Chapter 1416: Welcoming Light!
Meng Hao's current physical appearance was difficult to put into words. It was matchlessly scintillating, and as he hung there above the enormous cauldron, dazzling, jewel-like light spread out that seemed capable of outshining all other gems or treasures.
Shocking fluctuations spread out in all directions from him, which caused even more vortexes to appear outside in the Vast Expanse.
As of this moment, the old man in the violet-gold robe, as well as the other six Paragons, were gasping. They couldn’t help but stare at what had sucked away the better part of a year, as well as countless precious materials from the sect and even their own cultivation base power. What had been moulded... was a Heaven-shaking, Earth-shattering fleshly body.
It was at this point that, deep in the lands down below, the old man on top of the turtle shell finally opened his eyes. The sea of flames had finally calmed down; whatever it was that had agitated the ancestral relic inside of the sea of flames had finally vanished.
The old man looked exhausted, but when he sent his divine sense out and saw Meng Hao, his jaw dropped, and his eyes began to shine.
“Vast Expanse... Dao Body!!” he murmured in disbelief.
He wasn’t the only shocked one. The other seven Paragons were equally astonished as they sensed Meng Hao’s treasure-like body, and as they studied the fluctuations emanating off of him, they quickly realized what it all signified.
“Vast Expanse Dao Body!!”
Gasps rang out, along with expressions revealing mixed emotions. There were even some within whose eyes appeared glints of greed.
Considering that 9-Essences Paragons were feeling greedy, it was easy to see how rare a Vast Expanse Dao Body was!
Of course, this Dao Body was actually not referring to a specific type of fleshly body, but was more a general classification!
Any fleshly body with the right qualifications and potential, after reaching a certain point, would incite changes in the Vast Expanse that the Vast Expanse itself had to suppress. At that time, it could be called a Vast Expanse Dao Body.
The seven Paragons’ eyes were glittering, and all the lands around them were trembling. The old man on the turtle shell sent his divine sense out to form a clone, which, as soon as it appeared, caused the other seven Paragons to bury their feelings.
The divine sense clone wore a long white robe, and looked exactly like the old man back on the turtle shell. As he stood there studying Meng Hao, he raised his right hand and touched the corpse’s forehead. At that point, boundless divine sense exploded out into Meng Hao.
This time, he spent even more time examining him than last time. An hour later, he lowered his hand. He had just used all of the divine sense power he could muster to thoroughly inspect Meng Hao inside and out, to confirm that there was no trace of a soul inside. Feeling a bit more relaxed, he turned to look at the other seven Paragons.
“You people don’t want to Transcend?!” he asked, a stern gleam in his eyes. His voice wasn’t loud, but it contained a shocking pressure that spread out in all directions, causing the other Paragons to sink further into silence.
“Even I can’t help but covet this Vast Expanse Dao Body. I might not be able to possess it, but I could turn it into a puppet that would be an extremely helpful asset, to say the least.
“But would that be worth forsaking Transcendence?!
“Our Vast Expanse School is an offshoot of the Vast Expanse Society. And what is our purpose in this starry sky? !?! Have you forgotten?! [1. The Vast Expanse Society was actually mentioned in chapter 1408 by the parrot]
“Within the necropolis of the first generation Patriarch of the Vast Expanse is the method for Transcendence. That is the mission of the Vast Expanse School!
“After all of these years and years of searching, we’ve finally found hope. Now all we need is for the main sect on the outside to send Paragon Heaven-Eye down to us. Supposedly, he only recently stepped into the 9-Essences level, but he has a Dao eye. This Vast Expanse Dao Body was prepared expressly for him, and will play a vital function in the overall plan!
“If we can find the secret of Transcendence inside the Patriarch’s necropolis, then all of us will have the same hope to Transcend. The Vast Expanse Society on the outside, the main sect, is not easy to get into, but if we Transcend, then we will be able to leave the Vast Expanse at any time. When that happens, we will definitely have extremely high positions within the Vast Expanse Society!
“When you compare Transcendence to a piddling Vast Expanse Dao Body, I don’t even need to explain which is more important!” He swished his sleeve, causing Meng Hao’s body to fly out to the central region of the half planet, where... nine primitive-looking altars rose high into the sky.
Meng Hao’s corpse came to rest on the ninth of those altars, where it lay unmoving.
“Make preparations! Contact the Vast Expanse Society on the outside. In three days, we will prepare to receive the Ninth Paragon!” With that, the old man’s clone body vanished. Everything was very quiet, and the old man in the violet-gold robe took a deep breath.
“The Sect Leader is right. After all these years of preparations, and all of the waiting, when hope for Transcendence is finally right in front of us... a Vast Expanse Dao Body is not even worth thinking about!” Sighing, he clasped hands to the others and then walked away.
The others remained silent for a moment, but soon wry smiles appeared on their faces. Shaking their heads, they suppressed the greed they felt for the Vast Expanse Dao Body, and returned one by one to their secluded meditation, where they had three days to restore their cultivation bases back to their peak.
