ISSTH – Book 8 – Chapter 1307

Previous Chapter Next Chapter


Chapter 1307: Hex Enlightenment

Within the world of the door on Patriarch Reliance’s back, everything was turning upside down. Heaven and Earth were connecting, becoming an enormous sphere. Inside that sphere, Meng Hao felt incredible pressure weighing down on him, causing cracking sounds to echo out as if he were about to collapse.

Rumbling sounds echoed out as everything shrank down at rapid speed. Originally, he couldn’t even see the ends of this Heaven and Earth, but in the next moment, the border was visible only 5,000 kilometers away.

The shrinking of Heaven and Earth would apparently be completed within the space of a few breaths of time.

Either he would successfully pass the test and acquire the legacy, or… he would die here, undeserving of the League of Demon Sealers. Although there were no spoken words to explain this, the shocking sight of the destruction of Heaven and Earth made it very clear what was happening.

Meng Hao’s eyes were bright red as Heaven and Earth shrank down rapidly. He had little time to think, and in fact, the edges of the sphere were now only 3,000 meters away. The speed with which they were moving was unthinkable, and the rumbling sounds completely inundated Meng Hao.

Pain stabbed through him, and the sensation of death reached an indescribably intense level. Just as Meng Hao seemed to be on the verge of being eradicated, his eyes suddenly snapped open, and they glowed with enlightenment!

My obsession resided in the Mountain and Sea Realm, and I gained enlightenment of the Dao of Nine Seals. I encountered the Second Generation Demon Sealer, and was redeemed. I learned of the difference between what is correct and what is incorrect, and I became… the Third Generation Demon Sealer! Within the words spoken earlier by Lord Li, there were two specific words that were the key!

“Correct and incorrect!”

The Hexing magic of the Second Generation Demon Sealer had something to do with what is correct and what is incorrect. If you combine the so-called correct and incorrect with what is happening right now, then you could actually replace them with two other words!!

“Real and unreal!” Meng Hao’s eyes glowed with bright light. As the pressure weighed down on him, a thousand thoughts ran through his head, and suddenly, his eyes flickered.

Suddenly, Meng Hao said, “The Second Demon Sealing Hex, Real-Unreal Hexing!”

In that instant, Heaven and Earth rumbled, and the sphere they formed completely covered him. They would not tolerate resistance, and yet, Meng Hao did not struggle or fight back.

RUMBLE!

Heaven and Earth had become one!

Meng Hao’s mind reeled as he realized that he couldn’t feel his body. It was as if it had been destroyed in that moment in which Heaven and Earth became one. Only his soul existed, floating there as he looked around blankly. Then he looked down and saw that his fleshly body was nowhere to be seen. The sphere formed by the combination of Heaven and Earth had turned into a tiny dot, which was now beginning to expand. It grew larger and larger, and gradually, primal chaos could be seen inside of it.

It had a Heaven, and an Earth. There were living beings and creatures, all mixed together. As it grew larger, it became endless, and then everything separated.

Part of it sank down to become land, and part of it floated up to become the sky….

Primordial beasts could be seen everywhere, flying about in the sky, crying out with piercing screeches that echoed about. Soon, trees became visible on the land, which grew tall and mighty.

Mountain ranges rose up, and rivers appeared. Somehow all of it seemed intensely real to Meng Hao.

“Do you understand?” asked a placid voice. A man appeared out of thin air to stand in front of Meng Hao.

It was none other than the man carved in the statue, Lord Li!

When he looked at Meng Hao, though, Meng Hao got the sensation that Lord Li wasn’t actually looking at him. It was a very odd feeling.

“The Second Generation Demon Sealer’s Hexing magic is that of the real and unreal….” Lord Li continued, “After searching for the legacy of the First Generation Demon Sealer’s original Hexing magic, he gained enlightenment of the Real-Unreal Hexing.

“What is real is unreal. What is unreal is real. With a single thought, what is unreal can be taken as real, and what is real can be taken as unreal….”

Meng Hao took a deep breath, and his eyes gleamed with enlightenment. This was not his first time encountering such a thing. Back when he fought the 5-Essences Xiao Yihan, he had seen the boy unleash the Essence of reality.

