Chapter 1201: Son of the Mountains and Seas!
As the nine Xuanwu turtles howled, a cold, emotionless voice suddenly echoed out into the minds of the Lords of the Nine Mountains and Seas. “The Paramita Bridge has awakened. Destroy it! Eradicate its life force. It must not become complete!!”
Simultaneously, the sun and moon flickered with explosive destructive power!
Back in the former location of the Bridge of Immortal Treading, the bridgestones continued to fuse into the Paragon Bridge, causing its energy to rise up explosively.
Meng Hao stood atop it, completely steady despite how violently it was shaking. His eyes gleamed with a strange light as he suddenly realized something.
“There are two stages to Paragon magics. The first is the illusory stage, and the second is… the corporeal stage!
“Only by advancing the Paragon magic to the corporeal stage can it truly explode with power!
“In fact, that power depends on the physical Paragon object!
“Having Paragon magic means you can join the Echelon. By advancing the Paragon magic to the corporeal, you… transcend the Echelon!!” As Meng Hao gained this new enlightenment, his Echelon mark appeared on his forehead, flickering brilliantly. As it glowed, it began to transform!
Apparently, he was moving beyond the Echelon, turning into a completely unique entity in the Mountain and Sea Realm!
The soul of the Bridge of Immortal Treading, seeing that it could do nothing to stop what was happening, let out a maddened roar. Eyes blazing, it cried, “I refuse to accept this!
“If I can absorb the Paramita Bridge, then I’ll finally be free! I can escape from this sea of bitterness and be like the fish who jumped over the dragon gate!” The face that represented the soul howled as it ceased resisting and actually shot directly toward the Paragon Bridge.
This was its ultimate decision. It would try to possess the Paragon Bridge, to take its place. Such an outcome wasn’t an impossibility. After all… it was born from the outrage of the Bridge of Immortal Treading, and was actually… a soul automaton!
The soul of the replica was trying to possess the object after which it had been fashioned, to take its place!
Rumbling could be heard as the soul of the Bridge of Immortal Treading merged into the Paragon Bridge. Meng Hao could do nothing to stop it, and in the blink of an eye, it was part of the Paragon Bridge. Everything was shaking violently as the Bridge of Immortal Treading completely vanished from the starry sky. Numerous cultivators in the area were pushed away from the vicinity, and the cultivators who had come to watch were staring wide-eyed.
There was now only one bridge in the starry sky, and that was… Meng Hao’s Paragon Bridge!
However, the Paragon Bridge was trembling as its aura rose up. The soul of the Bridge of Immortal Treading was trying to possess it in an attempt to become the soul of the Paragon Bridge!
“I can allow you to become the soul of the Paragon Bridge….” Meng Hao said.
A roaring response could be heard from the Paragon Bridge: “I don’t need you to allow me! I can do it myself!”
A powerful force battered away at the connection between Meng Hao and the Paragon Bridge, trying to separate it from Meng Hao and turn it into an independent entity.
It was attempting to do the same thing that Meng Hao had done to the Paragon Painting of the First Mountain’s Echelon cultivator, to break it away from him permanently.
Meng Hao’s eyes flickered, and he was about to unleash all his power to suppress it, when suddenly, an intense sensation of imminent crisis welled up in him. Looking up, he could sense a powerful force of expulsion coming from the Mountain and Sea Realm itself. A huge power was coming, a power that would destroy the Paragon Bridge that was still in the midst of awakening and being completed.
Meng Hao’s face flickered; although he wanted to put away the Paragon Bridge, because of the soul of the Bridge of Immortal Treading, he could not. Suddenly, he shot backward, moving to the location on the Paragon Bridge where Han Shan and his wife were. He quickly waved his hand to set up a shield around them, then looked out into the starry sky, his eyes shining with a strange light.
He even stopped trying to prevent the soul of the Bridge of Immortal Treading from interfering with his connection to the Paragon Bridge, and he looked up into the starry sky and caught sight of a beam of light.
That light… was caused because of the roaring of the nine Xuanwu turtles, and was… killing intent from the sun and moon!
An all-destructive arrow of light pierced through the starry sky, slamming into the Paragon Bridge to destroy it.
The Paragon Bridge started shaking, and because it was born from Meng Hao’s magic, Meng Hao also trembled and coughed up a mouthful of blood. However, the soul of the Bridge of Immortal Treading was even more seriously wounded.
The Bridge Soul let out a bloodcurdling scream, and the entire Paragon Bridge shook. Massive destructive power washed over it, and the Bridge Soul could feel the menacing threat of death.
“Do you surrender or not!?” Meng Hao suddenly said. “Surrender, and become mine. A single thought on my part can make you the soul of the Paragon Bridge!
“Refuse to surrender, and you’ll be destroyed by the power of the Mountains and Seas!” Meng Hao was now using the power of the Mountains and Seas to threaten the soul.
“I’ll die before I surrender!!” the Bridge Soul howled. “If I die, the bridge will be destroyed, and you’ll be wiped out too!” Suddenly, a second arrow of light appeared, even more powerful and terrifying than the previous one. It slammed into the bridge, shattering the azure light, overwhelming the white light, and causing the entire Paragon Bridge to tremble and begin to fall apart once again.
