Meng Hao stared in shock. Without realizing it, his eyes gazed down at her body. He wasn’t sure why, but for some reason, he suddenly found himself thinking about Chu Yuyan.
“Grandmaster Meng, I’m willing to do anything for my younger brother.” Her body trembled, but she held her head high nonetheless. The moon accentuated her beauty, making her particularly enticing.
Meng Hao didn’t say anything. Wu Ling’s purpose was clear; she wanted to help her brother acquire a proper position and status within the Crow Scout Tribe. Accomplishing something like that wouldn’t be difficult for Meng Hao. Be it in terms of his Cultivation base or his identity as a Dragoneer, if he threw his support behind someone from one of the three bloodlines, it would be enough.
After a long moment passed, Meng Hao looked back up and said, “I’m not very interested in your body.” Having reached his current level of Cultivation base, he could ignore the changes wrought by time. Because of that, his interest in certain matters had cooled. He had never experienced the passionate love between a man and a woman, and as such was able to look down on such carnal temptations.
With a simple nod of his head, vast numbers of women with low Cultivation bases would throw themselves at him to acquire the protection of powerful expert of the great circle of the Gold Core, a person who could contend with the early Nascent Soul stage.
However, Meng Hao’s heart was not focused on lust. His ambitions lay in the Eastern Lands and the Great Tang, in Immortal Ascension, in superseding the Ji Clan, in assuring that no one under Heaven could interfere with his plans, in preventing the Heavens from ever suppressing him.
These were his dreams. From the moment he had entered the Cultivation world, he had staunchly stuck to pursuing the path of his dreams.
In this life, he would not be an insect to others!
In pursuit of these dreams, he had entered the Southern Domain. In pursuit of these dreams, he had gone to the Black Lands. In pursuit of these dreams, he had traveled to the Western Desert to search for the path of his Five-Colored Nascent Soul.
With the passage of time, these things had become indelibly imprinted on his heart. This was his path.
Wu Ling’s face was ashen, and she bit her lip. She could see Meng Hao’s calmness, and could see that his gaze wasn’t the bit affected by her body. She knew what he said to be true. He didn’t care about her body.
The moonlight poured down onto her, and she clenched her jaw as she looked at him bitterly. It was at this point that Meng Hao’s eyes narrowed and he suddenly looked directly at her chest.
Just now, moonlight had fallen on her neck, and a pendant which hung there, something he hadn’t noticed before.
It was a silver pendant, which let off a gentle aura beneath the moonlight. The design was that of a flower with ten petals. A small, silver flower.
Almost the same instant that Meng Hao caught sight of the pendant, he suddenly sensed the imminent awakening of the Resurrection Lily, which Shui Dongliu had sealed such a long time ago.
The signs of awakening were sudden; in the blink of an eye, an intense pain suddenly filled his body, causing his face to immediately flicker.
Meng Hao’s Cultivation base back then couldn’t even compare to his current one. Despite the fact that the pain washed over him like floodwaters, the only thing that Wu Ling could see was a slight flicker before his expression returned to normal.
Meng Hao’s hand suddenly lifted up and made a snatching motion. The necklace which the pendant was attached to snapped, and it turned into a beam of silver light as it shot toward Meng Hao. He grabbed it out of the air.
“Where did you get this?” Even as he asked the question, his body filled with pain, and his Cultivation base trembled as it fought back and forth with the Resurrection Lily. One tried to shake off its seal, the other tried to push back with full strength. Despite all that was happening, not a trace of it could be seen on Meng Hao’s face.
Wu Ling stared in shock and unconsciously raised her hand up to her neck.
“My mother gave that to me….”
“You can leave now,” said Meng Hao. “As for the matter regarding Wu Chen, I will consider it.” With that, he closed his eyes. He didn’t return the pendant.
Wu Ling hesitated for a moment, then bowed her head and put her garments back on. Giving Meng Hao a slight curtsy, she turned and left, feeling disconsolate and frustrated.
It was about the same time that Wu Ling left the courtyard that Meng Hao finally couldn’t control himself anymore. His face instantly went pale, and sweat drops as big as beans began to pour down. It only took an instant for him to be completely soaked. He waved his left hand, causing the Greenwood Tree totem to magically appear on his forehead. The Eyeless Larva could be seen on his right hand, and the surrounding neo-demon horde suddenly looked extremely vigilant. A gently glowing shield appeared, with Meng Hao at its center. It completely surrounded the entire courtyard as Meng Hao trembled, then coughed up a mouthful of blood.
This blood was not red, but rather, was made of four colors. It transformed into a mist which hovered in mid-air before him, forming into a Resurrection Lily. It faced Meng Hao and let out a soundless shriek that was filled with ferocity and obstinacy.
Meng Hao’s eyes glowed brightly. He began to rotate his Cultivation base with full power, and then closed his eyes. He did everything he could to suppress the Resurrection Lily. Soon, enough time had passed for an incense stick to burn, whereupon a tremor ran through his body.
“You wanna come out? Fine!” Meng Hao gave a cold harrumph, then slapped his bag of holding to produce a scroll painting. It floated in front of him and slowly unfurled, seemingly under the power of some invisible force that wanted to open the Resurrection Lily painting.
Meng Hao’s eyes widened as he stared coldly at the painting. It trembled as a howl emerged from within that only Meng Hao could hear. They stared at each other, one man, one painting, for nearly an hour within the confines of the protective shield.
