Shockingly, the brightest glow was coming from the Third Nation, from which a pillar of blood-colored light rose up 300 meters into the air.
The blood-colored beams rising up from the other pagodas were all several dozen meters high. As for the Second Nation, the Sixth Nation, and the Ninth Nation, their blood-colored beams were only about thirty meters.
The only way to get those beams of light to climb higher… was to fight and kill!
The more enemies they killed, the higher the blood-colored beam would climb!
Almost in the same moment that the blood-colored beams rose up from the nine pagodas, the Echelon cultivators on the various National Aura mountains throughout the Nine Nations all felt the qi flow and the speed of their enlightenment changing.
In the Third Nation in particular, the qi flow surged up, such that it seemed as if those who were there were receiving the aid of a divine blessing in terms of gaining enlightenment.
There were transformations in the other mountains as well. In the Second, Sixth and Ninth Nations, the National Aura was out of balance, causing the mountains to tremble. Apparently, the contemplation of enlightenment there was unstable, as if something were obstructing it.
The National Aura scattered, causing pressure to weigh down on the nations. The mortals could only vaguely sense it, but to the cultivators, it was very obvious.
That was especially true of the cultivators from the Mountain and Sea Realm, who were far more sensitive to it. Fan Dong’er, Bei Yu, and the other Demonic cultivators could all sense the incredible pressure, and their faces flickered as they looked off into the distance.
The pressure rapidly increased, weighing down over them like a sword. It was a very uncomfortable feeling that, if it went on for too long, would significantly restrict their cultivation bases.
Meng Hao’s eyes flashed as he emerged from contemplation. Moments ago, he had failed in his enlightenment; not only was the task more difficult, much of the qi flow on the mountain had scattered. In addition, some of the defensive mechanisms built into the mountain had been weakened.
“Why is this happening…?” he thought, frowning. He quickly realized that he simply didn’t understand enough about the Windswept Realm. He rose to his feet and looked out in the direction of the central temple.
Although it was quite a distance away, he could sense it, and knew that the armies of the various nations were engaged in bitter fighting. He could also sense the rising columns of blood-colored light.
After observing for a moment, he spent a moment in thought, and suddenly reached a new conclusion.
“The mortals’ war can influence the qi flow. The more people are killed, the stronger the National Aura will get. Conversely, if the mortal army of the nation is weakened… then the National Aura protecting the mountain will be influenced, as well as making it more difficult for me to gain enlightenment!”
Meng Hao’s eyes flickered as they narrowed.
“But I didn’t give any orders for the Ninth Nation to send its army into battle….
“Well, no matter what, if they’re defeated on the battlefield outside of the central temple, not only will it influence the speed of my enlightenment, the defenses formed by the National Aura will also be weakened, or even disappear. If that happens… then the dangers of having the sealing mark stolen will be increased!
“Perhaps that is the whole purpose of this trial by fire?” After a moment of thought, he understood why the Mountains and Seas sent nine people. The other eight were most likely intended to be sent into battle. Although they couldn’t be used to kill mortals, they possessed many, many other methods that could let them influence the tide of battle.
“It seems I need to send some people to help with the battle. Unfortunately, I can’t go myself….” He frowned, then spent another moment to confirm his line of thinking. He couldn’t even leave Mount Whiteseal; once the process of contemplating enlightenment was begun, it could not be paused. In order to stop, he needed to be enlightened regarding at least 100 Essences.
Currently, he had only been enlightened regarding a bit more than 80 Essences. It wouldn’t be long before he reached 100.
After a moment of thought, he reached up and sliced a cut into his forehead, causing a drop of blood to fly out.
He waved a finger, sending some divine will into the drop of blood, which then expanded rapidly, transforming into an almost exact duplicate of Meng Hao
“It’s too bad I still haven’t figured out how to repair my True Self Dao clone. The only thing I can do now is make divine will incarnation clones like this.” Sighing, he closed his eyes and sent some divine sense out to continue contemplating enlightenment of the World Essence and the great Daos. As for the divine will incarnation, he turned his head and transformed into a beam of light that shot off Mount Whiteseal and into the sky.