Chapter 1236: We’re Still Good Friends!
Meng Hao slipped through the mists like a lone wolf in the night, completely silent. The only signs of his coming were his glowing red eyes, and the fluctuations of the Blood Demon Grand Magic.
No screams could be heard, as he only targeted Ancient Realm cultivators. By means of the Blood Demon Grand Magic, Meng Hao slowly recovered, although the process didn’t go as quickly as when he had taken advantage of the gravestone. However, what Meng Hao wanted was to awaken his Eternal stratum.
With his Eternal stratum at work, his recovery would go much more quickly.
He proceeded along, absorbing other cultivators he encountered. As for the blurry shade, it kept following him, looking for the perfect opportunity to make the killing blow and possess Meng Hao.
He couldn’t see Meng Hao killing Hong Chen, nor could he see Xuan Daozi chasing him. However, he could sense the brutal air radiating off of Meng Hao, and when he unleashed the Blood Demon Grand Magic, the way it sent the qi and blood boiling caused the shade to be filled with an intense desire to possess Meng Hao.
“I, Greed, have been favored by destiny for my entire life,” the shade murmured. “When I was young, I was nearly killed when fighting my greatest enemy, until an extraterrestrial object fell from the sky and smashed him to death!
“When I ventured out into the world, I never came back empty-handed, and everywhere I went, treasure abounded. My cultivation even proceeded smoothly and without a hitch. However, when I reached the absolute peak, I met a person, a damnable bastard who deserves to die!
“Other than him, there has never been anyone who could suppress me. Even being sealed in here is a temporary thing. I won’t remain here forever.
“This person here is the greatest gift that the Heavens have ever bequeathed upon me.” The greed in his eyes grew more intense, and yet, he didn’t make a move. His earlier attack had failed, so after that he had chosen to simply follow and wait. Wait, and keep waiting.... [1. There’s slight spoiler information in this footnote regarding Renegade Immortal. Greed is a side character from that very novel. Although he hasn’t appeared in the translated portion of Renegade Immortal yet, I chatted with Rex about it and he mentioned that Greed should be showing up soon. If you follow RI, keep your eye out for this guy]
Meng Hao’s slaughter continued. By now, dozens of cultivators had died at his hand. At the moment, his hand was latched onto the top of another cultivator’s head as he absorbed him, when suddenly, all of the hair on his body stood on end. Not waiting to finish absorbing the cultivator, he shot backward at top speed.
In that same instant, a hand stretched out from the mists. It was covered with black fur, and moved with incredible speed, grabbing viciously onto the half-absorbed cultivator. The cultivator screamed, and was dragged back into the mists, whereupon crunching sounds could be heard.
“Hungry... so hungry....” A growling wail could be heard, along with a sound like that of clinking iron chains. Meng Hao retreated rapidly, an expression of surprise on his face as he sensed the terrifying aura coming from within the mists.
After a long moment, the aura faded away, and the wailing sound drifted off into the distance.
Meng Hao looked around, feeling more apprehensive than ever. Finally, he turned and made his way off to find another Heavengod Alliance cultivator to absorb. Time passed. As he went about his work, he encountered that terrifying hand on three more occasions, and one time even developed into a deadly crisis.
Feeling more vigilant than ever, he absorbed yet another Ancient Realm expert, whereupon a rumbling sound filled him, and his eyes burned with a light like that of fire.
At long last, his Eternal stratum was awakened from its state of withered sleep. It slowly began to work, restoring his life force and energy. In that moment, the blood-colored light in his eyes faded away, and his body’s wounds began to heal naturally.
It was also in that moment that a stream of divine sense swept toward him from up ahead. He backed up, but the divine sense was fast, and quickly enveloped him, scanned him, and then began to completely converge in the area.
“So, it turns out you’re here as well,” said an ancient voice. A terrifying pressure began to weigh down, causing the mists in the area to be pushed away.
Meng Hao’s pupils constricted; based on the intensity of the pressure, he could tell that this power exceeded that of a Dao Lord. Furthermore, he was familiar with this pressure; it was none other than the old man who had attempted to stop him from leaving the Heavengod Alliance to begin with.
Meng Hao knew that he was no match for this man, not even if he were completely recovered and back at his peak. Without the slightest hesitation, he transformed into an azure roc and fled.
However, the pressure was like a sharp arrow that pierced through the mists in pursuit. In fact, were it not for the mists, the old man would have been able to catch up with Meng Hao in the blink of an eye.
Even as Meng Hao fled, Xuan Daozi appeared in a different direction, eyes flickering with killing intent. He had even resorted to one of his secret magics in order to lock down Meng Hao’s position within the mists. The price he had paid was a significant amount of life force and longevity, leaving him looking like nothing more than a bag of bones, his aura weak even though his cultivation base hadn’t been reduced.
“Meng Hao, this time, you’re DEAD!” he roared, shooting like lighting in Meng Hao’s direction.
Meng Hao’s face flickered. He could tangle with Xuan Daozi for a while, but as for that old man, he was much stronger, to the point where Meng Hao was terrified of him. Gritting his teeth, he continued to flee at top speed. It was at this point, just when the powerful pressure was nearing, that a faint howl echoed out, mixed with a wailing sound.
“Hungry... so hungry....” In addition to the voice, a sound like the rattling of iron chains could be heard. Meng Hao’s eyes narrowed as he realized what the old man from the Heavengod Alliance had run into.
It was in that moment that the divine sense that had been locked onto him suddenly retracted.
