Chapter 1276: Igniting the Soul Lamps!
Cracking sounds rang out as the gigantic scorpion’s claws completely shattered the shield and then slammed down into the Meng Clan ancestral mansion, creating several deep craters!
At the same time, the vicious scorpion’s enormous head lowered down until it was right in front of the crowds from the Meng Clan. Then, it shuddered briefly and then sprayed a sea of black water.
At the same time, the invading cultivators surged in. The Meng Clan cultivators were thrown into pandemonium. Not only was fierce fighting going on with the rebellious clan members, the invading cultivators were now joining in on the slaughter.
Miserable shrieks rang out, the land quaked, and colors flashed in the sky. Furthermore, rumbling echoed out as the black willow leaves shot downward with shocking speed.
As the leaves stabbed down into the land, the black-robed men transformed into a thousand black beams of light that instantly joined the battle.
“Kill them! Leave no one alive!”
“From this day onward, there will be no Meng Clan in the Eighth Mountain and Sea!”
The sounds of explosions filled the air, and slowly, expressions of hopelessness appeared on the faces of the Meng Clan cultivators. Then, they began to fight back as if they had gone mad. It wasn’t that none of them had thought of surrendering; in fact, some had attempted to do just that, but the result was... they had been slaughtered in response!
Their enemies did not want captives, they wanted to exterminate the entire clan.
Thankfully, the invading cultivators’ target was clearly the central continent; as for the surrounding smaller continents, although the flames of war burned there, they were much weaker. As for the continent occupied by Grandma Meng's people, because the Xu Clan no longer existed there, virtually no invading cultivators went there.
The main force was levied against the Meng Clan ancestral mansion.
It was in this moment of chaotic fighting that Meng Hao’s grandmother, granduncles, and other relatives all waded into the fight. However, they didn’t attract much attention.
That privilege went to the Meng Clan’s five enraged Patriarchs, who were fighting five black-robed Dao Realm experts from the Seventh Mountain and Sea.
That battle of ten experts shook Heaven and Earth, and was far more shocking than what was happening with the Ancient Realm cultivators.
“Getting nervous?” said the boy, who hovered in midair above the battlefield, looking up into the starry sky at Meng Hao, eyes flashing coldly. He hoped that attacking in this way would force his opponent’s hand. For some reason, his subconscious was nagging him, telling him that if Meng Hao transcended his tribulation, then events would change in unpredictable ways.
Meng Hao’s eyes shone with coldness as he looked down at what was happening. Unfortunately, he was at a critical juncture, and could not afford to be distracted. Eyes flickering, he waved his hand, causing the Blood Mastiff to appear, roaring. As it flew out, it was joined by his blackpod imps, who shot through the air, vicious expressions on their faces. Then he waved his hand, causing a rift to open, out of which leaped the Blood Demon, joined by Meng Hao’s Blood Spirit. In the blink of an eye, all of them shot down into the battle. [1. The Blood Spirit is Meng Hao’s upgraded Blood Clone]
At first, it seemed as if their focus was slaughtering enemies, but Meng Hao’s orders were actually that they defend Granda Meng and the rest of the bloodline.
“Help me buy some time....” he murmured as he hovered there in the sea of flames formed by the remnants of the Door of the Ancient Realm.
“Soul Lamps, ignite!”
All of Meng Hao’s Ancient mana burst out, almost like an attack. It surged out of the top of his head, causing a tongue of fire to ignite in that same position and remain floating there!
As soon as the flame emerged, it flared up fiercely; soon, the image of something like a bowl appeared beneath it. In the blink of an eye, it formed... a Soul Lamp!
As soon as the lamp formed, Meng Hao could clearly sense a strand of his soul, joined by some of the power of his bloodline, peeling away to... merge into the lamp!
“The flame is my soul, the basin is my bloodline. This Soul Lamp is like a clone!” That was the first sensation Meng Hao got. In fact, he could also tell that as soon as the Soul Lamp appeared, it did much the same thing he did and... began to absorb the energy of Heaven and Earth that existed in the area.
“So that’s how it is. Soul Lamps are really clones. After separating from the original body, they can continue to advance in cultivation. Furthermore, with every Soul Lamp that is extinguished, it’s like that clone is absorbed back in, redoubling your power!” Meng Hao’s eyes gleamed with enlightenment. Taking a deep breath, he once again caused the Ancient mana within him to explode out!
A second Soul Lamp appeared, then a third, a fourth, and a fifth....
Every time his cultivation base erupted with power, he would form another Soul Lamp. Soon, he was surrounded by a total of 9 Soul Lamps. And he was still going!
As he continued with this process, the flames surrounding him were no longer enveloping him completely, enabling the crowds down below to clearly see him igniting his Soul Lamps.
“9 Soul Lamps.... He's already ignited 9 Soul Lamps. Just... how many lamps will he ignite in the end!?!?”
“The number of Soul Lamps you can ignite has to do with your Immortal meridians. I'm not sure how many Immortal meridians he opened when he reached Immortal Ascension, but from the look of it, he’s probably going to ignite at least 20 lamps!!”
People on both sides of the battle were taking the time to look up and observe what was happening. Although this was not the first time for most of the combatants below to experience someone making a breakthrough in the middle of a battle, it was their first time seeing someone transcending tribulation in the middle of a clan extermination.
