Chapter 1336: Reuniting As Planned
The Fourth Mountain and Sea controlled the cycle of reincarnation in the Mountains and Seas. Everyone who died in the Mountain and Sea Realm would enter the Yellow Springs, which became the river of reincarnation that led to the Fourth Mountain and Sea. There, the newly arrived spirits would be guided into the cycle of reincarnation, where they would eventually find a new home.
There were many myths and legends regarding the Fourth Mountain and Sea. It was a mysterious place, one that most people could never fully comprehend. The only thing most people knew was that the Mountain and Sea Realm’s peak expert resided there.
His name was Ksitigarbha!
He was the Lord of the Fourth Mountain and Sea. He controlled the underworld, and he controlled reincarnation. Even among Mountain and Sea Lords, he held a preeminent position. And that was because essentially… he controlled the lives of everyone in the Mountain and Sea Realm!
The Fourth Mountain and Sea was an important node which allowed the Realm to form a complete cycle.
This was Meng Hao’s first time coming to the Fourth Mountain and Sea, and as soon as he entered, he could sense a very faint, and yet very pure, aura of death.
Or perhaps it would be better to say that it was not an aura of death, but an aura of Yin.
At first glance, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. The starry sky and the vast expanse seemed the same, and yet if you looked closely, you would see that the whole world appeared to be gray.
Meng Hao looked around silently, then sent his divine sense spreading out to cover the entire Fourth Mountain and Sea. However, there was one region in particular in which two powerful beings were fighting bitterly.
That was the location where Ksitigarbha was fighting the Outsider Imperial Lord. Meng Hao’s divine sense immediately provoked a reaction from both of them. As for the Outsider Imperial Lord, he reacted with rage, and he clearly wished to break free from the fight to try to slaughter Meng Hao.
However, Ksitigarbha prevented that. Furthermore, he spoke in a completely calm tone that brimmed with self-confidence.
“So, you're Meng Hao!” the Outsider said.
“Fellow Daoist Meng,” came the voice of Ksitigarbha, “I can handle this Outsider!”
Meng Hao smiled. When war descended, flowers would bloom on all parts of the tree, not just on one branch.
Furthermore, one person alone could not change the entire war. No, that required a group effort.
Meng Hao clasped hands and bowed toward Ksitigarbha, then focused his divine sense on where the cultivators of the Fourth Mountain and Sea were battling the Outsiders.
Millions of Outsiders could be seen, as well as millions of cultivators from the Fourth Mountain and Sea. What was being fought was a spectacular and unprecedented battle.
Meng Hao saw Xu Qing there, surrounded by rings of guards. She hadn’t been injured in the slightest, and in fact, was constantly sending orders out to all parts of the battlefield. Because of that, the cultivators of the Fourth Mountain and Sea occupied the clear advantage on this front.
Although he was a vast distance away from Xu Qing, when Meng Hao looked at her, she could sense it. She turned her head and looked off into the distance, and somehow, her gaze met his.
In that moment, Meng Hao’s heart trembled. As he looked at Xu Qing, numerous memories rose up within him. There was the time on Mount Daqing, when they had met for the first time. Then the time in the Reliance Sect when he had given her the Cosmetic Cultivation Pill. In the Black Sieve Sect’s ancient Blessed Land, he had found her, trembling and helpless.
Outside of the Black Lands, where Choumen Tai had descended from the sky, the two of them had killed the Ji Clan Quasi-Array cultivator, and when they parted, tears had welled up in her eyes.
Meng Hao would never forget any of those things.
In the Rebirth Cave, when he was dying, Xu Qing took care of him, even sacrificing her own life force for him, all to give him a chance at another life. Even if her own soul dispersed, she was willing to pay that price for him. She even allowed herself to be imprisoned in the Black Sieve Sect.
During their Red Wedding, Meng Hao held her in his arms, watching her fade away. He cradled her as she passed into death, and the entire time, she only cared about her dream of marrying him.
Meng Hao trembled as the memories flitted through his mind like wind and lightning, causing his whole world to shake.
He had come to keep his promise. He had come! [1. Here is a quick breakdown of all the Xu Qing references. Mount Daqing: chapter 1. First Cosmetic Cultivation Pill: chapter 12. Black Sieve Sect Blessed Land: chapters 151, 152. Killing Ji Clan cultivator: chapter 306. Xu Qing sacrifices her life force for Meng Hao: chapter 689. Meng Hao learns Xu Qing is being held by the Black Sieve sect: chapter 694. Red Wedding: chapter 772]
He had promised to find her, even if he had to travel to the furthest reaches of the Mountain and Sea Realm. No matter what dangers he faced, he would find her and would once again stand at her side.
She promised to wait for him. If a life or a lifetime was not enough, then she would wait for him through all lives and lifetimes.
Other than his parents and sister, there was no one in his life for whom he would do so much. There was no woman whom he would worry so much about, nor anyone that could occupy such an eternal place within his heart.
Although he didn't realize it at the time, back on Mount Daqing, when he saw her, the desire had already been planted within his heart... to be with her forever, through all lives and lifetimes.
Elder Sister Xu....
She was not spectacularly beautiful, but in Meng Hao’s eyes, in his world, she was the most beautiful thing in Heaven and Earth. She didn't have a complicated heart, and the source of that was not any lack of intelligence, but rather, the fact that she liked things to be simple. And so did he. When he was most tired, most exhausted, simplicity was a quiet harbor within which to rest his soul.
Her smile, her voice, her eyes, everything about her, were firmly rooted in his heart, and made him smile.