After looking around one more time, he slowly closed his eyes and sat down cross-legged. He then sent his divine sense out to seek enlightenment in Heaven and Earth, to find that spark of understanding of the Real-Unreal Hexing that had flashed through his mind moments ago.

Time passed, although he wasn’t sure how much. Finally, his eyes opened, and a smile could be seen on his face. Meng Hao extended his hand. Although it was illusory, it seemed real, and yet, at the same time, was real, and seemed illusory. Gradually, his entire arm, and then his whole body, experienced the same type of transformation. Meng Hao let out a long sigh.

“Real becoming unreal,” he murmured. “Unreal becoming real. It’s simply a type of transformation…. The Real-Unreal Hex can turn real things illusory, and vice versa. What a powerful Hex…. In fact, only Paragons could truly control it.” He looked up at the projection of Lord Li which had been standing there this entire time. Rising to his feet, he clasped hands and bowed.

“Many thanks, Senior. I understand now.” As soon as he said that he understood, the image of Lord Li seemed to suddenly become more lifelike, and he smiled.

“That is the Second Generation Demon Sealer’s Hexing magic. As for mine… it is very different. I will show it to you. As for whether or not you will be able to understand it, well, that is up to you.

“Let me ask you a question. Do you truly understand the difference between what is real and what is unreal?” With that, the image of Lord Li looked deeply into Meng Hao’s eyes, then suddenly vanished.

Only his voice remained behind, floating about gently before fading away: “My obsession has ended, and I shall now pursue the path of my true self. If you and I are connected by destiny, then we might meet again. Or perhaps… that will only come after countless eons.”

Meng Hao frowned, looking around him once more. Unfortunately, he could find no traces whatsoever of the Hexing magic to which Lord Li had referred.

“The Third Generation Demon Sealer’s Hexing magic….” he thought, looking somewhat confused. Finally he closed his eyes and began to seek enlightenment of his surroundings.

Time passed. Several days later, Meng Hao opened his eyes, and yet still had no idea of what to do. The only thing that he could sense was that the world he was in seemed like something from ancient times.

Also, he could confirm that this place… was not illusory, but was indeed real.

He looked down and could see that he had no body, only a soul. After considering the matter for a moment, he began to fly, to examine the land, the sky, and the vegetation….

More time passed. A month. Meng Hao was starting to get anxious because of the passage of time, which he could clearly sense. According to his speculations, the passage of time in this world was no different than that in the Mountain and Sea Realm.

“I need to figure out a way out of here. Based on how much time has passed, Lord White of the Seventh Mountain and Sea will most likely have fully recovered by now!” Meng Hao sent his divine sense out to search for an exit.

However, another whole month passed, and he still had no idea what was going on. More anxious than ever, he waved his right hand, summoning a divine ability. Everything began to tremble, portions of Heaven and Earth collapsed, and yet no exit could be seen.

Apparently, this place was a trap, and he was now stuck here permanently.

One month. Two months. Three months…. Meng Hao was starting to go mad. Booms rang out constantly as he attempted to free himself. He unleashed the Demon Sealing Hexing magics, and yet, none of that did any good.

He howled, demanding for Lord Li to appear, but Lord Li had long since left. There were primordial beasts in the world, but considering how much Meng Hao was raging, none of them dared to show their faces.

Despite Meng Hao’s deepening anxiety, time passed relentlessly.

A year. Three years. Six years….

Meng Hao watched time passing by, lonely and also worried about his Grandpa Meng. However, there was nothing he could do except experience the stabbing pains in his heart.

“Six years have already passed….” he murmured bitterly. He could only hope that his own judgement regarding the passage of time was somehow incorrect, and that time moved differently here than in the outside world.

However… ten more years passed. Meng Hao could feel his soul aging, and his body trembling. Because of that, he now had the feeling that his previous speculation had indeed been correct, that time here and time in the outside world… passed at the same speed.