Those three days passed by in a flash. The starry sky outside of Planet Vast Expanse had returned to normal, the majestic vortexes had faded away, and the visiting cultivators returned to their normal affairs. However, the strange signs and portents which had occurred were firmly fixed into the minds of all. For those people, no amount of investigation or inquiry revealed any clues about what had happened.
After the third day, eight beams of light shot through the air of the half-planet toward the nine altars. In the lead was the Vast Expanse School’s Sect Leader. Usually, his time was occupied suppressing what was underneath the sea of flames, and he rarely came out. But now, he was here with his true self, which sat down cross-legged on the first altar.
The other seven Patriarchs, including the old man in the violet-gold robe, landed on the various platforms, then performed double-handed incantation gestures as they rotated their cultivation bases.
Simultaneously, innumerable Vast Expanse School disciples appeared in their location on the half-planet. As they sat down cross-legged, they appeared to be organized into an enormous spell formation. Furthermore, countless asteroids outside of the planet itself were also meticulously organized, causing flickering light to radiate out, and the starlight to fill with dense energy of Heaven and Earth.
Even more Vast Expanse School disciples were visible elsewhere on Planet Vast Expanse, sitting in meditation at the behest of the sect itself. Gradually, the auras of all of the disciples merged together into a whole.
On this day, all cultivators on Planet Vast Expanse who were not members of the Vast Expanse School were prohibited from flying in the air. Any violators would be executed immediately without question.
On this day, Planet Vast Expanse was locked down. No one was allowed to enter!
On this day, all of Planet Vast Expanse thrummed with energy, and rumbling sounds emanated out from it into the starry sky.
Furthermore, a beam of light shot out from the inner part of Planet Vast Expanse, from the turtle shell atop the sea of flames in the half-planet!
According to rumors, the Vast Expanse School had a teleportation portal which connected to outside of the Vast Expanse. In some ways that was true, and in some ways that was false. What was true was that there really was a spell formation. The false part was that... only a Transcendent cultivator could use that teleportation portal to leave!
However, to do that, a Transcendent cultivator wouldn’t actually need the aid of such a spell formation.
The true purpose of the teleportation portal was to receive people from the outside, to lock down a position for such people, to transport souls!
This connection between the inside and the outside of the Vast Expanse enabled powerful experts from the outside to send a soul body inside. It was too difficult for a fleshly body to survive the process. It would be destroyed in order to keep the soul body whole and safe as it entered the Vast Expanse.
The cost to operate the teleportation portal was astronomical. Furthermore, both the Vast Expanse School on the inside and the Vast Expanse Society on the outside had to pay a huge price.
Because of the huge cost, it took eras and eras of preparation. In fact, throughout all the years of the Vast Expanse School’s existence, it had only been used a few times.
Amidst rumbling sounds, brilliant light rocketed off of the turtle shell in the sea of flames. It pierced through the lands to appear outside of the half-planet, amongst the nine altars. The altars absorbed the light, and then eight of the people atop the altars unleashed their cultivation bases, adding to the teleportation power.
Meng Hao lay on the ninth altar. From within the bronze lamp, his soul looked out coldly at what was happening. He knew that this would be the final test. If he could pass it safely, then from now on, he would be the Ninth Paragon of the Vast Expanse School.
Not only would he have a new identity, he would gain the protection of the Vast Expanse School. That was critical as far as he was concerned.
“I’ll exterminate this incoming soul, and when I open my eyes, I will be Meng Hao, and also... the Vast Expanse School’s Ninth Paragon.” He examined the bronze lamp that he was hiding in, and smiled. This mysterious and powerful lamp was the main reason why he was so confident in this gamble.
“I have no deep enmity toward you people. If you want to assign blame, then you should blame... yourselves for trying to possess my body!” His eyes flickered as he sank further into the bronze lamp and waited... for his enemy to arrive.
The ninth altar flickered with bright light that converged into a pillar which shot up off of the half-planet and into the inner starry sky. At the same time, the half-planet began to move in rotation, and the asteroids which filled the starry sky began to emanate dazzling light.
Countless voices could be heard chanting scriptures, which emanated off of the half-planet; at the same time, the pillar of light appeared above the lands of Planet Vast Expanse.
The sound of the chanting scriptures bolstered the light; the lands of Planet Vast Expanse were shaking, and the mountains were trembling. The sea of flames became still as the light shot out into the starry sky of the Vast Expanse, rising higher and higher until no one could see it.
At that point, everyone on Planet Vast Expanse began to tremble. Countless life forms bowed their heads, and looks of intense focus appeared in the eyes of the disciples of the Vast Expanse School. As for all the other cultivators, they were completely shaken.
Everyone was now waiting!
Meng Hao’s soul remained in the bronze lamp, eyes shining with a mysterious, incisive light!
“The critical moment has arrived. If I succeed, I can settle down in the Vast Expanse School, and will have a greater hope of getting my revenge. If I fail....
“I won't fail! Even though the Sect Leader of the Vast Expanse School most likely still has suspicions about my soul, I... won't fail!” Within Meng Hao’s eyes, a red, Demonic glow could be seen!
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