Chapter 1174: Dismemberment by Five Dragons! 1
The last time Meng Hao had come here, cultivators had been gathering in a search for good fortune. Occasionally, Dao Lakes would erupt. If Dao projections appeared, they offered a chance at enlightenment. Or if the surrounding cultivators were lucky, magical items might shoot out, which would be true good fortune.
Just as at that time, there were cultivators present at the lakes, searching for opportunities for good fortune. It was at this point that Meng Hao shot down from the sky like a meteor.
“What’s… what’s that?”
“A shooting star?”
“No, it’s a person. A cultivator! What’s… what’s he doing?” As people caught sight of what first appeared to be a shooting star, their eyes went wide and their jaws dropped. They had never even heard of someone using such a method to try to reach the central Dao lake.
After all, the pressure that weighed down on the region got more intense the closer one got to the center. Even Dao Seeking cultivators had to be careful. Furthermore, if you attempted to just fly down from up above, the effects would be even more severe; to the people present, it actually seemed like an impossibility.
And yet, that is exactly what they were seeing happen in front of their very eyes, causing everyone to gasp.
Rumbling sounds could be heard as Meng Hao shot down like a meteor toward the largest Dao lake, which was in the center of them all. He moved with incredible speed, and nothing could impede his passage. It almost seemed like there was no pressure in the area at all, although the truth of the matter was that the pressure which did exist was completely insignificant as far as he was concerned.
Meng Hao shot into the central lake, and the surface of the water virtually exploded up into the air. He shot down, and within the blink of an eye, was at the bottom of the lake where he spread his right hand out into a palm and pushed down onto the lake floor.
The sludge at the bottom of the lake writhed, and was then shoved away from Meng Hao’s location, revealing a teleportation portal. Meng Hao stood on top of it, then stamped his right foot down, causing the portal to shine with scintillating light that even people beyond the surface of the lake could see.
In the blink of an eye, Meng Hao had vanished. When he reappeared, he was in the first level of the world down below, surrounded by mountains of magical items, and countless beasts who were in the process of carrying the treasures toward a huge door that hung in the middle of the air. The door itself was flanked by several huge beasts, which lay there dozing. A moment later though, they trembled as if with excitement, and opened their eyes.
When they saw Meng Hao, several of the beasts roared, but almost immediately, went as quiet as if someone had gripped their throats and covered their mouths. Their eyes went wide, and they didn’t dare to make any more noise. They just lay there, staring at Meng Hao in terror and disbelief.
What they saw was azure light radiating off of Meng Hao, a light which next caused all of them to suddenly fly forward and prostrate themselves in front of him.
It wasn’t just them. All of the beasts in sight dropped down in worship as soon as they saw Meng Hao. Their eyes shone with fear and shock, and they trembled in place. Meng Hao’s aura filled with them with terror, as did the azure light.
Not even Meng Hao had imagined that such a thing would happen. As he glanced around thoughtfully at the Allheaven Dao Immortal light which surrounded him, the beasts joined their voices together and called out, “We offer greetings, Dao Immortal!!”
Eyes glittering, Meng Hao nodded slightly. Without saying a word, he shot past the prostrating beasts, entering the door and appearing in the second level beyond.
That was the level with a huge altar that resembled a huge mountain. There was also a beast there at the top of the mountain who was enormous, and emanated an ancient aura. After catching sight of Meng Hao, its eyes went wide with disbelief. It examined him for a few seconds, then took a deep breath.
“So, it’s you again. You… have become an Allheaven Dao Immortal!!”
Meng Hao flew up to the top of the mountain and looked around. There was no sign of the Northern Reaches cultivator with whom he had challenged this trial by fire years before.
Seeing Meng Hao look around, the beast said, “He left.”
Then it clasped hands and bowed.
“Greetings, exalted Dao Immortal!”
“I want to go to the next level!” Meng Hao replied calmly. This time, the beast said nothing to dissuade him. It immediately backed up, leaving the way open for Meng Hao to enter the passageway to the Divine Flame world.
Meng Hao took a deep breath, and his eyes flashed with determination. He shot forward, vanishing into the world of Divine Flame. The ancient beast remained behind, just as astonished as it had been moments before. When Meng Hao first came here, it could never have imagined that he would end up amazing it so much.
“The first time he came, he could barely get through the second level.
“The second time he came, he was strong enough to take a bit of Divine Flame….
“I never thought that the third time he came, he would do so as an Allheaven Dao Immortal. In fact, his aura leaves me trembling and filled with fear. If he wanted to kill me… all it would take on his part would be a simple thought.” The beast took a deep breath and looked fearfully at the passageway leading to the Divine Flame world.
When Meng Hao appeared within the world of Divine Flame, he looked around and saw countless enormous pagodas, all of them surrounded by boundless Divine Flame.