“I know in my heart that the person I fell in love with is not just a fond memory, but you,” he murmured. “The real you. I know... that I love you.” With that, he took a step forward.
Unbeknownst to him, someone had appeared behind him at some point, a shadowy figure clad in a long black robe. That figure was now watching him make his way off into the distance.
It was none other than Slaughter.
When Slaughter saw how Meng Hao looked at Xu Qing, a flicker of reminiscence appeared in his eyes, as if he were considering some matter from the past. As if he was being reminded... of himself.
As Meng Hao walked forward, the world vanished. Heaven and Earth faded away. Natural law dispersed. Only one person remained. His wife, Xu Qing.
He had come from afar, passing through each of the great Mountains and Seas. He had proceeded along through the starry sky, step by step, and was now walking onto the battlefield. There were Outsiders who were in his path, but it wasn’t because they were trying to stop him; rather, he happened upon them as he proceeded toward the heart of the fighting.
A destructive power surrounded him that caused any Outsiders who approached within 30,000 meters of him to scream and explode.
Meng Hao paid them no heed. He proceeded along, surrounded by shouts of astonishment. As the Outsiders fell back from him, a strange scene developed on the battlefield.
With every step he took, he was surrounded by empty space, as the Outsiders fled from his presence.
The cultivators of the Fourth Mountain and Sea looked on with vigilance. Even though Meng Hao's arrival caused the death of the Outsiders around him, they were still cautious.
There were only two people who had different reactions. One was the Echelon cultivator of the Fourth Mountain and Sea, Lin Cong. The other was, of course, Xu Qing.
Lin Cong stood in the crowd, wearing a gray robe. As he thought back to everything that had occurred in the Windswept Realm, he sighed. A wry smile could be seen on his face, and mixed emotions filled his eyes as he sighed. [1. Meng Hao fought and killed Lin Cong in chapter 1105. Of course, they reconciled later, and when they parted ways in chapter 1151, Meng Hao gave him a Cosmetic Cultivation Pill to deliver to Xu Qing]
“So, he finally came.”
Xu Qing was smiling radiantly. She stood there in the army of the Fourth Mountain and Sea, in the command pavilion, watching as Meng Hao approached. She remembered everything that had occurred, just as he did. Those memories could not be wiped away from her because of her reincarnation.
She had always believed that one day, her beloved companion, her husband, would come from the distant Ninth Mountain and Sea to find her. It didn’t matter how long it took or how far away he was. It wouldn't even matter if a war was being fought. Nothing would be able to stop him.
He would definitely come.
And now, he had.
Xu Qing bit her lip and took a step forward, much to the shock of the surrounding cultivators from the Fourth Mountain and Sea. Some of them wanted to stop her, but as Meng Hao neared, they suddenly lost the ability to control their cultivation bases.
The battlefield went quiet, and soon only Meng Hao and Xu Qing were there, looking at each other, slowly drawing closer.
Time seemed to slow down. The Outsiders and the cultivators of the Fourth Mountain and Sea both watched as Meng Hao approached. Xu Qing stepped out of the command pavilion, and the two of them... were soon standing together.
“I've come,” he said, reaching out to grasp her hand. This was his wife, and his lifelong love.
“Yes,” she replied, her face flushing a bit. It took a bit of courage on her part, but she resisted the urge to look down shyly. Instead, she allowed her joy to radiate out, and she looked into Meng Hao’s eyes and smiled. This was indeed the happiest moment she had experienced since being reincarnated.
When Meng Hao saw Xu Qing smile, he couldn't stop himself from smiling. His hands tightened around hers, and hers around his. It was as if neither of them wished to ever let go.
However, they both knew that the time they could spend with each other was short. No matter what they wished inside, they would have to let go. Xu Qing had her duties, and Meng Hao had his mission.
This was not the time and place. If only things could go back to how they were before, before the deadly war broke out in the Mountains and Seas....
Meng Hao sighed.
Xu Qing looked around at all of the cultivators from the Fourth Mountain and Sea, and the Outsiders, and slowly loosened her grip. “I can’t go with you right now....
“Wait for me.... If the day ever comes when this war ends, then we... can go home together.” Xu Qing suddenly stepped forward and wrapped her arms around him, resting her head on his chest to hear his heartbeat.
After a long moment passed, she looked up at him and said, “I’ll wait for you, and you wait for me. We’ll both be on the lookout for each other.”
Xu Qing bit her lip, then pulled away from Meng Hao’s embrace and returned to the command pavilion.
As Meng Hao looked at Xu Qing, he realized that there was something different about her from before. Much like himself... she had grown up, she had become mature.
Meng Hao’s heart was calm. Xu Qing had her duties, and he... had his mission. After looking at her deeply one last time, he waved his hand, sending a bit of divine will swirling out to surround her. He took a deep breath, and then looked up into the sky at the vast land mass up above that was the 1st Heaven.
Gradually, the warmth in his eyes faded away, to be replaced by icy coldness!
The air around him grew icy, and his aura, sharp and dangerous.
“There’s something I have to go do,” he murmured. “Something... that will lift the spirits of everyone in the Mountain and Sea Realm!” Rumbling sounds could be heard as he suddenly shot up into the air, leaving the battlefield. He became a streak of light like a shooting star, passing out of the Fourth Mountain and Sea, up into the vast expanse above. He was now heading toward the 1st Heaven, which had superseded the starry sky of the Mountain and Sea Realm.
He was going to destroy the 1st Heaven!
Few people noticed how he was flying up into the sky. However, it was certain... that a massive, storm would soon shake Heaven and Earth!
A storm was coming, a storm which would be caused by none other than... Meng Hao!
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