As soon as Meng Hao’s true self heard the words, he looked up, and his eyes gleamed with determination. Then, he rose to his feet.
His anticipation regarding this trip into the necropolis could not have been greater. This time, his goal was not the Transcendence Dais, but rather, that location he had glimpsed upon leaving last time, where the shard of the copper mirror had landed.
“The third land mass....” he said. Taking a deep breath, he flicked his sleeve, vanishing from within the Ninth Paragon City.
When he reappeared, he was up in the starry sky of the half planet, heading toward the spell formation that led to the necropolis.
Even as he arrived, the air distorted as other figures appeared. The other 9-Essences Paragons could be seen, as well as the golden-robed Jin Yunshan, and Sha Jiudong.
Although there had been no previous agreement regarding the matter, no one brought subordinates this time. They had been brought along last time to fill out the vanguard position as they made their way to the continent. But now that everyone was sure of the way to go, and had been preparing for dozens of years, they were all confident in their ability to make their way alone.
The group hadn’t laid eyes on each other for dozens of years. After returning to the sect all those years ago, each one had gone into secluded meditation. Now, they looked around, measuring each other up, assessing each other’s cultivation bases, checking to see how much progress they had made.
Everyone treated Meng Hao very respectfully. This being their second time inside, his importance to the group, and his invincibility inside the necropolis, ensured that none of the other 9-Essences Paragons were willing to provoke him.
As for Jin Yunshan, he would never be able to forget the events which had occurred. Along with Sha Jiudong, he avoided standing in front of Meng Hao at all times.
Seeing that everyone was assembled, Shangguan Hong asked, “Sect Leader, earlier you said that we could stay ‘long term’ within the necropolis. What did you mean by that?”
Others quickly added follow-up questions.
“Yes, please clear this matter up, Sect Leader!”
“What does ‘long term’ mean? Could it be that you have a way to deal with the doomsday events which unfold inside?”
Even Sha Jiudong and Jin Yunshan were waiting to hear the Sect Leader’s response.
Meng Hao was just as interested. After all, the Transcendence might be helpful to the others, but to him, it was of little use, at least not at the moment.
He still needed his clone to finish forming the Ninth Hex, and then merge back into him. At that time, he would be able to take advantage of the aura of the Transcendence Dais, combine the Nine Hexes, and gather the power to extinguish the bronze lamp.
Before then, he didn't care much at all about the necropolis. He only cared about... the copper mirror shard.
“Calm down, everyone,” the Sect Leader said, laughing. “There is still one more Fellow Daoist who hasn't come yet. Once she arrives, I’ll explain everything.” The Sect Leader's eyes shone with brilliant light. After dozens of years of preparation, he was now fully confident of being able to stay long term within the necropolis.
“Who else is coming?” Jin Yunshan asked, eyes glittering. Knowing expressions could be seen on the faces of the others. Apparently, everyone had an idea who the Sect Leader was talking about.
Meng Hao’s eyes glittered as he looked off into the distance and saw a white beam of light shooting toward them. It wasn’t bright, being composed of a mist. However, that mist soon dissipated, revealing the image of a woman.
She wore a long white robe, and was gracefully beautiful. She looked almost like a female Immortal, except that her eyes seemed filled with mist, making it impossible to see her pupils. It almost was as if her eyes had been intentionally obscured with mist to prevent people from seeing them.
“Greetings, Fellow Daoist Bai.” As soon as the crowd caught sight of her, they clasped hands and bowed in greeting. Even Jin Yunshan and Sha Jiudong treated her with the utmost respect.
This woman was none other than one of Planet Vast Expanse's four peak 9-Essences experts, the mysterious woman whom Meng Hao had never laid eyes on before this day. She hadn’t participated in the last foray into the necropolis, but here she was today.... Bai Wuchen.
Because she was like an Immortal floating in the wind, on Planet Vast Expanse she was called Immortal Bai Wuchen.
As soon as Meng Hao laid eyes on her, she turned to look at him, and their gazes met. Despite feeling as if he were separated from her by some sort of mist, he smiled, although he didn’t say anything.
She nodded at him, then looked away.
“Fellow Daoist Bai,” said the Sect Leader, “with you joining us on our trip into the necropolis, I'm much more confident in our being able to succeed.” He laughed heartily, then looked over the group and began to explain why the preparations had taken so many years, and how he planned to evade the catastrophe that lay in wait in the necropolis.
“Over the years, I analyzed everything that happened within the necropolis, and also studied the ancient records. One thing I can be certain of is that the entire catastrophe doesn’t last for very long. Only about ten days.
“What we need to do is figure out how to survive inside of the necropolis for those ten days.
“After all, once inside of the necropolis, even though it is an illusory world, if you die inside, you will die in reality. Therefore, the key is to be in a state of reality, and yet unreality, in a state of illusion, and yet not illusion.
“In that aspect, Fellow Daoist Bai can help us. If we need even more assistance, I’ve also made other preparations.” No one spoke or asked any questions during his speech.
