The Mountain and Sea Realm counterattacked with full force. The flames of war climbed high into the sky, in a way that was different from before. This time, it was not the Mountain and Sea cultivators who suffered defeat after defeat, it was the Outsiders.
In the First Mountain and Sea, Echelon cultivator Dao-Heaven led the army of cultivators into battle. On every front, the Outsiders were routed and crushed. Many of them didn’t even dare to fight back. Anyone could see that at this moment, the cultivators of the Mountain and Sea Realm wore expressions of utter self-confidence, and that their fighting spirit was indomitable.
Sometimes in battle, practicers of cultivation were known to self-detonate, to literally explode in a final burst of grandeur for their people. However, such acts were born of grief and desperation, and led to nothing but death.
Using tactics like that could cause the enemy to respect or even fear you, but could not make that enemy feel powerless.
In sharp contrast... when an entire people was bursting with confidence and spirit combined, they became truly fear-inspiring. As of this moment, that was exactly how the cultivators of the Mountain and Sea Realm were!
Upon awakening, they were filled with a madness, with a majesty that caused the Outsiders’ minds to tremble. It wasn’t that the Outsiders never thought to go all out in a mad scramble to fight back, or that they didn’t consider resorting to self-detonation. Those things... were useless.
They tried. As the Mountain and Sea cultivators fought back, Outsiders self-detonated, or went all out in various attempts drag their opponents with them into mutual destruction.
And yet... none of that did any good!
In the Second Mountain and Sea, fierce fighting raged. As for the Third Mountain and Sea, it was completely filled with the stench of blood. The cultivators there had experienced something like a baptism in blood. Their eyes shone brightly, glowing with confidence, with hope, with ferocity, and with madness.
The hatred they felt surpassed the hatred within the hearts of the Outsiders, as did their confidence. When it came to their hope, even their hope was something the Outsiders could never match.
Rumbling could be heard as the battle for the Fourth Mountain and Sea neared its conclusion even more quickly. Under Xu Qing’s leadership, and with the return of Ksitigarbha to the battlefield, the grand army there swept across the enemy with virtually no resistance.
However, Ksitigarbha himself did not join in the fighting unless necessary. It was the same with Meng Hao, who despite having a Paragon puppet and peak 6-Essences battle prowess, also held back.
Sea Dream and the other Mountain and Sea Lords were the same. Unless facing powerful Outsider experts, they merely observed the battle.
They allowed the cultivators of the Mountain and Sea Realm to do most of the fighting, to help them understand that now, the true war was only just beginning. Only by bathing in the blood of the enemy could the cultivators truly be qualified to grow into seasoned veterans.
It was the same in the Eighth and Ninth Mountains and Seas.
The Outsiders had nowhere to run to. Upon their initial invasion, they had established nine main camps in the Nine Mountains and Seas. Originally, they had been in the superior position in the fight, which made those camps like nine sharp blades stabbing down into the Mountain and Sea Realm, threatening to slice it into pieces.
However, such troop placement was why they were now hovering on the brink of being exterminated completely. They were scattered, surrounded, with only the Sixth and Seventh Mountains and Seas being united and relatively free of Mountain and Sea cultivators. Those two locations had been their primary base of operations, and now, they were their last point of refuge.
Within the span of seven days, the First, Second, Third and Fourth Mountains and Seas all clinched victories, completely cutting off and surrounding the Outsiders, killing nearly eighty percent of them.
Blood spread out through the starry sky, and fierce fighting raged everywhere. The cultivators of the Mountain and Sea Realm fought with upright fearlessness. Xu Qing shone with her own type of glory, and in the end, the Fourth Mountain and Sea was where the greatest slaughter of Outsiders was carried out. Next, they turned to help the cultivators in the Third Mountain and Sea.
After that, they all joined forces in grandiose fashion. Under Xu Qing’s leadership, they marched toward the Fifth Mountain and Sea, their target being... the Outsider encampment that stretched through the Sixth and Seventh Mountains and Seas.
As for the Eighth and Ninth Mountains and Seas, after wiping out the Outsiders on the field of battle, they joined forces and invaded the Seventh Mountain and Sea.
The fighting dragged on for several months. However, during those months, everything changed in a monumental and even spectacular way.
Eventually, the day came in which the final battle began in the Sixth and Seventh Mountains and Seas. Meng Hao fought in that battle with his Paragon puppet, leading to both grief and despair among the final resisting Outsiders.
The strongest among their number was Long Linzi. The bitter agony which engulfed him was too difficult to put into words.
The cultivators of the Mountain and Sea Realm were like floodwaters smashing into the Outsiders. With Paragon Sea Dream, the Paragon puppet, Ksitigarbha, and Meng Hao himself leading the armies of cultivators into battle, the Outsiders in the Seventh and Sixth Mountains and Seas were powerless to fight back.
“Acknowledge allegiance, or perish!” said Meng Hao. As his voice echoed out across the battlefield, the cultivators of the Mountain and Sea Realm ceased attacking, and instead began to echo his words.
Their voices were grand and filled with unswerving determination. This was the spirit of a people on the rise. It was almost as if they were back in the Paragon Immortal Realm, in the position to look down on all creation.
