Chapter 1425: Allheaven Fears the Immortal!
“Uh....” Although the Sixth Paragon couldn't actually see what was happening, considering the level of his cultivation base, he had a keen ability to detect and sense auras. As of this moment, all of the cultivators near Meng Hao could sense that the freezing aura... was acknowledging allegiance!
The Sixth Paragon’s eyes went wide. Despite his strength and willpower, he was still shaken, and gasped. The Eighth Paragon had the same reaction, and stared around in complete disbelief at what was happening.
The other Paragons all had similar reactions. Strange glows could be seen in their eyes as they looked over at Meng Hao. What was happening now left them more shaken than when Meng Hao had fought with the Sixth Paragon.
The Sect Leader sucked in a deep breath, glanced at the surroundings, and then looked back at Meng Hao. Suddenly, he had the feeling that all of the decisions he had made about Meng Hao, both earlier and just now, had been correct!
“Not even the real Ninth Paragon would have been able to do this,” he thought. “This is something that exceeds the powers of the Dao eye!” As of this moment, the Sect Leader had absolutely no question at all about Meng Hao’s true identity. At the same time, he completely approved of him.
The Sixth Paragon began to speak without even thinking about it: “If you could have done this before, then why did you wait until just now? You--” The other Paragons nearby him began to edge away and put as much space between them and him as possible.
Before he could even finish speaking, Meng Hao snorted coldly and said: “Shut the hell up!”
He glared at the Sixth Paragon, and although the words he had spoken were not filled with much force, they were infinitely cold. The Sixth Paragon’s mind spun, and he was about to say something else, when his face fell. Off to the side, the Eighth Paragon took a deep breath.
Rumbling sounds accompanied Meng Hao's voice. When an emperor is furious, the officials will likewise be enraged. In much the same way, the surrounding ghosts seemed to lift their heads and emit enraged howls as they turned to stare at the Sixth Paragon!
Although the Sixth Paragon couldn’t see that, the intense feeling he was experiencing caused him to bite back his own words. Without even thinking about it, he stepped back a few paces, his face pale. An intense sensation of deadly crisis was currently raging inside of him.
He had the clear and distinct sensation that Meng Hao could control his very life and death with a single thought.
“How could this be happening!?!? He... he can force the ghosts to acknowledge allegiance, and can also control them!?!? This... this is impossible!”
Even as the Sixth Paragon was shaking and panting, the Sect Leader took a step forward and looked at Meng Hao.
“Old Ninth, some light punishment is in order. After all, we’re all on the same side. There’s no need to allow internal strife to ferment.”
After a moment of silence, Meng Hao looked coldly at the Sixth Paragon. “In the future, keep your mouth shut when I'm talking. If you don’t, I’m perfectly fine with having someone replace you as Sixth Paragon!”
The Sixth Paragon’s face drained of blood, and although a look of venomous hatred appeared in his eyes, he said nothing in response. However, the killing intent within him grew even more intense than before.
“And then there’s you!” Meng Hao said, turning to look at the Eighth Paragon.
The Eighth Paragon took a deep breath. Forcing a smile onto his face, he clasped hands and bowed, declining to offer any words in accompaniment.
Seeing such a reaction caused Meng Hao to frown. The meaning behind the words he had just spoken had been clear, and the fact that the previously aggressive Sixth Paragon suddenly acted in this way was very telling.
“To be chided by me like that,” he thought, “and refrain from saying anything in response indicates there is someone backing them who exceeds their power level. But who...?” Meng Hao thought back to everything that had happened so far, and also recalled that the Vast Expanse School had a total of four experts at the peak of the 9-Essences Level. The Sect Leader was one, but there were three others in addition to him.
One of them was the man with the raspy voice who had spoken to him when he was in secluded meditation. As for the other two, Meng Hao had never met them.
His eyes flickered, and then his expression returned to normal. He looked around at the ghosts and waved his hands, experimentally sending out a stream of will. Instantly, the ghosts up ahead parted ways to reveal a path!
Meng Hao could tell that this path... was the same path he had seen earlier, which had been devoid of ghosts!
Without any further delay, he led the group onward. The Sect Leader went along right behind him, and the other Paragons followed along. They proceeded for about half a day, during which time they made more progress than the Sect Leader could have made in two days, and those would have been two days fraught with danger.
Eventually, they reached the end of the path. A huge, shocking land mass spread out in front of them, deathly quiet and filled with ruins.
There were no living beings. Everything was as silent as a graveyard.
The ghosts had also been following Meng Hao, but having reached this location, they stopped and looked off into the distance. Apparently, none of them were willing to enter the land mass.
