Chapter 1102: Han Qinglei’s Plot!
Meng Hao hovered outside of the National Aura Mountain, coldly eyeing Han Qinglei inside of the shield. Currently, he could only look at him with his bare eyes; divine sense could not penetrate the shield.
The only thing he could see was Han Qinglei sitting there, treating his injuries.
Meng Hao wasn’t anxious. At the moment, the shield protecting the Eighth Nation’s National Aura Mountain was intact, and would not be easily damaged. However, he was confident that the shield would soon begin to weaken.
And that was exactly what happened. In the region of the central temple, Fan Dong’er and Bei Yu instantly tipped the tide of battle in favor of the Ninth Nation. They immediately issued orders to begin a full-scale assault on the Eighth Nation. Cultivators from both sides began to fight, and the Eighth Nation began to suffer defeat after defeat. The pillar of red light shining above their pagoda began to sink down rapidly.
As it did, the shield surrounding their National Aura Mountain began to ripple. Soon, it was visibly growing thinner, causing Han Qinglei’s eyes to widen with shock. From the look of it, this was not what he had anticipated happening, and it caused him to stare murderously at Meng Hao.
When their gazes locked, Meng Hao suddenly got an uneasy feeling. Han Qinglei’s expression seemed to be the appropriate one, but Meng Hao simply couldn’t believe that Han Qinglei, being qualified to join and maintain his position in the Echelon, would be so easily defeated. People like him would definitely have tricks up their sleeves.
It would be impossible for him to have overlooked the fact that if he retreated here because of being pursued by another, that this safe haven could be weakened because of the situation on the central battlefield.
Meng Hao’s eyes flickered, and he clenched his right hand, unleashing the Life-Extermination Fist onto the shield. The shield continued to hold strong, making it impossible for him to observe Han Qinglei with divine sense. Therefore, he decided that he might as well just do his best to destroy the shield; then all would be laid bare!
Booms filled the air, and the shield rippled. Meng Hao transformed into a gust of wind, battering the shield with fists and magical techniques. Soon, the shield was flickering with colorful lights, and emanating constant booms.
Han Qinglei’s face fell as he looked at the shield. He knew full well that it wouldn’t be able to last for very much longer, and that once it was broken open, there would be nothing stopping Meng Hao. Han Qinglei gritted his teeth, and an expression of determination appeared on his face. Suddenly, he began to laugh maniacally.
“I never imagined that I, Han Qinglei, would be forced into such a tight spot. Meng Hao… you’re definitely strong enough to be in the Echelon. You might not be a match for the number one Echelon cultivator, but you’re probably powerful enough to fight with Lin Cong from the Fourth Mountain.
“I didn’t want to have my cultivation base breakthrough so soon, I was planning to hold off for a bit longer. I have no desire to be a first Echelon cultivator to break through to the Ancient Realm. After all, the more deeply you prepare in the Immortal Realm, the more powerful you will be after your breakthrough!
“But since you’ve pushed me this far, fine. I’m going to break through, and then we’ll resume our battle!” Even as his words continued to echo about out, Han Qinglei performed a double-handed incantation gesture, then pushed his palm down onto his chest, causing cracking sounds to echo throughout his body. The aura of a cultivation base breakthrough exploded out, merging with the Windswept Realm as a whole.
Meng Hao’s eyes widened, and his uneasy feeling got even stronger.
“When I wasn’t attacking, his expression seemed normal. But that’s not right. As soon as I attacked, he saw the shield falling apart, and then suddenly chose to make a cultivation base breakthrough….” Meng Hao frowned, but didn’t stop unleashing attacks. More distortions appeared on the shield, and cracking sounds could be heard as fissures spread out. As the Eighth Nation suffered successive setbacks in the battle near the central temple, the red light shining from their pagoda continued to fall. At the same time, their shield grew weaker and weaker.
A boom could be heard as a huge crack spread out from where Meng Hao’s fist had just slammed into the shield, piercing halfway into it. Soon, the Eighth Nation’s beam of red light was the weakest among all of the Nine Nations. Meng Hao threw his head back and roared, unleashing the Essence of Divine Flame, causing popping sounds to ring out from the shield.
More cracks appeared, and then, in the blink of an eye, the shield collapsed into countless fragments, sending a shockwave sweeping out in all directions.
The shockwave was intense, but Meng Hao pierced through it, finally setting foot onto the Eighth Nation’s mountain. He instantly sent his divine sense sweeping out toward Han Qinglei to determine whether or not his suspicions were valid.
However, in the moment that his divine sense was about to touch him, Han Qinglei’s cultivation base erupted with the aura of a breakthrough. Colors flashed and the wind screamed, and soon, the power of the great Door of the Ancient Realm began to descend, scattering Meng Hao’s divine sense.
Although all of this seemed coincidental, it all aligned with his suspicions. Everything seemed to make sense. In fact, he could now see that nothing which was happening was coincidental, in fact… it was the opposite!
Meng Hao’s body blurred as he shot toward Han Qinglei, whose cultivation base was rising rapidly into the Ancient Realm. Seeing Meng Hao closing in, he clenched his teeth and, even while breaking through, performed an incantation gesture and waved his finger at Meng Hao. Immediately, illusory white bones appeared, which shot toward Meng Hao.
