Chapter 1132: Shamed Into Rage!
Meng Hao frowned. For some reason, he instantly disliked this woman Xue’er. She might be beautiful, perhaps more beautiful than any other woman he had ever met. But the feeling he got from her was that she was far too manipulative.
She had obviously used some special technique to secretly shadow him for who knew how long. She might just call it ‘observation,’ but her methods went far beyond the ordinary definition of the word.
Such methods left Meng Hao feeling coldly derisive. Back when he fought with Dao-Heaven, he could tell how important he thought she was. He had tried to hide it, but Meng Hao easily saw through the facade.
She was the type of woman who, even if you knew wasn’t plotting against you, would still make you want to be careful. And once you put your guard up, you wouldn’t want to relax. Xu Qing was the exact opposite. When he was with Xu Qing, he felt completely relaxed. She did not plot or scheme, and when she looked at him, all he wanted to do was smile softly back at her.
Although these thoughts ran through his head, they did not change his facial expression.
“I’m from the Immortal Ancient Daoist Rite,” Xue’er said. “Not the Immortal Ancient Daoist Rite you’ll find in any of the Mountains and Seas. I’m the one and only true successor of the real Immortal Ancient.” She smiled at Meng Hao, a radiant smile like a blooming lily, filled with self confidence. It made her and everything around her even more eye-catching.
“Of all the Echelon cultivators I’ve met,” she continued, “the only one that came close to meeting my requirements was Elder Brother Chen from the First Mountain, and he only measured up by half. I was going to select him, but in that very moment, I felt you suddenly appear, Elder Brother Meng.
“And that’s why I came looking for you to play a game of Go.” She waved her hand, causing a game board to appear between the two of them.
The black games pieces were sitting on one side of the board, the white pieces on the other.
She didn’t say a lot, but Meng Hao could easily detect the profound haughtiness in the words, a haughtiness that was rooted in her bones. She didn’t intend for that haughtiness to come across, but it was revealed nonetheless.
“Elder Brother Meng, please, after you,” she said softly.
“I don’t do Go,” Meng Hao responded coolly.
“Elder Brother Meng, please just cooperate. I’ve come here to bestow you with some good fortune.” She looked at him earnestly.
Meng Hao frowned, and then suddenly smiled, although it was a cold smile. His eyes were filled with a profound gleam.
“I don’t know what sort of decision it is that you’re making, nor do I know why the other Echelon cultivators want to get close to you. But as for me, I’d actually like to ask you a question. What makes you think you can get me to play Go with you? Also, what gives you the confidence to secretly follow me around, then suddenly saunter up and start yakking away? Is it just because you’re some sort of successor?” He took a step forward, stamping his foot down, which caused everything to tremble. A wave of powerful pressure surged out toward Xue’er.
“Elder Brother Meng, please, calm yourself down,” she said coolly. “Attacking me would be pointless. Furthermore, you’re still injured.”
Meng Hao’s eyes flashed with coldness. “Even if I am still injured, I can still hurt you!”
He took a second step forward. Behind him, the mastiff threw its head back and roared, causing a murderous aura to spring up. The longer it glared at Xue’er, the more intense the murderous air became. Suddenly, it pounced toward her.
In that same moment, Xue’er frowned and waved her jade-like hand. Immediately, a beam of white light shot out that transformed into a white crane. It let out a melodious cry, along with the fluctuations of an Ancient Realm cultivation base.
“Elder Brother Meng,” she said coolly, “please, just sit down and play this game of Go with me, alright?” In response, Meng Hao slapped his bag of holding, and the parrot flew out. As soon as it laid eyes on the white crane, it let out a whoop of excitement and shot toward it.
The white crane stared with wide eyes and moments later, an agonized shriek could be heard. Simultaneously, Meng Hao took a third step, and his energy shot up. He clenched his right hand into a fist and punched.
“Shameless!” Xue’er said, her eyes flashing icily. When she saw the miserable situation the white crane was in, she performed an incantation gesture and then waved a finger toward Meng Hao. However, even as she waved her finger, Meng Hao’s right index finger extended, and he also waved his finger.
The Eighth Demon Sealing Hex was unleashed. Xue’er trembled, and her face fell. Meng Hao took a fourth step, a fifth step, and then unleashed a punch.
Rumbling filled the air as Xue’er suddenly dodged backward. As she did, Meng Hao snorted coldly and said, “Get back here!”
His right hand opened from a fist into a palm. He made a snatching motion toward Xue’er, using the Star Plucking Magic to grab her. Xue’er’s face fell as she felt herself being dragged toward Meng Hao. She quickly performed an incantation gesture, causing a snowy tempest to appear around her.
Meng Hao’s expression didn’t change at all as he took his sixth step, then his seventh. His energy surged as a huge foot appeared up in the sky, which then stamped down toward Xue’er.
At the same time, Meng Hao shot like lightning toward her.
Xue’er was panting. She had never imagined that Meng Hao, despite being injured, would still be so strong. At the critical moment, she extended her right hand, within which appeared a bell. She quickly rang the bell, causing a tinkling sound to float out. A murderous aura exploded up, and behind her, a gigantic, illusory image appeared.
It was an old man, gigantic, ancient, wearing a Daoist robe. He seemed infinitely wise, and was apparently in the middle of delivering a sermon about the Dao. His lifted his right hand into the air and waved a finger toward the incoming foot.
The Seven God Steps’ gigantic foot collapsed into pieces. Ashen-faced, Xue’er waved her right hand, causing the illusory figure behind her to wave his finger again, this time toward Meng Hao.