When he finished, he didn't wait for anyone to ask any questions. He waved his right hand, causing a turtle shell to appear, about the size of a palm. It glittered with scintillating light, like a precious treasure, and even emanated pulses of pressure. When the Sect Leader took hold of it, it almost looked as if his hand weren’t part of the world any more. His flesh was visible, and yet undetectable via divine sense.
“It took me dozens of years to prepare this particular item,” he said.
Almost as soon as the turtle shell appeared, the expressions of the others flickered.
“Sect Leader, are you sure about this? You can’t treat that thing lightly!”
“This object is the Vast Expanse School’s sect-protecting precious treasure,” the Sect Leader said, his voice a bit hoarse. “Usually, it is used to suppress a certain qi flow, but over the past dozens of years, I used significant amounts of my own heart-blood to suppress the qi flow to the ultimate degree. I can guarantee that for half of a sixty-year-cycle, the sect-protecting precious treasure will not be needed there.
“With this object, and Fellow Daoist Bai’s magical technique, I’m eighty percent certain that we can endure through the catastrophe. Furthermore, as Fellow Daoist Bai reminded me, she has conducted thorough research regarding the necropolis, no less than I have. She happened to find a clue in the ancient records which indicates that there is a region on the third land mass where the destructive effects of the catastrophe are significantly reduced.
“I also remember seeing some information along those lines. If I remember correctly, there is some power there which resists the world-destructive force. It is in that location that we will use Fellow Daoist Bai’s magical technique, along with the Vast Expanse School’s precious treasure, increasing our chances to well over ninety percent!” As everyone mulled over the Sect Leader’s words, Meng Hao’s eyes flickered with an undetectable gleam.
Next was a bit of discussion about various details. After confirming that things were all in order, and also coming up with a backup plan for how to escape if things went awry, the teleportation portal was activated.
As Meng Hao waited inside the portal, he thought about what the Sect Leader had said. Somehow, he had the feeling that the location the Sect Leader referred to was highly likely to be connected to the copper mirror shard.
As he contemplated the matter, the brilliant light of the spell formation began to rise up. It was at that point that he happened to look over at Jin Yunshan, to find the man was looking back at him.
Jin Yunshan immediately shivered, as an uneasy feeling rose up inside of him. When he thought back to the past conflicts between himself and Meng Hao, and the fact that they were heading back into the necropolis, he gritted his teeth and, before the spell formation could completely activate, began to walk in Meng Hao’s direction.
Everyone looked on in shock, and the Sect Leader and Sha Jiudong felt their hearts beginning to thump. Meng Hao’s eyes flickered coldly.
Suddenly, Jin Yunshan made a grasping motion, causing a bracelet of holding to appear. Face expressionless, he tossed it over to Meng Hao.
Meng Hao grabbed it and looked inside, whereupon a strange expression appeared on his face. The bracelet of holding was packed with spirit stones and medicinal pills, as well as various extraordinary magical items.
Because of everything that had occurred with the Mountain and Sea Realm, and all the other things he had experienced, his personality had changed significantly. However, there were certain things about him that existed deep in his bones, things that could never be thoroughly wiped away. After looking into the bracelet of holding, his eyes glittered brightly, and he smiled.
Seeing the smile on Meng Hao’s face, Jin Yunshan breathed a sigh of relief. He completely ignored the strange looks that had appeared in the eyes of the onlookers because of his paying a protection fee....
He could never forget how, when they had returned from the necropolis last time, Meng Hao had looked at him with disfavor, and then they had exchanged blows. When that happened, he had shouted out about how he had paid compensation already, and the result was a somewhat bashful expression had flickered across Meng Hao’s face.
“You can try to hide it,” he thought, “but my Flame Eye can see your greedy nature. Hmph! I’ve already given you a bracelet of holding, so if you look at me the wrong way again, then I’ll remind you about that fact to make sure things don’t go too far. And if you really get out of hand... well, I’ve prepared five more bracelets of holding. Don't think I won't be able to handle you this time!” Snorting coldly inside, Jin Yunshan stuck his jaw out, looking as proud and lofty as ever.
Meng Hao cleared his throat, feeling a bit embarrassed by the strange looks being cast in his direction. It had been a long time since people had looked at him that way.
The Sect Leader exchanged an astonished glance with Sha Jiudong, although neither spoke. As for Immortal Bai Wuchen, she had a strange expression on her face as she glanced first at Jin Yunshan and then at Meng Hao.
The other 9-Essences experts refrained from reacting, unsure of what they should even say.
After a long moment passed, the spell formation light shot up into the clouds, and the group vanished. When they reappeared, they were on the very border of the necropolis’s outer region.
From a distance, the necropolis looked just like it had last time. There were endless ruins and nine land masses. It was a desolate and ancient place, filled with silence.
The instant Meng Hao appeared, he could sense the coldness in the area, and how the bronze lamp flickered in response. Yet again, he sensed how he could command the ghosts.
“In this place, I am the Emperor.... And I'm here for the copper mirror.” He closed his eyes, and somehow, he could almost hear the countless ghosts in the necropolis crying out in greeting.
Chapter 1468: I'm Here for the Copper Mirror!
Previous Chapter Next Chapter