In addition to the majestic flames which filled the world, Meng Hao could also see endless piles of bones. The previous times he had been in this place, his cultivation base had been too weak, and he had been in too much of a hurry, therefore, he hadn’t been able to examine them closely. But with his current cultivation base, he was not only able to see the bones scattered about below the pagodas, but could also see that the 990,000 pagodas themselves were made of bones.
“My cultivation base this time is much different than last time. I’m curious to find out what exists in this world of Divine Flame. I want to see whether or not anything exists here that I didn’t spot last time!” Eyes flickering, he sent his divine sense out to fill this third level, the Divine Flame world. Not only could he see the vivid image of 990,000 pagodas, but, just as before, the enormous city in the middle of them all.
The city was pitch black, but covered with white vines and vegetation. Hovering in the air above it was a flame spark that seemed capable of burning for all eternity, a spark which cast boundless firelight into the world around it.
As Meng Hao’s divine sense slowly spread out, he suddenly heard a familiar roar.
“Dao Fang, you must die!!
“You killed me, Dao Fang, and if I’m reincarnated, I’ll definitely kill you!!
“The Immortal World is doomed to experience tribulation! The Immortal lands will grow old, and the Immortals will perish. But I refuse to give in!!
“I know the truth! No matter how long you suppress me, I won’t admit defeat!
“Damned monkey! If I can get free, I’ll have your hide!!
“If I’m transmigrated, I will slaughter myself out of this place! If my transmigration fails, I will fall into oblivion like all other living things, with virtually no hope of reawakening even after countless cycles of reincarnation. Therefore, I will leave a Dharmic decree for this place!
“My decree contains the Essence of my Dao flame, the last vestige of me, Huoyan Zi. I hope that countless years later, that vestige will still exist!” 2
Even with his current cultivation base, hearing the words still left Meng Hao completely shaken. The voice seemed to come from within the spark, a spark which also seemed to contain a vertical pupil inside of it.
The last time he had been here, it had been at this point that his divine sense felt as if it were being burned into ash, and he had been forced to give up. However this time, despite being shaken, he was able to continue to send his divine sense out. It passed the spark, and then proceed further on.
Meng Hao’s face quickly flickered with surprise. On the previous two occasions in which he had come here, his divine sense had told him that this world was a small place. Now, though, as his divine sense spread out, he was shocked to find that this world… was actually far, far larger than he had realized!
There weren’t just 990,000 pagodas!
Or perhaps it was more accurate to say that the 990,000 pagodas were simply one part of the world of Divine Flame. The world itself was divided into six regions!
Meng Hao was currently in the central region, which was surrounded by five other regions. If you looked closely, you would see that the six different regions were all connected. Shockingly, they formed… the shape of a person!!
Each region was filled with innumerable pagodas that almost seemed to weigh down like sealing marks. Most shocking of all was that each of the regions had a black city within it, above which was a burning spark!
Truth be told, that was not what astonished Meng Hao. What left him flabbergasted was that attached to each of the surrounding five regions was a war chariot. There were five war chariots, each one being pulled by an enormous, red-colored dragon. Those five enormous dragons appeared to be asleep, and as they lay there, they bore the semblance of five mountain ranges.
However, as soon as his divine sense passed over them, the enormous dragons… suddenly shivered, apparently having been stimulated. Simultaneously, an explosive, stifling power erupted out from all of them.
Meng Hao began to pant, and immediately retracted his divine sense. He waited by the exit for a bit, and after seeing that the five dragons apparently hadn’t awoken, he finally heaved a sigh of relief.
Those five dragons brimmed with an air of extermination that was even more terrifying than the Dao Realm. Meng Hao could sense that they exceeded even Fang Shoudao’s cultivation base.
Suddenly, an image appeared in his head, a vision of five roaring dragons, attached to war chariots. Those chariots were in the process of dismembering a gigantic, almighty figure!
Meng Hao took a deep breath, and his expression flickered. After standing there silently for a moment, his eyes glittered.
“Whoever Huoyan Zi was, the Essence of Divine Flame has been and will continue to be incredibly useful to me…. Therefore, it doesn’t matter how strange things get in here, I’m not going to give up on my idea of acquiring the entire Essence of Divine Flame!” The grandeur of the place filled Meng Hao’s heart with vigilance, and its bizarreness weighed down on him like pressure.
When he thought back to what he had accomplished the last time he had been here, he had to admit that ignorance was bliss. Had he known more about the situation, it would have been hard to avoid having misgivings.
- This is a play on words. The real expression is dismemberment by five horses, a type of punishment in ancient times ↩
- The words uttered here are exactly the same as those in chapters 728 and 887. However, in the original chapters, I misinterpreted the name “Huoyan Zi” as something else, so I didn’t translate it as a name back then. This version is correct, and the past versions have been adjusted. Also, don’t forget that Meng Hao “met” Dao Fang in chapter 1114 ↩