Behind the bones was a magical Wheel of Time, yet another unleashing of Paragon magic. Numerous divine abilities all struck out toward Meng Hao.
Rumbling echoed about, but Meng Hao didn’t pause for a moment. He waved his right hand, summoning the Paragon Bridge. Next was the raging Essence of Divine Flame, which swept out in all directions. The illusory white bones were shattered, and the magical Wheel of Time was destroyed.
At the same time, Han Qinglei threw his head back and roared, causing azure lightning to strike down and fuse with his body. Then he extended his right hand and pushed it out toward Meng Hao.
The gesture caused his entire right arm to explode into a cloud of blood and gore. Shockingly, a bolt of azure lightning filled with a strand of blood shot out from the remnants of his destroyed arm. Instead of shooting toward Meng Hao, though, it exploded, transforming into an azure shield that surrounded Han Qinglei, the statue, and the entire mountain.
At the same time that the azure lightning transformed into a shield, Han Qinglei threw his head back and roared. The breakthrough energy became more and more powerful, and up above, the energy of Heaven and Earth formed together into something that looked like a huge door.
“You can’t do a thing to me now, Meng Hao!” Han Qinglei cried, laughing uproariously.
However, in the exact moment that his words rang out, Meng Hao suddenly blinked his right eye nine times, causing the starstone there within to melt and then rapidly spread out to cover his entire body. In the space of a few breaths, he completely transformed into a planet.
This was none other than the Fang Clan Daoist magic… One Thought Stellar Transformation!
The sudden appearance of this technique caused Han Qinglei’s eyes to widen. He hadn’t seen Meng Hao use it in their previous encounter, and now, his heart started to pound. Before he could even do anything in response, Meng Hao in planet-form shot forward like a meteor. Anything standing in his way was like rotten wood, and he instantly slammed into the azure lightning shield.
A huge boom rang out as the shield shattered into pieces and Meng Hao burst in. The planet vanished, and Meng Hao appeared in normal form once again, directly in front of Han Qinglei. Instantly, his hand shot out and latched onto Han Qinglei’s neck.
Han Qinglei could do nothing to block him, and his breakthrough process was interrupted.
“I knew it!” Meng Hao said calmly. As soon as his hand had touched Han Qinglei, his divine sense flowed through it and swept through Han Qinglei.
“You were aware the entire time your so-called breakthrough would fail.. In fact, you never even intended to break through!
“That’s because this isn’t even your true form. You’re nothing but a clone!
“You tried to hide that fact from me with the aura of a breakthrough, plus, you kept my divine sense stuck outside your shield so that I couldn’t see the truth.”
“So what if you know?!” said Han Qinglei, laughing loudly, his expression one of derision. “My true form has long since fled! You won’t be able to find him any time soon. Besides, you don’t even have the time to go looking!”
No one in the Echelon was weak, neither in terms of cultivation base base nor intelligence!
“That’s because you intentionally lured other Echelon cultivators here, right?” Meng Hao said coolly. “With the Eighth Nation’s World Seal here as bait, plus the Ninth Nation’s seal, the other Echelon members will be trying to kill me, giving you a chance to slip away.”
His tone was tranquil, and his words calm. Han Qinglei had previously been quite smug because of his scheme, but all of a sudden, he got a bad feeling. Meng Hao was definitely completely beyond what he had expected.
“You….” He was just about to continue speaking when all of a sudden, the pressure weighing down on the Eighth Nation grew even more intense, seemingly doubling. That could only mean one thing; another Echelon cultivator had entered the Eighth Nation.
Meng Hao’s expression was the same as ever as he viciously clenched his right hand. Han Qinglei’s clone instantly exploded into pieces, completely destroyed!
The pursuit and dispatching of Han Qinglei’s clone had gone quickly and cleanly. Meng Hao waved his right hand, ignoring anything that might be happening up in the sky behind him, and instead headed toward the statue, reaching out toward the flame of the World Seal in the statue’s hand to grab it!
In that instant, a deep voice echoed out like thunder, filled with killing intent and somber dignity.
“That’s not for you to take! Touch it, and I’ll wipe out your entire clan!”
In conjunction with the voice, everything shook, and a huge wind rose up. The clouds parted to reveal a war chariot emanating a black light like a will of extermination. It radiated a domineering air and an intense pressure as it rumbled down from above.
The sinister chariot was being pulled by 1,000,000 souls, all of which were screaming fiercely, shaking the entire battlefield. As the chariot neared, darkness spread out like that of night, covering everything.
Standing in the chariot was a white-robed young man with long black hair and handsome features. He seemed threatening, although not angry, and he almost looked as if he had just emerged from the Yellow Springs, an emperor of death directing 1,000,000 dead souls into battle.
Each word he uttered boomed like thunder, crashing into Meng Hao’s ears. The mere voice itself caused the Eighth Nation’s National Aura Mountain to shake; cracks spread out, and the mountain seemed to be on the verge of collapsing.
Meng Hao started laughing as he looked up at the war chariot. Then his smile turned cold, and he said, “Wipe out my entire clan? You don’t qualify!”
Even as he spoke, his hand reached the World Seal… and grabbed it!