Chapter 1243: Nine Seals’ Handiwork
“Meng Hao!” After seeing Meng Hao, Xuan Daozi’s eyes flickered with killing intent. He had paid a huge, bitter price for the chance to obtain Meng Hao’s Essence. After their initial encounter, he had pursued him into the 33 Hells. Then he had experienced the bloody battle within the mists, and finally had been sucked into this necropolis. The incredible danger of it all left Xuan Daozi filled with astonishment.
“At long last we’re in a place where no one can interfere,” he said in a hoarse, ghastly voice filled with killing intent. “Nor can you escape. Therefore… this is where everything will come to a conclusion between us!”
However, as soon as Greed-possessed Meng Hao entered the central temple, his eyes filled with mixed emotions and melancholy. It was almost as if he had forgotten about Xuan Daozi and the fourth Nirvana Fruit. Instead, he stood there, staring at the withered corpse.
“Exalted Celestial… Sea-Dao,” he murmured, expression complex and filled with numerous emotions.
“The sea in the name represents two people. As for the Dao, the true meaning of the Daoist name given me was not Sea-Dao, but Sea-Dog.” Greed seemed to be bitterly lost in the depths of his memories. Because of the profound ancientness of those memories, it was impossible for him to not emanate an incredibly ancient air.
That ancientness caused Xuan Daozi, who was in the middle of attacking, to suddenly stare in shock. He lurched to a stop, staring suspiciously, unable to determine what strange development had occurred, but deeply moved by the ancient aura radiating off of Meng Hao.
Then he heard the words spoken by Greed, and his eyes widened. He suddenly remembered that on the surface of the gravestone outside the necropolis was a name written down by none other than Paragon Nine Seals…. It read: Paramita, Exalted Celestial Sea-Dao.
Shockingly, Greed was suppressed in this very location…. Exalted Celestial Sea-Dao was actually one aspect of his soul. Years ago, he had split himself into two, one part of which remained in his fleshly body; as it had slowly withered away, that soul had condensed into the sun of an Exalted Celestial on his forehead.
The other part had been hidden away in dormancy in the surrounding area, avoiding true death. In all the years since then, that aspect of his soul had attempted to free itself on many occasions, to escape. However, he had never been able to see any acceptable host, not even when cultivators came to this place from the outside world. He had tried on numerous occasions, but had never succeeded in possessing anyone.
But then he had laid eyes on Meng Hao, which was the first time he had actually been able to see another cultivator.
Greed sighed, an ancient sigh which echoed out in all directions. The entire temple seemed to fill with wind, and caused all light to grow unstable.
The blue sun on the corpse’s forehead suddenly flared to life. At the same time, the shield and the little bell on either side of the corpse began to tremble.
The already intense pressure in the area grew stronger, explosively powerful, causing Xuan Daozi to shiver. Only Greed seemed completely unaffected.
“The cruel Paragon Nine Seals…” Greed murmured, traces of fear visible within his expression. “He had a Heaven Trampling fleshly body and a cultivation base half a step away from that same Realm…. What a pity he was the only one. If the Immortal World had another Paragon of the same level, the war might not have ended the way it did….
“Cruel. I never sensed it before, but now I can see the truth. He could have exterminated us all along but instead, he created these 33 Hells, not simply to suppress us, but to use the power of the Mountain and Sea Realm to take the 33 of us, powerful peak experts, and… refine us into pills!!
“You wanted to pass us onto your successor, huh…? You wanted to take 33 Dao Divinities and Exalted Celestials, refine them into pills, and leave them behind for your successor!” Greed took a deep breath. Shaken, his eyes began to shine with a bright light.
“Unfortunately, you could never have anticipated me escaping by splitting myself, nor could you predict… that I would possess this body! I have no idea where your so-called successor is, but as for this grand gift you prepared for him, I’m going to take it now!” With that Greed took a step forward.
However, as soon as that step landed, Xuan Daozi suddenly couldn’t take the tension anymore and he howled, shooting toward the Greed-possessed Meng Hao.
“Stop spouting mumbo-jumbo, Meng Hao! Today is the day you die!”
Flying at top speed, Xuan Daozi closed in and waved his hand, causing Essence and natural law to erupt out and bear down on Meng Hao.
In this attack, Xuan Daozi drew on all the power he could muster. Inwardly, all of the dangers of this place were weighing down on his heart, and also felt shaken by the words uttered just now by Greed. Therefore, even as his Essence and natural law shot out, he performed an incantation gesture with his right hand, causing nine reptilian scales to fly out of his bag of holding.
As soon as the scales appeared, a brutal aura exploded out, and the scales transformed into nine Scale Dragons, each one fully 300 meters long. Thankfully, the temple was a large place, otherwise they wouldn’t even have been able to move. As soon as they appeared, they roared and charged toward Meng Hao.
