Chapter 277: Eastern Emergence Mountain
Meng Hao opened his eyes and stared blankly at the Furnace Lord medallion for a moment as the voice faded from his mind. For some reason its tone made it seem that whoever was speaking was very familiar with him.
The tone had been one of idle chit-chat, which left Meng Hao even more surprised.
However, the voice was clearly that of a stranger; Meng Hao was sure he had never heard it before.
He frowned for a moment, then transformed into a beam of light and shot forward. Before he had flown very far, he suddenly stopped and looked down at the Furnace Lord medallion. His eyes narrowed for a moment, then began to shine. Within the shining glow were bits of fury.
“I know who that voice belongs to. The only person who has the authority to start a trial by fire for Violet Furnace Lord promotion… completely based on his mood…. Other than the Violet Furnace Lords themselves, the only person who could transmit a message from such a distance is….
“Pill Demon!” Meng Hao ground his teeth. He had really had no option but to go.
“My Bedevilment Pill! My 200,000,000 Spirit Stones….” Thinking about the vast amount of Spirit Stones made Meng Hao’s heart seize with pain. It was as if someone had taken a valuable treasure right out of his pocket and dangled it in front of his face, while he was powerless to resist.
Within the Violet Fate Sect, Pill Demon was the only one other than the Violet Furnace Lords who might possibly know that he was Grandmaster Pill Cauldron. The Bedevilment Pill might be able to fool others, but definitely not Pill Demon.
Considering Pill Demon’s position within the Violet Fate Sect, if he wanted to know something, it would be virtually impossible to keep the information from him.
Actually, Meng Hao hadn’t really done anything to conceal his identity as Grandmaster Pill Cauldron. He had simply not taken the initiative to proclaim who he was. After all, his original intention in participating in the Pill Auction was to increase his reputation a bit. He had never imagined that the Bedevilment Pill would cause such a stir. His subsequent caution had caused the entire Southern Domain to begin to speculate as to who Grandmaster Pill Cauldron really was.
As he looked at the Furnace Lord medallion, he recalled the voice that had just entered his head and let out a soft sigh. Obviously, Pill Demon had known all along that he was Grandmaster Pill Cauldron.
Meng Hao was suddenly furious. “So you knew the whole time that I was famous in all of the Southern Domain. Any Sect would love to have me work for them as Grandmaster Pill Cauldron. In that case, why didn’t you give me my Spirit Stones?!”
There was little to do about it, though. Pill Demon was like a Patriarch in the East Pill Division. If he wanted to cheat him, there was really nothing Meng Hao could do about it. He couldn’t simply up and demand to have Spirit Stones.
“Back in Yunjie County, the Stewards were always miserly. If they weren’t taking advantage of people, they took it as losing money! It seems the same principle exists in the Cultivation world. The more Spirit Stones they have, the stingier they get!” Meng Hao sighed, then once again proceeded forward in a beam of light.
“You owe me 200,000,000 Spirit Stones. Right now I don’t even have a single Spirit Stone left….” thought Meng Hao, his face long. When he thought about his empty bag of holding, and the 200,000,000 Spirit Stones, he just couldn’t keep his cool.
“Four days to get back to the Sect. I’m much further than four days away right now….” He sped up.
“Trial by fire for promotion to Violet Furnace Lord…. Could batty old Pill Demon perhaps feel guilty for taking my Spirit Stones, so he’s giving me a chance to become a Violet Furnace Lord?” His eyes suddenly began to glitter, and his heart palpitated with eagerness. He knew that becoming a Violet Furnace Lord would come with a host of benefits.
After a thousand years, the Violet Fate Sect currently only had eight Violet Furnace Lords. Finally there would be a ninth….
Meng Hao began to breathe heavily, and he pushed himself even faster.
“Four days…. No matter what, I have to get back to the Sect in four days!” He shot off into the distance, a prismatic beam charging at high speed. He had risen to prominence in the western region. His Cultivation base had climbed to new heights. Now he was being called back to the Sect. All of it seemed to smack of some hidden agenda. He decided not to be concerned about the suddenness of the whole matter.
He sighed again and pushed down his concerns. His Cultivation base was now much different than when he had left the Sect, but he could use the Dao Geyser to explain that. After considering the matter for some time, Meng Hao found it unlikely that the Sect was plotting against him.
After all, the Violet Fate Sect was one of the great Sects of the Southern Domain. If they really harbored ill intentions toward him and deigned to use some sort of tricks on him, then there was nothing he could do about it. They would be able to seize him with little effort.
Besides, he had been in the East Pill Division for more than five years. He understood the Sect fairly well and knew both the exceptional areas of the East Pill Division, as well as its shortcomings.
Thinking of all these things, his apprehension lessened quite a bit. However, he was no less cautious than ever. Taking advantage of every teleportation portal he could, he made his way back toward the Violet Fate Sect.
Every teleportation portal he arrived at belonged to some Sect or Clan. All he had to do was flash his Furnace Lord medallion and they would let him pass. They were happy to let a Furnace Lord use their teleportation devices.
Four days passed in a flash. It was late in the night of the third day, in the moment when dawn of the fourth day was about to break, that Meng Hao, windswept and covered in dust, arrived in the region of the Violet Fate Sect. He had passed through over twenty teleportation portals and had crossed nearly half of the Southern Domain.