A hundred years went by, and Meng Hao had become calm. Except, that calmness was a facade. Deep in his heart, he was worried about his Grandpa Meng, the Ninth Mountain and Sea, Xu Qing, and especially the 33 Heavens and the other two terrifying forces approaching the Mountain and Sea Realm. The worry in his heart was impossible to dispel.

“What’s going on…?” he thought bitterly. Throughout the hundred years which had passed, he had tried everything he could think of, but nothing worked.

500 years later, Meng Hao was truly calm.

After that much time had passed, whatever happened on the outside world was over and done with, and could not be changed.

Most of the time, he wasn’t even conscious. He spread his divine sense outwards ever further, and would go for long periods without retracting it.

1,000 years passed. Then 1,500. Then 5,000….

Eventually, Meng Hao lost sense of the passage of time. Whether it was 50,000 years or 100,000, he didn’t really know. He was no longer truly conscious. The only thing that remained behind were the tiny strands of thought that were diffused throughout the world.

He had seen the world transform, had seen animals live and die, had seen the grand passage of time. He had even seen humanoid creatures come into being. They hunted the wild beasts, gradually learning their habits, and eventually began to develop. Meng Hao sent his thoughts out into the world, whereupon the living beings learned how to practice cultivation.

More time passed, although it was impossible to tell how much. The cultivators of the world grew more numerous, and their cultivation level grew higher. They began to war with each other, and the resulting dead were innumerable.

More time passed. After the wars passed, life flourished again, and everyone prospered. Then there was war again, and after that, prosperity. It happened over and over again until one day a hail of fire descended from the sky above.

The world burned, transforming into ash, as if everything that had been built up was being knocked over and was now starting over from scratch. Meng Hao was not conscious, and yet his thoughts were everywhere, observing everything.

Life appeared again, prospered, and then devolved into war. Again, everything was destroyed by fire from Heaven. It was like a cycle.

Meng Hao no longer thought of things in terms of the passage of time, but in terms of cycles.

One cycle after another, over and over. Meng Hao saw endless life and death, endless joy and sorrow. He was like a visitor, or a passerby, until it reached the point that he didn’t even know what it was that he was watching. The cycles continued until the 10,000th cycle arrived.

When the 10,000th cycle was destroyed by fire from Heaven, when everything was destroyed, the world didn’t vanish. Instead, it continued to burn. Rumbling sounds could be heard as everything shook and shattered. Meng Hao’s thoughts, which had been scattered throughout the world for so long, suddenly began to converge back together.

As the world was destroyed, he slowly began to regain lucidity….

It was as if the cage he had been trapped in for such a long time, was collapsing.

The rumbling lasted for a long time, until Heaven shattered and Earth collapsed. When everything was gone, Meng Hao finally… opened his eyes!

There he was in the world of the door on Patriarch Reliance’s back. However, the sky had vanished, and the land was nothing but a void. The only thing that existed was the statue of Lord Li, smiling at Meng Hao, seemingly asking him a question.

Do you really understand?

Previous Chapter Next Chapter


Advertisement

59 thoughts on “ISSTH – Book 8 – Chapter 1307” - NO SPOILERS and NO CURSING

  1. Thanks a lot!
    About illusory world this reminded me of the time when Meng Hao went to demon immortal sect and was transfered in the past. there was something about illusory past but in reality it was real.

    1. I don’t know if this is what Er Gen intended people to reason, but my interpretation is that, because what is real and what is unreal can be swapped, then nothing is real except what people believe to be real.

      How this might relate to the 3rd Generation hexing magic I’m also unsure – but it might have something to do with belief and disbelief.

        1. Ha, I don’t think so! Descartes ruminations on the nature of reality were in opposition to the solipsist view that belief shapes reality. Descartes was searching for an absolute reality when he stated his famous “Cogito, ergo sum”, and solipsism is the belief there is no absolute reality but either one or various subjective realities (depending on whether you take solipsism to it’s extreme where there exists only one mind creating all reality – including other “thinking beings”, or allow there to be numerous minds all creating their own realities.)

          A lot of Eastern philosophies tend towards the solipsistic end of the spectrum, which is why I suggested Er Gen might have made the 3rd Gen hexing magic related to it.