However, Xuan Daozi’s killing intent continued to bear down on him. Meng Hao’s eyes glittered coldly as he suddenly spun, waving his right hand to summon the Essence of Divine Flame and Immortal mountains to fight back against Xuan Daozi.
Rumbling booms could be heard, and blood oozed out of Meng Hao’s mouth. Just when he was about to borrow the force of the blast to retreat, Xuan Daozi retracted the power, defeating Meng Hao’s effort.
“I guessed you would try something like that!” Xuan Daozi said, laughing coldly. Suddenly, his Essence of time erupted out, causing his body to grow blurry, as if he were walking through the streams of time. Meng Hao’s face fell, and he immediately utilized his walking technique. Both parties were using the Dao of Time to fight each other, causing the mists to churn and slowly form into a vortex.
The vortex grew larger and larger, and the rumbling sounds grew more intense until it turned into a massive explosion. Blood sprayed out of Meng Hao’s mouth, and he tumbled off to the side. Blood also oozed out of Xuan Daozi’s mouth, but he didn’t give up. He was already injured, and yet, his eyes gleamed with excitement, and his heart was pounding; just now, his Essence had been stirred into intense anticipation.
As he saw Meng Hao trying to flee again, a cold flicker could be seen in his eyes, and he suddenly threw his head back and cried out, “To all Fellow Daoists in this place, I am Xuan Daozi. Help me stop Meng Hao! If you encounter him, notify me immediately. To express my thanks, the One Profound Sect will bestow a Quasi-Dao treasure to anyone who helps!!”
Xuan Daozi knew that Meng Hao was a slippery character; once he escaped, it would be difficult to find him again. Therefore, he chose to make an incredible promise to enlist the aid of everyone else out in the mist.
Bolstered by the power of Xuan Daozi’s cultivation base, his words echoed out through the entire world, to be heard by all. Everyone’s eyes flickered. Simply notifying Xuan Daozi of Meng Hao's presence was a much easier task than trying to kill him. All they had to do was pass word. If that word enabled Xuan Daozi to take down Meng Hao, then they would be rewarded with a Quasi-Dao treasure.
Everyone was instantly excited.
Meng Hao’s face darkened, and he proceeded along as quickly as before. However, it didn’t take long before a shadow up ahead suddenly flickered into the shape of an Ancient Realm cultivator. As soon as the man saw Meng Hao, he went wild with joy and bellowed,
However, he only got one word out of his mouth before Meng Hao flashed like lightning, clamping his hand down onto the top of the man’s head and unleashing the Blood Demon Grand Magic. The cultivator trembled as his qi and blood, life force, cultivation base, and soul were absorbed by Meng Hao.
Even still, that one word caused Xuan Daozi to unhesitatingly shoot in the direction of the call, as did some of the other powerful experts.
The killing intent in Meng Hao’s eyes grew stronger. Just as he was about to flee, a jubilant cry rang out through the mists.
“Meng Hao's right here!”
The voice was actually some distance away from where Meng Hao actually was, causing the people rushing in his direction to stop in their tracks. Even as Xuan Daozi frowned, another voice rang out: “He’s here! Hurry, he's right here!”
Then another voice cried out urgently from another direction: “I saw Meng Hao. He's over here!!”
Xuan Daozi gritted his teeth, turned, and headed off in another direction.
Meng Hao’s jaw dropped as he realized that there were people helping him.
There was little time to consider the matter. He immediately turned to flee, but then suddenly stopped as he sensed familiar fluctuations approaching, fluctuations that their owner was doing nothing to conceal.
“Han Qinglei....” Meng Hao said slowly as Han Qinglei floated out from the nearby mists. When they were a dozen meters or so apart, they stopped and looked at each other.
“Many thanks!” Meng Hao said as everything clicked. He looked deeply at Han Qinglei, clasped hands, and bowed.
Han Qinglei looked back at Meng Hao with mixed emotions. Meng Hao was clearly in a very bad state, worse than he had been at any point in the Windswept Realm. His injuries were severe, and his body was covered with wounds. Deep exhaustion could be seen on his face; an exhaustion that medicinal pills and the mending of his wounds could not heal. It would require time to recuperate.
Even still, among Han Qinglei’s mixed feelings was a sense of admiration. He had heard of all the things Meng Hao had accomplished recently, how he was the subject of a deadly manhunt in the Heavengod Alliance, and how he had even slaughtered Dao Realm cultivators.
Because of his accomplishments, Meng Hao’s name had long since spread throughout the Heavengod Alliance.
Han Qinglei looked at Meng Hao, his face cold as he said, “I don’t need you to thank me. As long as I'm around, the only people who qualify to kill you are other Echelon cultivators!
“I didn't save you for your sake, but for my own! Therefore, take your words of thanks back. I don't need them, and in fact, to accept thanks from you would be beneath my dignity. You don’t qualify to thank me. Nobody in Heaven and Earth qualifies to thank Han Qinglei. That’s who I am. In the future, I will be unrivaled and unmatched!
“One of these days, you and I will fight to the death, and in that battle, I’ll personally defeat you.” As Han Qinglei’s words echoed out, filled with arrogance and superiority, he folded his hands behind his back, and set his jaw.
Meng Hao sighed. He would never forget how Han Qinglei had saved him, but seeing how arrogant, proud, and haughty he was, Meng Hao couldn’t hold back from saying, “You know, if your smugness didn't make me want to give you a good beating, we could probably be good friends....”
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