Chapter 1483: On the Transcendence Path!
From the moment of the creation of the Vast Expanse School until now, the Transcendence Path had always been of vital importance. It could even be considered a trial by fire that gave birth to the reserve power of the entire sect.
In truth, it wasn’t really a trial by fire, not the type that disciples in sects usually participated in. Despite being part of the Vast Expanse School, the things that happened on the Transcendence Path were beyond the control of even Paragons.
Everything depended on the individual involved. Everything depended on chance and luck.
From ancient times until now, countless disciples of the Vast Expanse School had walked the path, and yet none had reached the end. Everyone who returned had done so from somewhere partway along the path.
Those who didn't return died along the way.
Actually, the Transcendence Path wasn’t really a literal path.
It was a very unique location, so much so that even people who had been there and experienced what lay inside had difficulty explaining it to others. It was almost as if there were some magical law at play which prevented people from explaining everything that had happened inside.
The first thing Meng Hao saw after entering the rift, after stepping onto the Transcendence Path, was a lamp.
It was... a bronze lamp.
It actually looked almost completely identical to the bronze lamp inside of his true self.
Except, this bronze lamp was enormous, so large that it was impossible to describe, larger even than Planet Vast Expanse. The starry sky in this location was the type that made one’s mind reel to even look at it.
The Transcendence Path... was this bronze lamp.
The burning flame of the lamp was made up of three parts, the outer flame, the inner flame, and the heart of the flame.... Apparently, they formed three different dimensions within the world, and the light they cast illuminated everything therein.
The world was vastly enormous, as was the bronze lamp. In addition to the dimension in the flame, the body of the bronze lamp itself also contained its own dimension.
Meng Hao’s first thought upon looking at the shocking lamp was that it was actually the same lamp which existed within his true self.
Then he couldn’t help but think of the Devil Realm’s World-Butterflies, or the precious treasure that was the Mountain and Sea Realm, which became the Nine Mountains and Nine Seas.
All of those things could contain worlds of living things. This bronze lamp that he was looking at... was that same type of precious treasure.
“So, the Transcendence Path... is actually broken up into two parts. One part is in the body of the lamp, the other, in the flame.
“As for the flame... it is further broken up into three parts. The outer flame, the inner flame, and the heart of the flame....” Meng Hao’s eyes glittered with determination. With that, he transformed into a flash of light that shot toward the bronze lamp.
The bronze lamp got bigger and bigger as he approached. Time passed. Not even Meng Hao could have predicted that after flying for seven months, going all out with every scrap of power he could muster, he still wouldn’t have reached the lamp itself.
By this point, he couldn’t even see the lamp’s flame any more, only a world of bronze.
His expression was very serious as he continued to fly onward. Three months later, the lamp started to look different. He could see lands covered with buildings. He saw countless mountain ranges, and even rivers and seas.
Eventually, his vision swam until he couldn’t see. Then, when things were clear again... he was within the world of the bronze lamp.
Rumbling sounds echoed out, and an indescribable force pushed down onto him. It felt like countless mountains were trying to crush him, as if an enormous hand were pushing down onto his head. The pressure shoved him down out of the air, sending him speeding toward the ground.
A moment later, he slammed into the earth.
A boom echoed out, and afterward, he lay prone on the ground, blue veins bulging out on his neck and face. He let out a roar, and his body shook violently. After enough time passed for three incense sticks to burn, he was finally able to struggle into a crouching position.
That effort alone left his garments soaked with sweat. He was trembling physically, and his bones felt like they were on the verge of breaking. His eyes were thoroughly bloodshot.
The intensity of the pressure exceeded anything Meng Hao could have imagined, and was the most terrifying weight he had ever borne. Beneath this pressure, every rotation of his cultivation base made it seem like his qi passageways would burst.
Despite all of that, his eyes gleamed with focus, and even a tinge of madness. Gritting his teeth, he ever so slowly rose to his feet. It took two incense sticks’ worth of time, but in the end, he was standing there, roaring at the top of his lungs.
In that very same instant, one of his remaining seven Soul Lamps was extinguished.
The extinguishing of that Soul Lamp unleashed new life force which flooded into him, strengthening him and allowing him to stand tall and straight.
His eyes grew redder, but excitement filled his heart.
“So, this is the Transcendence Path huh.... I never would have guessed that one of the Soul Lamps I found so difficult to extinguish could be put out as soon as I entered.” He looked around and found himself surrounded by a desolate wasteland. Other than him, no living being could be seen.
