Chapter 1139: Toxic Qi Flow!?
That was the Emperor’s gambit!
Although you couldn’t say he had honorable intentions or that there were no hidden tricks in his offer, you could at least say that he had revealed his cards and placed the bait right out in the open!
It was as if he were saying, “Here’s the bait, are you going to bite?!”
Anyone with a bit of common sense would be able to see that something was going on, something big and dangerous. Most importantly, as these drastic upheavals were striking the Windswept Realm, the Emperor’s actions were completely baffling.
However… even though they knew that something was going on, none of the Echelon cultivators could resist such bait. Dao-Heaven couldn’t, nor could Meng Hao. Their entire purpose in coming to the Windswept Realm had been to gain enlightenment of natural laws and Essences.
That didn’t indicate that they would instantly acquire that Essence after gaining enlightenment of it. However, the Essence would come to exist in their heart, like a flickering flame that, when they returned to the Mountain and Sea Realm, would make their path towards the Dao Realm less confusing, and make the process much smoother.
The ancient proverb says that before painting a piece of bamboo, that bamboo must exist in your heart. It was similar when dealing with Essences, and when the time came to truly acquire their own Essences, they would have a much clearer picture of their road forward.
Most importantly, having that proverbial bamboo in their hearts would even provoke changes in their fundamental nature!
The more enlightenment they gained, the greater the number of flames that were kindled in their hearts. If they could gain enlightenment of 3,000 great Daos, and thus gain 3,000 Dao Flames in their hearts, then, when they finally entered the Dao Realm, they would be able to wield unimaginable power.
Meng Hao’s divine sense roiled out as he began to gain enlightenment of the 300 Essences that had been released from the temple.
All of the Echelon cultivators were contemplating enlightenment, as were the other cultivators from the Mountain and Sea Realm. The central temple region was completely devoid of any noise other than the Emperor’s wild laughter.
His heart burst with anticipation as he waited for the Echelon cultivators to gain complete enlightenment of the natural laws and Essences.
Zong Wuya stood there silently, a complicated expression on his face as he looked at the Echelon cultivators. Finally let out a light sigh.
“Essences! Natural laws! Great Daos!” Trembling, Dao-Heaven began to laugh as his energy rose, causing a windstorm to spring up around him. Because of the World Seals, he had gained enlightenment of 900 Essences. With the additional help of the Emperor, and the blessing of the Windswept Realm’s qi flow, he now had been enlightened regarding 1,500 Essences. Hope was gradually forming within him, and he could virtually see himself stepping onto the path of the Ancient Realm for a tenth time.
“Who cares if it’s bait? However much you send my way, I’ll take it all!” he cried. Dao-Heaven’s eyes shone with a strange light. He might fear Meng Hao, but having become the most powerful in the Echelon indicated that his power and intelligence far exceeded the norm. Were that not the case, he would not have repeatedly avoided the Third Nation the way he had.
Lin Cong was trembling. Like Han Qinglei, he had not acquired any additional World Seals, and was limited to the 300 original Essences from his Nation’s National Aura Mountain. He had long since resigned himself to being in a hopeless situation. Now, he trembled as his enlightenment reached 600 Essences and continued to rise.
Bait and plots didn’t matter to him. He had no other choice than to do what he was doing. Cultivators lived to become more powerful, and to do so, they had to ignore danger. That was something that all Echelon cultivators were adept at.
Instead of saying that this was Lin Cong’s strong point, you could say that it was… a representation of his ambition!
It was the same with Han Qinglei.
Yuwen Jian was panting. He already had 300 more Essences than Han Qinglei and Lin Cong, and had now broken through to over 1,000. It wasn’t that he hadn’t seen Meng Hao’s actions. However, in the current situation, there was nothing more important or enticing than Essences and natural laws.
Then there was the young Echelon cultivator from the Fifth Mountain. He had been maintaining his distance cautiously, but now he looked extremely excited, and instantly sent his divine sense out in all directions.
Everyone was focused on contemplation, both the Echelon cultivators as well as Fan Dong’er and the others.
Meng Hao was also wrapped up in enlightenment. He was in the best position of all of them, and as his divine sense spread out, because of his advantages, experienced an instant breakthrough.
Rumbling could be heard as Meng Hao’s energy erupted, forming an invisible tempest that spun around him. He was different from the others in terms of his temperament, and he immediately experienced shocking transformations. It was as if he became more confident. He stood there, seemingly far above everyone else.
The greatest transformation that was occurring was inside of him, with the partially absorbed Nirvana Fruit. After gaining enlightenment of 2,800 Essences, it was becoming almost inseparably close to him.
It was as if Meng Hao’s continued enlightenment caused more and more Dao Flames to ignite, allowing him to master the Nirvana Fruit and fuse with it!
By understanding the world around him, he actually didn’t even need to take the initiative to fuse with the Nirvana Fruit; it began doing so automatically!
Rumbling sounds could be heard, and his eyes looked like they contained stars, or even the world itself.
Suddenly, the Emperor’s voice rang out in a mesmerizing fashion, to be heard by all of the Echelon cultivators.
“Meng Hao has already gained enlightenment of 2,800 Essences. You other Echelon cultivators had better go a bit faster, otherwise… that precious World Essence which has been building up the temple for so many years will all go to him.