Meng Hao turned back and looked at them. Although his Dao eye was now shut, he could still sense their presence. For some reason, he had the strange sensation that the bronze lamp, which was part of him now, was experiencing a feeling of sorrow.
“They must have been kowtowing to the previous owner of the bronze lamp.... Now that I think about it, perhaps this bronze lamp once belonged to... Patriarch Vast Expanse.” After a moment, Meng Hao clasped hands and bowed deeply to the ghosts.
The other Paragons watched what was happening, and various thoughts ran through their minds.
Between the end of the path and the land mass itself was a bridge, swaying there in the starry sky. One end was attached to the land mass, and the other connected to an enormous asteroid, which was fixed unmoving within the starry sky.
There was a cold wind blowing that smelled of rot and decay. It was impossible to tell where it came from or where it was going; it was as if it existed eternally, and was the reason the bridge was swaying back and forth. It was very strange.
Meng Hao stood there in front of the bridge for a moment, and then turned to the Sect Leader. Further behind were Su Yi and Xin Yue, who were completely on guard. Even they could sense that the bridge contained a strange and bizarre aura, which left them unsettled.
“So we’ve made it back to the bridge again....” the Sect Leader said. “We saw this same bridge twice before. This is the third time....
“The last two times, we took a different path, a more dangerous path, to get here.” The Sect Leader looked at the bridge with both excitement and determination.
“The previous two times we tried to cross it, we were blocked in the middle. The last time, we only made it about seventy percent of the way across. Many of our subordinates died, as did most of the clones we had created.
“Old Ninth, the entire reason we requested your presence was because of your Dao eye.... Please, use it to take a look at the bridge, and you’ll understand.”
Meng Hao’s eyes flashed with decisiveness as his third eye opened up on his forehead.
In that instant, the world changed. The bridge was still a bridge, but on the other side, the land mass bustled with cultivators.
There were countless buildings, and innumerable cultivators....
Now, the figure which Meng Hao had seen on the distant ninth land mass was much more clearly visible. It was a man sitting on a huge throne. He was looking directly at Meng Hao, and his voice was even clearer than before.
“ Allheaven... fears the Immortal....
“... Does not want the Immortal to appear... wants the Demon to arrive....
“The variations of the Demon are like the variations of Heaven....
“The appearance of the Demon requires grief.... If you die, everything will be over....”
Meng Hao was shaken mentally by this voice which only he could hear, and when he heard the word ‘Demon’ uttered, his mind reeled.
After a moment, his eyes glittered, and he looked away from the vague figure, allowing his gaze to come to rest on the bridge. Shockingly... he saw unending gore, masses upon masses of it formed into the shape of a bridge that dripped with blood. It was a shocking sight.
He saw countless arms stretching out, which occasionally performed incantation gestures, filling the bridge with the fluctuations of restrictive spells, some powerful, some weak.
Surrounding the bridge was a blood-colored mist. Occasionally, eyes would appear briefly within the mist, and they stared greedily at Meng Hao and the rest of the party.
Most shocking of all was that beneath the bridge was no void, but rather an abyss. Down within that abyss was a three-headed giant, currently climbing up from the depths below. It occasionally bellowed in rage, the sound of which transformed into a tempest that caused the bridge to sway back and forth.
Almost in the same moment that Meng Hao caught sight of the three-headed giant, its three heads looked up, and six pairs of eyes came to rest on Meng Hao. Their gazes locked, and Meng Hao felt his mind reeling as an intimidating will swept through him.
His eyes glittered with cold light, and he snorted, stamping his foot down and sending his divine sense crushing down. The entire bridge swayed, and the three-headed giant let out an enraged roar that only Meng Hao could hear, before looking away.
“This bridge is made from flesh and blood. It's surrounded by a mist, and below is a three-headed giant, eyeing us the way a tiger eyes its prey.” As the words left Meng Hao’s mouth, very serious expressions could be seen on the faces of the group behind him.
The Sect Leader nodded and said, “This bridge is the only way onto the first land mass. Once you begin to tread it, it is possible to step off of the bridge onto either side. But if you do so, and remain off the bridge for too long, you will most certainly die.
“There are restrictive spells on the bridge, and a false step could potentially lead to eternal destruction. A single misstep might be harmless, but as more and more false steps are accumulated, increasing levels of spell power will build up which will explode out at certain spell nodes. If that happens, we will never make it to the land mass.
“That is why we need your Dao eye, Old Ninth, to see through everything hidden in the void. Help point out the way to avoid the powerful restrictive spells. In those places where we must pass through the spells, please help us select the weakest ones.” With that, the Sect Leader clasped hands and bowed deeply to Meng Hao.
“This is what we request of you, Fellow Daoist. If we succeed, then I will guarantee you a place in the lineup to gain Transcendence enlightenment.”
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