Eventually, the unyielding howl began to fade slowly away. Finally, the painting fell to the ground with a flop. Meng Hao let out a long sigh and closed his eyes. After a long moment passed, he opened them again and looked recovered. A grim look appeared in his eyes.
“So, it’s actually been awake for a while!” An angry glint flickered in his eyes. The power exhibited by the Resurrection Lily in their struggle just now was extremely intense, and was obviously nothing like the power that would manifest had it just awakened. On the contrary, it seemed it had waited and built up its strength in an attempt to break through its seal in one fell swoop.
“And here I thought it was sealed and sleeping this entire time. Instead, it actually awakened for some reason, and then remained there motionless, waiting for the perfect critical moment, when I was least prepared, to fight with all its might….” Meng Hao took a deep breath, then looked down at the pendant in his hand.
“Is it possible that this thing provoked some instinctive reaction on the part of the Resurrection Lily? Once I noticed the signs of its awakening, it couldn’t hold back any more, and launched its fatal blow!?” Meng Hao sat in silent contemplation. He was well aware that if it weren’t for the chance occurrences today, if the Resurrection Lily had been given more time to grow strong, then there would have been a high likelihood that at the critical moment, his lack of preparation would have led to the Resurrection Lily casting off its seal and taking over his body!
Thinking of this caused lingering fear to spread throughout Meng Hao, despite the level of his Cultivation base and mental strength.
“What is this thing?” he thought, studying the pendant. “After hiding so carefully, the Resurrection Lily instinctively broke its cover because of it.” His eyes glittered, and he sent out his Spiritual Sense, only to come up with nothing.
After some thought, Meng Hao lifted his hand and pushed down onto his left eye. Because of the presence of Immortal Shows the Way inside of him, he was able to rotate the scrap of Immortal Qi within. It coalesced into his eye, which he then blinked several times in succession. Suddenly, it glowed with brilliant light as he examined the pendant.
Instantly, the pendant looked vastly different than it had a moment before. In fact, it was obviously not just a pendant; shockingly, it was a Resurrection Lily.
It now had seven petals, but all were the same color. Furthermore, it was emanating a faint death aura. Only a very faint bit of life force remained within.
It seemed to be in some sort of special state, as if that life force were struggling, and wished to truly live once again.
Meng Hao suddenly understood. “This… don’t tell me that this… is a Resurrection Lily seed!?”
His left eye flickered, then returned to normal. His face was pale white as his right hand clenched around the pendant.
He was breathing heavily now, and it took a long moment for him to recover his composure.
“Just what is this pendant? It actually provoked some instinctive change in Resurrection Lily even in the midst of its fear of being detected by me.” Coldness filled his eyes, and he was about to crush down on the seed with his fist to smash it, when suddenly, something flickered in his mind. After a moment’s deliberation, he lifted the seed up once more and examined it closely. His eyes then began to shine with a strange light.
“Crushing it would solve the main problem, but, that would be quite a pity. This seed is the best object of reference I have to study the Resurrection Lily and find its weakness.” His eyes glittered as he put the Resurrection Lily seed away.
“I owe a great debt to Wu Chen and his sister,” he thought. With that, he waved his hand, causing the protective shield to disappear. It was already early morning.
“In terms of the five elements, the Crow Scout Tribe’s totems attach importance to the Wood-type. All others are simply collateral branches. I’ve acquired the Greenwood Tree totem, and originally I didn’t plan to partake in any other matters relating to the Tribe. In fact, I wasn’t even going to enter the Crow Divinity Holy Land to meet Yan Song and the others. I was going to just leave. But now…. I think it might be good to stay a little bit longer. I can do some more research to find out how Wu Ling’s mother ended up with a Resurrection Lily seed! Plus, if I’m lucky, maybe I can get my hands on a Metal-type totem.”
When it came to matters relating to Wood-type and Fire-type, through Meng Hao’s more than half year of observation and enlightenment, his most important clue had come from the Golden Crow that flew out from the Crow Divinity Holy Land the previous year. From what Meng Hao could tell, it emanated not a will of Fire, but rather, a shocking Wood-type will.
Having made up his mind, Meng Hao closed his eyes and began to meditate. He rotated his Cultivation base and began to examine himself inwardly. Finally, he took out the painting to study for a moment. Eventually, a cold smile turned up the corners of his lips, and he put the painting away.
He wasn’t sure if the Resurrection Lily was actually sleeping at the moment, or just pretending. However, he was now prepared. Even if the Resurrection Lily sprang into action suddenly, he was confident that he could repress it a second time.
“In fact, I will suppress it to the point where, it won’t be absorbing me; instead, I will force it to merge with me! When that happens, I will be the Resurrection Lily, but the Resurrection Lily will not be me!”
Meng Hao’s face filled with determination as he muttered to himself.
“The day the Resurrection Lily blooms with seven colors, the flower falls, Immortal Ascension, one thousand years [1. He is quoting the words left to him by Shui Dongliu in chapter 208]…. If I can fully master the secrets of this Resurrection Lily, then Immortal Ascension… might not be so far-fetched….” Meng Hao lifted his head to look up at the sky. He suddenly felt an intense desire to reach that stage of Immortal Ascension.
“It doesn’t matter whether it has to do with Demon Sealing or Immortal Ascension, without reaching that stage… I’m nothing but an insect in Heaven and Earth.” With that, he closed his eyes, covering up that growing hope which could be seen inside.
This chapter was sponsored by Richard Gilbert III, Davjd Siffert, and Devin AlvarezPrevious Chapter Next Chapter