“As the Emperor, I can help you, and can even lend you with more qi flow. Just call out to me, and the qi flow will be yours!”
Dao-Heaven trembled, and when he opened his eyes, they were shot with blood. He suddenly slapped the top of his head, causing his entire body to vibrate. Then his Echelon mark appeared on his forehead, and his Paragon magic suddenly appeared, not to attack Meng Hao, but to use as a stimulus for his own power. Regardless of the consequences, he wanted his divine sense to become even stronger.
“Give me that qi flow!” he roared. As his voice echoed out, the Heavens rumbled, and an intense beam of light shot down onto Dao-Heaven. It surrounded him, causing the dust in the area to float up into the air and transform into a tempest. Dao-Heaven trembled violently, but his eyes shone brightly.
Under the pressure, he was able to sense that the speed of his enlightenment had been increased by more than tenfold!
1,600! 1,800! 2,000 Essences!
In the moment that Dao-Heaven reached 2,000 Essences, he began to pant, and a gleam of obsession appeared in his eyes, as if he had suddenly caught sight of his own personal Dao!
That Dao was vague, but because of the help of the 2,000 Essences, it could now be said that he had actually found his own path!
“So that’s how it is,” Dao-Heaven murmured, trembling, his eyes burning with passion. “I never would have thought…. I need to examine it in more detail!”
After Dao-Heaven called for the qi flow, Lin Cong and the others gritted their teeth, and then began to follow suit. They unleashed their cultivation bases and went mad with divine sense. Rumbling sounds filled the air as numerous beams of light descended onto them. All of the Echelon cultivators were trembling, expressions vicious as the qi flow power gave indescribable assistance to their enlightenment.
Their speed increased dramatically, especially in Lin Cong’s case. He had nearly gone mad from being defeated by Meng Hao; it was something that his enormous pride just couldn’t accept. Currently, he was roaring, holding nothing back, and was in fact demanding even more qi flow than Dao-Heaven.
He was surrounded by a beam of light 300 meters wide, and his speed of enlightenment was almost unbelievable. In the blink of an eye, he broke past 1,000. After that was 1,200, 1,500, then 1,800. Soon it was 2,000 Essences. He was now in third place among the Echelon, behind only Meng Hao and Dao-Heaven.
“Meng Hao, I won’t be weaker than you!” he roared, face twisted viciously. His entire body was shaking violently, as if his perception of reality was being forcefully stretched and widened. His consciousness grew clearer, and his eyes shone brightly.
“My path was incorrect,” he murmured, “and treading it could never lead to the highest heights. So, that’s what was happening. It turns out Immortality… is like this!” It was unclear exactly what he had seen, but he began to laugh loudly.
Han Qinglei gritted his teeth. Seeing Lin Cong and Dao-Heaven doing what they were doing caused a feeling of competition to rise up sharply within him. He decided to throw caution to the wind, and even though it wasn’t quite appropriate to call for more qi flow from the Emperor, he did it anyway.
Rumbling could be heard as his enlightenment rocketed up. Although it hadn’t reached 2,000 yet, he was able to do exactly what Dao-Heaven and Lin Cong had done, and see his own path.
Yuwen Jian was still hesitating, unsure of what to do. It was the same with the young Echelon cultivator from the Fifth Mountain.
It was at this point that Meng Hao suddenly trembled. His aura caused colors to flash and a huge wind to kick up. A strange look appeared in his eyes as he gained enlightenment of…. 2,900 Essences!
He was now only 100 away from 3,000 Essences!
His aura was changing, becoming different. It was as if he was casting off all mortality and becoming completely extraordinary!
A more intense aura of Immortality swirled around him, making anyone who looked at him suddenly be filled with the desire to bow in worship!
Even the other members of the Echelon and the other cultivators were all affected. Beneath Meng Hao’s feet, green grass and celestial flowers sprouted up, blooming, sending their delicate aroma out in all directions. There were even Blue Lotuses among them, swaying back and forth gently.
“When someone attains the Dao, he paves the way for all others!” Fan Dong’er said breathlessly, feeling shaken as she looked at Meng Hao. “When someone achieves the Dao, Blue Lotuses sprout and blossom!!”
If there were any Dao Realm experts present to watch, they would be astonished. That was because this was an omen that even few people in the Dao Realm could ever incite!
By this point, the Nirvana Fruit was reaching the final stages of absorption into Meng Hao. It was fusing with him, with his blood, with his soul, as if… it would become an eternal part of him!
As for the visions Dao-Heaven, Lin Cong and Han Qinglei were seeing of their Dao paths, Meng Hao experienced nothing of the kind. That was because he did not call upon any of the Windswept Realm’s qi flow from the Emperor. His was a pure enlightenment of the Dao!
Perhaps because of the Echelon Heart within him, his own heart was filling with an increasing sense of deadly crisis regarding the Windswept Realm.
In fact, even if his enlightenment were going slower, he still wouldn’t call upon the qi flow.
The voice of the Emperor echoed out, filled with a bizarre power that entered the hearts of all who heard him. “Meng Hao has already gained enlightenment of the 2,900th Essence. He only has 100 left. The rest of you… had better hurry up, lest you be too late!”