However, he knew that he couldn't possibly be the only person in here. There were other cultivators from the Vast Expanse School who had entered the place in the past, and were still inside after countless years.
Taking a deep breath, he took a step forward and began to walk. He felt like a mortal, plodding along. The path to be tread was a long one, that was something he had come to understand even more clearly as he drew closer to the bronze lamp.
Considering his current state, walking the entire length of the bronze lamp, and then reaching the second portion of the Transcendence Path, seemed almost impossible.
And yet, he didn't give up. Panting, jaw clenched, he walked alone through the wasteland....
That year, some important events occurred within the Vast Expanse School.
Fang Mu, who had established an unheard-of legend within the Vast Expanse School, who had summoned the Tenth Heaven of all of the Vast Expanse Shrines of the nine sects, stepped onto the Transcendence Path with an Ancient Realm cultivation base.
His departure caused the Chosen of the other sects in the Vast Expanse School to breathe sighs of relief. Living in the same era as Fang Mu made them feel as pressured, as if Heaven were weighing down on them.
Now they could relax, at least temporarily. No one could say for sure whether Fang Mu would rise to new heights on the Transcendence Path, or whether he would fade away and never be heard of again. Time would tell.
Another thing that happened that year was that the Sect Leader and the rest of the group who had entered the necropolis finally returned. They had remained within the necropolis for dozens of years, and yet, were not able to reach the ninth land mass. They reached the seventh, but were unable to open the path to the eighth.
When they returned, some of the original party members were not with them. Those who did return were all in bad shape, and Bai Wuchen hovered on the brink of death.
However, all of the group who had returned alive had made significant progress with their cultivation bases. The faint aura of Transcendence was upon them, which caused a huge stir in the Vast Expanse School.
Also during that year, Patriarch Chi Feng made a cultivation base breakthrough, acquiring his ninth Essence and becoming the Eighth Paragon.
Outside of the Vast Expanse School, somewhere out in the boundless starry sky, Meng Hao’s true self was in the location of the fourth copper mirror shard, flying along at top speed. His face was pale, and blood oozed out of the corners of his mouth. A vast swarm of termites was chasing after him, voraciously devouring everything in their path.
At the moment, he had black armor that covered his arm and chest, giving him incredible battle prowess. By now, killing peak 9-Essences cultivators would be no difficult task for him. And yet, these termites had him bedraggled and fleeing.
The main reason was because there were so many of them they were impossible to even count. Furthermore... each and every one of them emanated brutal auras, the weakest of which was in the Immortal Realm, and the strongest... 9-Essences!
Their numbers were beyond description....
Thankfully, he had prepared well before coming into this area. After speeding along for a short time, he reached a point where he had set up a spell formation earlier. The light of teleportation flickered, and then he vanished. A moment later, the swarm of termites engulfed the teleportation portal.
Apparently, even the flickering teleportation portal was something that the termites considered to be food. Crunching sounds emanated out, and in the blink of an eye, the spell formation had been completely consumed.
However, being unable to consume Meng Hao’s true self, the termites howled in rage. Anyone who could hear the sound of it would be truly shaken.
After a while, though, they begrudgingly gave up and returned to their home, a land riddled with countless passageways burrowed here and there.
In another location in the starry sky of the Vast Expanse, dazzling light flickered, and Meng Hao’s true self staggered out. He coughed up a mouthful of blood, then closed his eyes and rotated his cultivation base. Rumbling booms like thunder could be heard inside of him as numerous pustules appeared on his skin. They began to wriggle, and then tiny termites burst out from within. Each and every one screamed and then exploded.
After expelling and destroying several hundred termites, Meng Hao’s body was soaked with blood. However, when he opened his eyes, they shone brightly, and his body quickly recovered.
“I wonder how many countless ages that swarm of termites has existed. How unimaginable....” With that, he looked down at the armor which covered him, as it faded away and transformed into four mirror shards.
He had found the fourth mirror shard in the termites’ nest, and had extracted it from within the body of the termite queen herself.
“With four shards, I have half.... Now, to get the fifth shard.
“My clone is on the Transcendence Path.... Who would have imagined that path to be so difficult...? If my speculations are correct, completing the Ninth Hex is not something that can be done in a single life.
“I have to collect the rest of these mirror shards. Getting just these two took me a few dozen years, but I suspect that acquiring the final four... will take hundreds.” He looked around in exhaustion for a moment before sitting down cross-legged to do breathing exercises. After a while, he rose and sped off in the direction of the fifth shard.
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