The attack struck through the air toward Meng Hao, who trembled in response. However, the figure of the old man then faded a bit, completely astonishing Xue’er.
Seeing that Meng Hao was continuing to advance menacingly, she gritted her teeth. Suddenly a medicinal pill bottle appeared in her hand.
“Here, take these pills as compensation!” she said, throwing the bottle toward him.
Meng Hao’s eyes flickered as he grabbed the bottle.
“That’s an Immortal Pill,” she gushed, “concocted, not from medicinal plants, but from the Essence of a great Dao. Consume that pill, and all of your injuries will be healed; you’ll completely recover. This is a show of good faith! I’m not your enemy.”
“Eee?” he said, looking at the medicinal pill bottle, his eyes glowing with a strange light. He examined it closer for a moment, then opened the top, closed his eyes, and took a whiff. After a long moment, his eyes snapped open.
“A Time Pill!” he murmured.
Xue’er’s face was just starting to look calm again when she heard Meng Hao’s words, and once again appeared to be astonished.
“I never would have thought that your skill in the Dao of Alchemy had reached such a high level, Elder Brother Meng. You’re the first Echelon cultivator… to ever recognize that pill. You’re right, it is indeed a Time Pill. Since you can identify the type of pill it is, then you surely know that such a pill can heal all of your injuries. As you can see, I’m not deceiving you.”
“A medicinal pill that adds at least a year of body transformations is indeed something very rare in modern times.” Meng Hao put the pill bottle away and ceased any aggressions. Then he called the parrot back, although the parrot didn’t seem to be too happy about that. The trembling white crane immediately fled back to Xue’er.
Next, Meng Hao floated over to the Go board, picked up a black game piece, and placed it onto the board.
Xue’er’s eyes glittered, and inwardly, she breathed a sigh of relief. This Meng Hao was a handful to deal with, and really pissed her off. However, there was nothing she could do about it. Seeing Meng Hao play a black game piece, caused her to frown slightly. She walked over to the game board, picked up a white game piece, made her move and then waited for Meng Hao to continue.
“I lose,” he said, waving his sleeve. Not giving another glance at the game board, he turned and headed toward the mastiff.
“YOU!” she roared, blue veins popping out on her forehead. She had never, ever met anyone like Meng Hao before. “I’ll have you know that forfeiting the game is also forfeiting the good fortune I have for you!”
“I’m not interested!” he said coolly, completely ignoring her.
Her frown deepened. Balling her hands into fists, she shouted,“ You might not be interested now, but let me tell you, if you win, then you’ll get my help! With my help, your path in the Echelon will be much smoother!”
“It was already easy enough even before meeting you,” he replied. He slapped his bag of holding to produce the medicinal pill bottle. His eyes glittered for a moment, but he quickly put the pill bottle away. He couldn’t quite bring himself to consume the medicinal pill inside before duplicating it.
Unable to hold back from listing all the benefits, Xue’er continued: “Y-you know, other Echelon cultivators all want my help! I’m the successor of Immortal Ancient, and my whole purpose in life is to help the Echelon. If you win, you can even have me as your beloved partner!”
“I’m already married.” Meng Hao turned to look thoughtfully in the direction of the Third Nation. He wasn’t sure how much time Zong Wuya had bought him, nor how he would resolve the overall situation with the Third Nation.
“I can make you stronger! I can make you the strongest in the Echelon! I can help you accomplish Paragon Sea Dream’s plan successfully!” Xue’er stamped her foot angrily. If Meng Hao continued acting like this, it would be impossible to accomplish the tasks laid out by her Master. She was starting to get nervous. She had traveled throughout the Nine Mountains and Seas, and had encountered an entire generation of Echelon cultivators, some of them haughty, some of them gentle, some of the domineering, some of them sinister.
However, regardless of their personalities, she had ways to deal with them. Even the most unwilling would eventually agree to play a game of Go with her. Meng Hao was completely different from everyone else. From what she could sense, the only reason he had agreed to even make one move… was to get the medicinal pill.
“Just what do I have to do to get you to play a game of Go with me?” she said through gritted teeth. “You can’t even imagine what kind of help I can give you!”
Meng Hao suddenly turned back to look at her and asked, “Are you the first generation successor of Immortal Ancient?”
Xue’er stared in shock, and said, “No, I’m–”
Before she could finish, Meng Hao interrupted her. “If you’re not the first generation successor of Immortal Ancient, then that means there were other successors before you. Throughout the years, there have also been successive generations of Echelon cultivators. Well then, how come none of them ever succeeded in the end? Why hasn’t Paragon Sea Dream’s plan been accomplished even after multiple generations?
“Becoming the strongest in the Echelon, and accomplishing Paragon Sea Dream’s plan, are both… Echelon matters! They have nothing to do with Immortal Ancient successors!
“If I wanted to be blunt,” he continued coldly, “I would just say that all the help provided by generations of people like you, ended up being a complete failure!
“You can go help whoever you think needs your help,” he concluded indifferently. “As for me, I don’t need your help.” Meng Hao swished his sleeve. Although he looked very domineering on the outside, inwardly he was feeling a bit depressed. What the hell!? I told her I couldn’t play Go, then she wants to make me play anyway? Hmph!
Meng Hao essentially grew up alone and poor. It was a difficult thing for him to even manage studying, and he had also ended up owing Steward Zhou three pieces of silver. Growing up in such poverty, how could he possibly have ever excelled at things like zither performances, or playing Go? In the end… he really couldn’t play Go. She just hadn’t believed him.