Chapter 1513: Five Pillars!
Without the bronze lamp, Meng Hao's Karmic Hexing would have been incapable of affecting his memories of Chen Fan, which were the extension of the will of Allheaven. But now that the bronze lamp had tied up the will of Allheaven, Meng Hao made his move, thus putting an end to the final bit of dangerous power being levied against him.
Moments ago, they had been on equal footing, but now that changed as the Battle Weapon completely destroyed Chen Fan’s Karma Thread.
Now, no Karma existed at all between Meng Hao and Chen Fan. All of the images of Chen Fan within his memories were forcibly wiped away.
The seeds that had been formed by the will of Allheaven let out roars of rage as the brilliant light from the bronze lamp swept over them, driving them out.
Blood sprayed out of Meng Hao’s mouth, and he suddenly seemed much older. Even the slightest mistake moments ago would have resulted in him being wiped out of existence.
He thought back to the Emissary of Allheaven, Song Daozi, who had stepped outside the Vast Expanse with a cultivation base half a step into Transcendence, and had returned as the Emissary of Allheaven.
He could well imagine Song Daozi facing a similar situation as he had. And yet, even being half a step into Transcendence, he had been unable to avoid the fate which awaited him. Meng Hao knew that without the bronze lamp, he would likely have walked the same path as Song Daozi.
As the will of Allheaven was forcibly severed from Meng Hao, Heaven and Earth began to shake violently, tearing rifts open throughout the starry sky.
Amidst the rumbling, the rifts opened up longer and wider, spreading out in all directions. As for Chen Fan, he was there in front of Meng Hao, his body withered up. He looked at Meng Hao, and smiled. It was a smile of grief, pain, and release.
“Meng Hao, your Elder Brother let you down!” Chen Fan let out a roar, then smashed his hand viciously down onto his own forehead.
Meng Hao’s face fell, and he moved forward to intervene, but Chen Fan was too fast. A boom rang out, and Chen Fan exploded. He was killed in body and mind.
For the sake of Shan Ling, he had turned a blind eye to the destruction of the Mountain and Sea Realm. He had chosen to turn on his little Junior Brother, to cooperate with the will of Allheaven to try to erase his mind. In the end, he had even gone so far as to allow the memories in Meng Hao's mind to be infected by the seeds of the will of Allheaven.
Despite all that he had done, Chen Fan had never been cruel and merciless. Hesitation had always lurked in his heart as guilt.
In the end, when it was obvious how things would end, he didn’t even have the face to look at Meng Hao. In his bitterness, he chose simply to end his own life. Perhaps his death could be some form of compensation.
Meng Hao quietly looked at the spot where Chen Fan had died, heart aching with bitterness. Even though Chen Fan had chosen to attack him, Meng Hao didn't feel any hatred for him. Nowadays, he had fewer friends than ever, and he cherished all of them.
Chen Fan’s death caused the destruction of the surrounding world to speed up. Soon, ear-splitting rumbling sounds could be heard as everything fell to pieces.
When that happened it was like a veil being lifted away, revealing... what was truly outside the Vast Expanse.
Everything was barren. There was no mist like in the Vast Expanse, nor were there any signs of life. Everything was in ruins, and filled with an aura of death.
Wreckage and corpses were strewn about. There was also dust that floated there eternally.
Long ago, this truly had been the Vast Expanse Cosmos, with the Hundred Sects and countless cultivators. That was all true....
But now, their glory had faded into nothing.
It was an enormous place, but even still, it was possible to make out something very far off in the distance. There were five pillars which seemed impossibly high, stretching up into the starry sky.
This was not Meng Hao’s first time seeing the five pillars. Back in the underground tunnel in the necropolis, he had seen them via divine sense. This time, though, he was able to see them with his own two eyes. [1. I think I may have mentioned before that this is a contradiction some earlier chapters. I think Er Gen changed his mind later about the columns, but have yet to confirm that with him. When I do I'll adjust past chapters as necessary]
However, there was something different about them this time.... Back in the fresco, all five pillars had stood strong and tall. But now, three of them had been destroyed!
Only two of them were whole as they stretched up into the starry sky.
Meng Hao looked at them quietly for a moment, and then his eyes glittered. Because of his bloodline, his Demonic qi, and also because of everything that had happened in the Mountain and Sea Realm, he had already guessed much of the truth.
“A plot which was hatched long, long ago.
“The Allheaven bloodlines. Apparently they were created for the express purpose of benefiting Allheaven!
“And the Demon... comes from the Immortal. I'm not the first Demon. There were many before me. All of them transformed in the moment when they were about to become the Immortal. And the Demon... is what Allheaven wants to appear.
“Perhaps I’m thinking of things in a bit of a one-sided fashion. Perhaps in all of the years in which this starry sky has existed, the true Demon has never actually appeared. Perhaps in the critical moment, Allheaven stopped them all.” Meng Hao couldn’t help but think of Song Daozi.
He looked thoughtfully at the enormous pillars, then began to fly in their direction at top speed.
Time passed. He wasn’t sure how long he had flown, but he kept getting closer and closer. Eventually, he reached the location of one of the destroyed pillars. As he hovered there, he sensed an aura which could shake Heaven and Earth. It was not the aura of the Immortal or the Demon, but rather, the Devil!