Xuan Daozi hadn’t even finished that attack before he performed another incantation gesture and then waved his finger. His flesh and blood instantly withered, making him incredibly gaunt, yet simultaneously causing a mist of flesh and blood to transform into a blood sword.
The sword droned like a Blood Dragon as it shot toward Meng Hao.
Next, Xuan Daozi performed a double-handed incantation gesture, causing one magical symbol after another to appear. All of them were golden, and made popping sounds as they transformed into golden-armored celestial soldiers, which formed up and advanced on Meng Hao.
Next, a strange light gleamed in Xuan Daozi’s eyes, and the killing intent within them swirled. Glaring coldly at Meng Hao, he began to mutter, then raised his right hand, which radiated a shocking black mist. The black mist swirled around, causing the air around him to distort.
He really was going all out in this attack, doing everything possible to kill Meng Hao and end the fighting that had been dragging out between them.
Greed-possessed Meng Hao’s eyes flickered with a mysterious light, and he smiled viciously. He stopped walking toward the nine stone columns, and instead turned and headed toward Xuan Daozi.
“You’re the only Dao Realm cultivator left? Well, just to make sure I don’t run low on life force, I’ll seal you before you die.”
As he took his first step, Xuan Daozi’s power of Essence and natural law descended, enveloping him. But Greed simply opened his mouth and swallowed. The Essence and natural law shuddered; it was as if Greed’s mouth had turned into a black hole, and they were sucked in and completely consumed.
Xuan Daozi’s eyes went wide, but before he could even react, the nine Scale Dragons closed in. Greed took a second step, causing rumbling sounds to echo out, shaking the entire necropolis. The nine Scale Dragons screamed miserably and shattered, transforming into white mist that Greed sucked in.
He licked his lips, eyes shining as he smiled and said, “Lovely flavor.”
With that, he took a third step, waving his finger. The blood sword lurched to a halt and trembled in midair. Greed tapped on it, and it shattered, transforming into a blood mist which spread out in all directions.
As for the incoming gold-armored celestial soldiers, they began to shake, and then fell into retreat. However, Greed waved his hand, shattering them and transforming them into a white mist which he then absorbed. The fourth Nirvana Fruit in his forehead was now significantly further along in its fusion process.
“You’re not Meng Hao!!” Xuan Daozi exclaimed. “Who are you?!?!” If he couldn’t piece the clues together by now, then how could he have practiced cultivation to this level? Shock filled his face, and his scalp felt numb. How could he ever have imagined that all of his divine abilities and Daoist magics would be completely dismantled in an instant!?
The two sentences he had just uttered were completely involuntary. He had begun to guess at the truth when he saw the expression on Meng Hao’s face when he looked at the withered corpse, and heard the words he had spoken. The terrifying possibility was something he almost couldn’t believe. But now, there was no denying it.
“Of course I’m not Meng Hao,” said Greed, voice cool and expression both arrogant and disdainful. “You can call me Exalted Celestial Sea-Dao. Although, I like my former name better. Greed!”
Xuan Daozi’s eyes filled with madness. His first reaction to encountering a terrifying entity such as this was to raise his right hand, which was now so enveloped in black mist that it was impossible to see with the naked eye.
“Profound Heavens Grand Magic!!” Xuan Daozi roared. He lowered his hand, and suddenly, the image of an enormous palm appeared, completely black. It seemed illusory, but was in fact corporeal, and it shot toward Meng Hao with incredible speed, distorting natural law and affecting even Heaven and Earth as it sped along.
A strange light appeared in Greed’s eyes; he appeared to be somewhat surprised. However, when he opened his mouth and began to suck in a breath, the gigantic black hand began to shrink, transforming into a cyclone of wind that Greed then sucked in and swallowed.
The sight caused Xuan Daozi’s heart to tremble, and he started to wonder if there was anything that this thing couldn’t eat….
He was already starting to edge backward, but there was nowhere to flee to in the huge temple.
“What makes you think I would let you leave?” Greed asked, smiling. “I was the reason you people were sucked into this place. This… is my necropolis, and yours too.” Even as Greed smiled, the surrounding walls began to rumble, and suddenly, the ten entrances all collapsed.
If it were just an ordinary physical collapse, that wouldn’t be able to stop a cultivator from bursting through. But the ripples of a magical technique spread out, turning into a seal that kicked Xuan Daozi back as soon as he got close. It was now impossible for him to flee.
Xuan Daozi’s face fell, and his heart began to tremble. Greed stepped forward, and suddenly appeared in front of him.
Xuan Daozi’s eyes widened as Greed pointed out with his finger and then tapped his chest.
Xuan Daozi screamed miserably as he shot backward. The spot Greed had just touched was now decaying, radiating a powerful aura of death. However, even as the decay spread, and the aura of death grew, his life force also increased dramatically.
“Essence of Life and Death!!” Xuan Daozi cried in shock.