“Already igniting his Soul Lamps....” thought the boy as he hovered there. A cunning gleam appeared in his eyes, and he suddenly shot through the air toward where the five Meng Clan Dao Realm Patriarchs were fighting. He waved his hand, and immediately, the ninth bloodline Patriarch coughed up a mouthful of blood, and fell backward.
“Not that one…?” the boy thought, letting out a cold snort. Meng Hao apparently wasn’t reacting to his attack on the ninth bloodline Patriarch at all.
Of that, the boy was certain, the reason being because of his unique Daoist magic that allowed him to see the truth and falsehood within a person. That was the nature of the sixth Essence which he was currently studying; if he succeeded in his endeavor, he would become a 6-Essences Dao Sovereign.
As a 6-Essences Dao Sovereign, you could say that he would be virtually invincible!
For all intents and purposes, the level of 6-Essences Dao Sovereign was the limit for cultivators. For years and years, no one had ever been able to break through from six Essences to seven, to become an early-stage Paragon.
After all, Paragons, even early-stage Paragons, were still supreme beings!
Certain that Meng Hao would not intervene on behalf of the ninth-bloodline Patriarch, the boy was forced to change his tactics. Instantly, he disappeared in a flash toward the next Meng Clan Patriarch.
In almost that same moment, Meng Hao hovered out in the starry sky, cultivation base bursting with power as he ignited a 10th Soul Lamp. After that was number 11, 12, and then 13....
With each lamp that appeared, more of his soul and bloodline power emanated out. Despite how it was spilling out of him, he was not growing weaker. Quite the contrary. That power from his bloodline, and his soul, were actually naturally recovering!
Furthermore, his existing Soul Lamps were rapidly gobbling up the surrounding energy of Heaven and Earth. From the look of it, if they reached the absolute pinnacle, then they would actually be as strong as Meng Hao himself, or maybe even stronger.
“So this is the Ancient Realm....?” Meng Hao was shaken inwardly from the sheer fearsomeness and power of the Ancient Realm. He had slaughtered Ancient Realm cultivators in the past as if they were ants, but now he had to admit that the Ancient Realm... was a Realm in which cultivators would most definitely experience drastic transformations!
With each Soul Lamp that one extinguished, one could reabsorb its soul and bloodline power, causing oneself to double in all aspects.
With ten Soul Lamps, you could experience tenfold growth. With twenty Soul Lamps, twentyfold growth!
Meng Hao took a deep breath, and his eyes shone with a strange light. Although he knew that the more Soul Lamps he had, the more danger he would face... he still wanted to get more.
Each additional Soul Lamp represented another factor of power in the future, assuming he could successfully extinguish it.
“Essentially, if my current cultivation base counts as ‘one’, then each of my current Soul Lamps will have the potential to grow to equal that ‘one’. The only thing I don’t know is if, once I absorb my first Soul Lamp, will the remaining Soul Lamps stay at that same level, or will be able to break through by absorbing even more energy from Heaven and Earth and become equivalent to ‘two’?
“If the latter is true, then the Ancient Realm... is definitely a major dividing line!
“Although cultivators in this Realm are all technically in the same Realm, the weaker ones are vastly weaker than the stronger ones. It all depends on the foundation; the moment you ignite those Soul Lamps, that is when your power is determined!
“Step into the Ancient Realm weak, and in the end, you will still be weak!
“Step into the Ancient Realm powerful, and in the end... that explosive, multi-factored growth will make you powerful to a terrifying degree!
“The Ancient Realm. Ah, the Ancient Realm....” Finally, Meng Hao threw his head back and roared, bursting with even more cultivation base power, causing more Soul Lamps to appear, all the way until he had... 18!
And he wasn't finished!
Meanwhile, the boy down below had passed from each of the five Patriarchs to the next, seriously injuring them all. When he injured the final one, Meng Hao seemed to suddenly get ever so slightly nervous, but the boy’s Essence told him that it was merely an act on Meng Hao’s part.
“You might be able to disregard the Meng Clan as a whole, but there are definitely people here that you care about.” The boy laughed coldly, then waved his hand, causing one of the Meng Clan cultivators to fly up, whereupon he grabbed him by the head and began to perform a Soulsearch.
That was the point in which Meng Hao ignited his 19th Soul Lamp!
“I can still ignite more!” Meng Hao’s eyes were crimson, and he was trembling violently. 19 Soul Lamp indicated that his cultivation base had burst out with power through the top of his head nineteen times. Not even Meng Hao could completely ignore such pain.
“IGNITE AGAIN!” he roared, bursting with cultivation base power. Pain filled him, then surged toward the top of his head. Rumbling sounds echoed out as yet another tongue of fire appeared and transformed into... his 20th Soul Lamp!
In that instant, the Meng Clan cultivator being held by the boy let out a bloodcurdling scream. Blood oozed out of his eyes, ears, nose, and mouth, and then he exploded. As for the boy, a strange gleam appeared in his eyes.
“It seems I was in secluded meditation for too long, and allowed my powers of deduction to grow rusty. I can’t believe I wasted so much time coming to such a simple conclusion.” Smiling faintly, the boy suddenly shot toward Grandma Meng, eyes flickering coldly.
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