As soon as he sensed the Devil aura, he thought of the Devil Realm Continent. Then, he slowly reached his hand out toward the indescribably large column, and gently pushed down onto its surface.
[spoiler title='This part is in spoiler tags because it contains general descriptions of the endings of Renegade Immortal and Beseech the Devil. The descriptions are not very detailed, but I know some readers hate spoilers. Please note that because this is part of the story, it actually DOES NOT COUNT as spoiler content for purposes of discussion in the comments on the chapter. If you usually participate in the comments, but want to avoid spoilers about this section, I suggest avoiding the comments section for this chapter.']The instant his hand made contact, he saw the image of a person who radiated a powerful, deathly aura. He had thrown his head back and was howling.
That person was born inside of a sinister, deathly vortex. His body and his soul were separated, and then countless years later, he emerged from the vortex, giving rise to a storm that shook the world. In the end, he stepped onto nine World-Butterflies, spread his hand, and caused the starry sky to shake. A strange and bizarre aura spread out from him to fill the starry sky, leaving Meng Hao’s mind reeling.
That energy was enough to cause Heaven and Earth to dim, heavenly bodies to fall, and the starry sky to bow its head.
Meng Hao watched as the person transformed into a land mass, sacrificing himself for everyone he knew.
Next, innumerable years passed. Eventually, the man who had transformed into a land mass emerged once again. He left that land mass and traveled outside the Vast Expanse. His expression was one of pain as he saw the starry sky there transform into a huge hand which grabbed toward him.
Light flashed as the young man destroyed one of the hand’s fingers. Then, he left the area outside the Vast Expanse, disappearing far off into the distance.
As for the destroyed finger, that was the ruined column which Meng Hao was now in front of.
“Transcendent cultivator. He was definitely a Transcendent cultivator....” Meng Hao pulled back his hand, and his eyes shone with a strange light. Based on his judgement, he was sure that the young man he had seen inside the column... was a Transcendent cultivator from the Devil Realm Continent.
He wasn’t sure of the young man’s name, but based on the aura he had sensed, Meng Hao now had a much better understanding of Transcendence in general.
He flickered into motion, flying toward the next destroyed column. Time passed. Eventually, he reached the second column, whereupon he took a deep breath, reached out, and placed his hand onto its surface.
The moment he touched it, his mind filled with rumbling sounds. He saw a young man born in a mountain village. He caused massive chaos on the planet upon which he was born. He killed his way into forging a shocking legend, and slaughtered his way to becoming a Paragon in his Realm!
Later, he walked a difficult path. In order to resurrect his wife, he left carnage in his wake as he fought to the pinnacle. He shook the entire starry sky when he Transcended.
Almost as soon as Meng Hao laid eyes on the young man, he was shaken. He couldn’t help but think of Slaughter, and of the time-walking technique Slaughter had taught him.
The young man in the column, and Slaughter, both looked exactly like the statue on the Immortal God Continent....
His expression was cold as he looked up into the starry sky. The wave of his hand, caused the heavenly bodies to shift, and the starry sky to be torn open. He stepped outside of the Vast Expanse, and also destroyed one of the fingers, before disappearing into the distance.[/spoiler]
Meng Hao was left panting. When he pulled his hand away, he looked at the destroyed column with a complicated expression. After a long moment, he turned and headed toward the next column.
This column was not destroyed. It was one of the two that stretched high up into the starry sky!
When he reached out to touch it, he saw nothing inside except for emptiness. There was no Transcendent cultivator, but there was shocking Immortal qi, which was apparently brewing inside of the column. Just visible within the Immortal qi were countless images, all of which seemed to depict people.
“Those people were all cultivating the magic of Immortality, and were on the path to becoming the Immortal!
“There has never been a Transcendent Immortal....” Meng Hao murmured. After examining it further, he realized that the column was weak, almost to the point of collapse. If the true Immortal ever appeared, it was likely that the column would immediately be destroyed.
Meng Hao pulled his hand away. After some more thought, he began to fly toward the fourth column, which was the final destroyed column.
Time went by. After passing through all of the dust and ruins to arrive at the fourth column, he took a deep breath, reached out, and touched it. Rumbling filled his mind, and he caught sight of a young man. He wore a robe decorated in flowers, and seemed different than the two other young men Meng Hao had just seen. A sarcastic smile could be seen on his face, and his eyes glittered with intelligence. His features were delicate and even pretty, and he almost looked as if he were recovering from an illness.
Meng Hao watched the young man silently. He didn’t know who he was, but as he looked on, the young man created the copper mirror. He also held a bronze lamp in his hand. Furthermore, the robe he was wearing was the same robe Meng Hao had seen being worn by the person who had faced the Immortal Tribulation and been killed by the finger from the Heavens. Meng Hao instantly realized who this was.
Patriarch Vast Expanse!
Eventually, Meng Hao watched as Patriarch Vast Expanse also went outside the Vast Expanse. He destroyed another of the fingers, and then disappeared into the void.
Eventually, Meng Hao pulled his hand back. After a moment of thought, he proceeded toward the last of the pillars, one of the two which were still erect.
As he flew closer and closer, a powerful Demonic qi from the column began to form a resonance with him.
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