The rising energy was interrupted, and Meng Hao coughed up more blood. As he fought back against the power, the Bridge Soul screamed and weakened even further. It… could not withstand a third arrow!!
“I’ll give you one last chance.” he said, eyes shining. “Yield to me, and become my Bridge Soul. I, Meng Hao, swear an oath that I will use the blood of the Ji Tian to resolve your blood feud. I will help you resolve your outrage!
“If you don’t take advantage of this opportunity, then I’ll watch as the power of the Mountains and Seas obliterates you.”
Even as the words left his mouth, a third arrow of light appeared off in the distance. It looked like a sun, and the entire starry sky of the Ninth Mountain and Sea trembled from the ripples which emanated off of it. It seemed to contain a power that could shake Heaven and Earth… that would destroy anything with a single strike!
The Bridge Soul trembled. In this critical life-or-death moment of crisis, it let out a miserable cry.
“Even if I yield to you, I’ll still be killed by that power. You’ll still abandon the bridge to save yourself. I die either way!”
“I won’t abandon the Paragon Bridge,” Meng Hao said with decisiveness that could sever nails and chop iron. “If you yield, I’ll make sure you will not perish!”
The Bridge Soul shivered. Considering it was about to be destroyed, it had little choice. It immediately opened itself up. Meng Hao unleashed his divine sense, borrowing strength from the Paragon Bridge to leave his mark on the Bridge Soul.
That mark was now indelibly branded into the soul, never to be removed!
“Now let’s see how you keep your promise!!” the Bridge Soul roared. As soon as Meng Hao marked it, it had no need to attempt to possess the Paragon Bridge, nor any reason to interfere with Meng Hao’s connection to it. The Paragon Bridge approved of the Bridge Soul, allowing it to fill the bridge. Instantly, the bridge’s power exploded with incredible might.
Now that it was marked… it became part of Meng Hao. Furthermore, there was now absolutely no way for the Paragon Bridge to leave Meng Hao’s control. Regardless of whether it was illusory or corporeal, that fact would never change!
You could even say that the Paragon Bridge, having absorbed the Bridge of Immortal Treading… now had the good fortune to one day become completely corporeal!
“The next step is to go to the Ruins of Immortality and absorb the entire section of the real Paragon Bridge!” Meng Hao thought, eyes gleaming. At long last, he understood the path of the Paragon!
By this point, the third arrow of light had almost arrived. The Bridge Soul trembled as Meng Hao stepped off of the Paragon Bridge, placing himself directly in the arrow’s path. Then he lifted his right hand and pushed it toward the arrow!
That movement caused a tremor to run through the Bridge Soul. How could it ever have imagined that Meng Hao would do something like this, stand up directly to the power of the Mountains and Seas?
“He’s crazy….” whispered the Bridge Soul.
However, what happened in the next moment caused the Bridge Soul to gape in complete disbelief.
That was because the arrow slowed to a stop directly in front of Meng Hao!
“I call upon the authority of my status to order you… to return whence you came!” he said softly, eyes blazing with determination. Although his hand did not possess the power to resist the arrow, his voice was like an unbreakable barrier that made his hand completely and thoroughly impenetrable. The arrow stopped as if it didn’t dare to pierce through it.
A cold voice spoke out into Meng Hao’s mind, echoing like thunder: “The Paramita Bridge may exist. However, to prevent anything untoward from occurring with this particular awakened bridge, it will be destroyed!”
“This bridge is my Paragon magic, nothing untoward will occur,” Meng Hao said coolly.
“According to the law, the bridge may not–”
“If I say nothing untoward will occur, nothing will! Back down!” As he spoke, he caused the drop of Paragon’s blood inside of him to suddenly flare up. Its aura spread out, not much, but enough to completely shock the nine Xuanwu turtles on the tops of the Nine Mountains!
The cold voice that represented the will of the Mountain and Sea Realm was also astonished!
The arrow trembled, and the cold voice fell silent. Meng Hao said nothing more. He simply stood there, and even let his hand drop to his side. Behind him, the Bridge Soul inside the Paragon Bridge was staring in shock.
After a moment, the cold voice once again echoed out into Meng Hao’s mind.
“The orders of the Son of the Mountains and Seas shall be followed!” The arrow slowly faded away, transforming into motes of glittering light that spread out into the void.
Meng Hao breathed a sigh of relief. Everything that had just happened had been a gamble, considering he wasn’t sure exactly how much control he could wield over the Mountain and Sea Realm.
“Son of the Mountains and Seas….” he thought, smiling slightly. He liked the sound of that title. As he turned, the mark on his forehead completed its transformation. Shockingly… it now depicted nine mountains, which flashed briefly before vanishing.
The Bridge Soul inside the Paragon Bridge said nothing, but it now felt unprecedented respect and awe for Meng Hao. It did nothing at all to resist him, and when he waved his hand, the bridge slowly faded away.
Now, the only thing that remained in the starry sky was a floating block of ice. Within that ice were Han Shan and his wife. They looked just like they had before, sitting there together, leaning up against each other. Gradually, the ice began to melt. After the time it takes an incense stick to burn, Han Shan shuddered, then looked up in confusion at Meng Hao.
As soon as Han Shan looked at him, a smile broke out on Meng Hao’s face. Clasping hands, he bowed deeply and said, “Big bro Han Shan, I’m happy to say that I’ve fulfilled your request!”