“Batty old Pill Demon! If he gets to choose when the trial by fire starts, then why the hell did he pick four days!” Meng Hao wasn’t in a good mood, and was in fact slightly depressed. Anyone who used over twenty teleportation portals in a brief four day period would be just as completely exhausted. Thankfully, he had ten Dao Pillars and much stronger Spiritual Sense. With his previous Cultivation base, being teleported so many times in such a short period of time would have left him painfully exhausted.
Meng Hao would rather have spent the fourth day in meditation and rest, but had no time. The constant flying and use of teleportation portals wasn’t without benefit, though. Because of the constant rotation of his Cultivation base, his ten Dao Pillars were completely stable; he could now break through to Core Formation at any time.
His breathing rough, Meng Hao shot through Violet Fate Sect territory. Dawn light climbed up into the sky as he flew along. Occasionally he would encounter other Cultivators who, upon seeing his clothing, would look shocked, and then respectfully clasp hands and bow to him.
This was Violet Fate Sect territory, so all the other Sects and Clans therein were connected in some way to the Violet Fate Sect. As such, his clothing, and the identity they heralded, garnered deep respect.
Off in the distance, he could see the Violet Fate Sect and the enormous statue of Reverend Violet East. It was still early morning, but Meng Hao was worn out and in a rotten mood. As he approached the Sect, the previously still air suddenly began to ripple.
Meng Hao ignored the ripples, and continued to fly at top speed. The ripples spread out for a moment, and then soundlessly disappeared.
These ripples would instantly slay any Cultivator of the Nascent Soul stage or below who was not of the Violet Fate Sect.
Meng Hao whistled through the air within the Sect. Along the way, he ran into quite a few disciples of the Violet Qi Division. They looked at Meng Hao with expressions of complete astonishment.
Seeing the expressions, Meng Hao got a bad feeling. Suddenly, he turned a corner and found himself face to face with a Chosen disciple he knew from the Violet Qi Division, who immediately said, “Fang Mu, what are you doing back?”
Meng Hao paused for a moment, turning back to look at him. “Hey, Brother Song… I was out of the Sect to gain some experience, but now the training is over….”
“You just got back from training?” was the reply. “You’d better get to Eastern Emergence Mountain as fast as you can. All the Furnace Lords and master alchemists of the East Pill Division headed over there at dawn. The word is that there’s a Violet Furnace Lord trial by fire!”
“Eastern Emergence Mountain?” An image of the mountain immediately appeared in Meng Hao’s mind. It was in the eastern part of the State of Eastern Emergence, quite some distance from the Violet Fate Sect.
“Yeah! The trial by fire for Violet Furnace Lord Promotion has caused a big stir among the other great Sects and Clans. Members of the senior generation arrived quite some time ago to observe the proceedings. You…” As the words were still coming out Song’s mouth, Meng Hao took a deep breath, clasped hands, and then disappeared in a beam of bright light.
He sent his Spiritual Sense out and found that there really were no master alchemists present at all within the East Pill Division. He immediately shot off into the distance.
“Batty old Pill Demon,” he said through gritted teeth, “why can’t you explain things clearly?!” Despite his exhaustion, he shot forward at the highest speed possible.
Eastern Emergence Mountain was the most prominent mountain within the State of Eastern Emergence. It towered up into the sky, and throughout the year, its upper half was enveloped in white clouds that appeared Celestial in nature. Many legends about this mountain existed within the State of Eastern Emergence.
Its peak was covered with ice and snow; mortals would be incapable of climbing up to such a place. Furthermore, the mountain was guarded year round by Violet Fate Sect Cultivators, making it a restricted area.
Even Violet Fate Sect disciples were not allowed to climb the mountain unless they had a special command medallion. Obviously, outsiders would never be allowed onto the mountain unless some solemn Violet Fate Sect matter was underway.
According to one rumor, ten thousand years ago, the Violet Fate Sect wasn’t located where it was now, but rather, on Eastern Emergence Mountain. Eventually, because of various circumstances, the Sect had moved away.
Regardless of that, Eastern Emergence Mountain was under constant guard by the Violet Fate Sect. In fact, it was less of a restricted area and more of a holy place!
Currently, an enormous pill furnace rested on the peak of the mountain. It was covered with countless protruding magical symbols, and emanated an archaic air. An air of Time seemed to spread out from within, an air that felt thousands of years old.
Were Meng Hao here, he would recognize this pill furnace… this was the same one that appeared in illusory form above the East Pill Division, and led into the Violet Fate Celestial Land.
This was the actual pill furnace itself!
Surrounding the pill furnace were the thousand master alchemists of the East Pill division, the one hundred Furnace Lords, and the eight Violet Furnace Lords, including An Zaihai and Lin Hailong.  Everyone was here!
Close by were representatives of the other four great Sects, as well as the three great Clans, along with members from other Sects who devoted themselves to alchemy. Elders from all these organizations sat cross-legged atop the mountain peak, waiting.
This chapter was sponsored by Rhoy Treves, Alec Ray, Martin Allan Viray, Robert Kunzi and Alexander Hinz