“Acknowledge allegiance, or perish!”
“Acknowledge allegiance, or perish!!” The sound of their voices filled the Mountain and Sea Realm, echoing about with intense pressure that caused the Outsiders to tremble even more than before.
Meng Hao did not want to completely exterminate the Outsiders. That would be a waste. If they chose to acknowledge allegiance, then not only would the overall power of the Mountain and Sea Realm not be reduced any further, but it would actually grow.
That in turn was the true hope to be able to fight this war to the end.
In response to Meng Hao’s words, Paragon Sea Dream nodded slightly. Apparently, if Meng Hao hadn’t spoken the words himself, she would have. As for Ksitigarbha and the other Mountain and Sea Lords, although each one had slightly different ideas about how to go about things, Meng Hao was a paramount figure in the Mountain and Sea Realm, and they would listen to him.
In fact, the incredible fleshly body power of the Mountain and Sea Realm cultivators was thanks to Meng Hao, so of course they wouldn’t go against his wishes.
The Outsiders didn’t need much time to think. The most powerful of their number, the golden-armored Dao Sovereign Long Linzi, laughed bitterly and dispersed his cultivation base power. Then, bowing his head, he said, “I acknowledge allegiance!”
They really had no choice but to acknowledge allegiance. It was either that... or die as a people.
When Long Linzi’s words echoed out across the battlefield and throughout the Seventh and Sixth Mountains and Seas, the Outsiders heard them, and they sighed. They, too, dispersed their cultivation base power and bowed their heads.
There were a few who refused, and they were quickly subdued and summarily executed. Their flowing blood bore witness to a grand victory on the part of the Mountain and Sea Realm!
It was a victory in which the 1st Heaven collapsed, a Paragon was enslaved, an Imperial Lord was killed, and of two Dao Sovereigns, one was killed and the other surrendered. Nearly seventy percent of the invading force was killed....
However, the Mountain and Sea Realm had also paid a grievous price. Nearly forty percent of the Mountain and Sea cultivators had been killed, most of them in the initial battles.
If Meng Hao hadn’t destroyed the 1st Heaven and awakened the spirits of the cultivators, then enslaved their Paragon before giving the Outsiders any time to regroup, then even more of the Mountain and Sea cultivators would be dead.
The first phase of the war was over....
Although there were cheers of victory, massive pressure still weighed down on the shield created by the will of the Mountains and Seas. That shield separated them from the 32 Heavens, and right now there seemed to be some enormous figure pushing down onto it.
Everyone knew that the 32 Heavens would be coming for them soon. The will of the Mountains and Seas could only hold them off for so long, and when they came, it would be with force that far exceeded that of the 1st Heaven.
This time... a far larger army would be coming against them!
Could the Mountain and Sea Realm prevail...?
That was the question all the cultivators in the Mountain and Sea Realm were pondering. However, when they saw the enormous Paragon Puppet, and Meng Hao on its head, their eyes shone with brilliant light.
An ancient voice suddenly rang out into the minds and hearts of all of the Mountain and Sea Realm cultivators. It was none other than the will of the Mountain and Sea Realm itself.
“Three months.... At the most, we have three months.... At that time, the 32 Heavens will break through the barrier and descend upon us! This time, it will not just be a single Heaven....”
Next, the will of the Mountain and Sea Realm asked a question which reverberated out in all directions. “Should we activate Mountain and Sea Siege Mode?!”
A look of surprise appeared on Meng Hao’s face, and Ksitigarbha suddenly looked up. However, Paragon Sea Dream turned to look at the Ninth Mountain and Sea, and after a long moment spoke, her voice cool.
“Activate Siege Mode!
“Mountain and Sea Lords, hear my orders. Immediately evacuate all life forms from the planets in your Mountain and Sea. Take them to the Ninth Mountain and Sea, which will now serve as our command headquarters!
“Mountain and Sea cultivators, return to your respective Mountains and Seas and await further orders. We will work together in concert with the Mountain and Sea Siege Mode... to once again battle the 32 Heavens!
“Mountain and Sea Siege Mode takes one month to activate; it was prepared by Paragon Nine Seals for the express purpose of being used in this war!
“In Siege Mode, the entire Mountain and Sea Realm will be transformed from a horizontal layout to a vertical one. All of the Mountains and Seas will be lined up on top of each other!
“The First Mountain and Sea will be our first line of defense. The Second Mountain and Sea, our second. After eight lines of defenses is the Ninth Mountain and Sea.
“Fellow Daoists from all Mountains and Seas, we have three months.... This war will determine the fate of our Realm. As for me, I have only one thing left to say... Mountain and Sea Cultivators, fight to the death!” After Paragon Sea Dream’s words faded away, the cultivators of the Mountain and Sea Realm were silent for a moment before their voices erupted out in unison.
“Mountain and Sea Cultivators, fight to the death!” The sound of their voices shook the entire Realm.
Meng Hao took a deep breath, and within his eyes flickered the desire to do battle. He looked up at the starry sky, and the void which existed beyond the barrier. That was where the 32 Heavens were, and from that barrier emanated numerous ripples.
“The war really has begun....”
Chapter 1351: The 1st Heaven Acknowledges Allegiance!
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