    2. Can’t help but think it’s about Lord Li’s enlightenment that made him cut off immortal Dao Realm. What’s real is passage of time. Meng Hao is real. Everything around him is what he himself believes it to be. Without Meng Hao, there wouldn’t be anything around him. Thus, who’s to say what’s real if not him?

      Countless cycles of withering and dying is hell. Passage of time is hell. The only way to escape it is death. That’s why he cut off Dao Realm and didn’t let people achieve it. His Hex must be connected to passage of time, if that enlightenment made him cut off Dao Realm.

      As for “the answer” or the “way out”. What is cultivator, what does cultivators cultivate? Meng Hao’s answers have been changing throughout series (which he admitted during his lecture on Planet South Heaven). All his answers were considered “good”, yet they were very different. When he realized Echelon was a race to see which path is the best he himself said “I don’t care if my path is the correct one, I WILL make it correct”. Reality? Path? Way out? During Song Clan husband search there was a trial that made you choose a path. All paths were wrong. Answer was walking the same path. If whole series since Meng Hao stopped walking on the path of Perfection is any indication, there is NO way out. Pick any path. If it’s not the way out, make it the way out.

      1. “Can’t help but think it’s about Lord Li’s enlightenment that made him cut off immortal Dao Realm.”

        And how did Lord Li do that? In my analysis, he did it by making everyone else believe he did it – thus it became their reality. It’s not an illusion, because it became their truth.

        While it may be that time is the essence of the 3rd Generation hexing magic, I would be disappointed if that was the case because in the story and according to the 2nd Generation hexing magic the real and the unreal are interchangeable and so nothing is actually “real”, and that includes time. The passage of time is only a belief.

        This is getting a bit deep into philosophy, however – particularly philosophy involving solipsism which I am deeply disagreeable to.

        1. …Then you should not be reading this series lol.

          I agree with him that it’ll be something along the lines of the universe being what I believe it to be, therefore what is real and unreal isn’t absolute. It feels like the reason he included the Second Hex is that the Third is literally built on it.

          I feel like this goes way back to that time when he hitched a ride on the carriage of the scholar back in the State of Zhao when he held the snow in his hand and as it came close to the fire it melted, being part of a separate world that could never rejoin the world of fire due to its nature. Whether it’ll build on that or go on literally the opposite path is up for speculation though.

      2. good observations. If the third hex is related to the second hex, then can we say that Night’s “dream”-which relives the past of the ancient demon immortal sect making whatever happens in the dream actually happen in the past and in turn affect the present- is a result of the third hex?

        wait what if Lord Li gained enlightenment on the daosource of time? thus he can exist in the past, present and future because to him time is relative @[email protected]
        so even if he is dead in the present and is buried in the heavens, he is alive in the past or future. IDK if that makes sense.

      1. “That is the Second Generation Demon Sealer’s Hexing magic. As for mine… it is very different. I will show it to you. As for whether or not you will be able to understand it, well, that is up to you.”
        And then suddenly Meng Hao is seeing the world live and die again and again
        I think that world’s reincarnation cycle is the method Li is using to show him his hexing magic
        Edit: Well sh*t i’ve done f*cked up, i forgot about the Sixth demon Sealing Hex

  2. Reality is defined by what is ‘true’ and ‘correct’ but something being true and correct could be subjective so reality is based on perception.
    This Dao will either be a Dao based on Time or a Dao similar to the Withering Flame True Self Dao or a Dao of Samsara. Although life and death have a connection to this Dao he already has a life death hex.

    He will most likely understand Samsara as this reminds of Lin Ming in the Sorcerers trial in Martial ?. Samsara is a cycle of life death, ? and suffering. It is the vicissitudes of life through cycles.

    1. I think it’ll go the René Descartes route: “I think, therefore I am.”

      Basically what this passage means is that because all else might be “real and unreal” (hex quote, not Descartes) depending on your point of view, the only thing you can truly say is real are your thoughts, and by extension, you. I find this especially likely as the origin of the quote was René Descartes thinking, originally, people who were wrong about basic facts were wrong. But then he realized as he was dreaming that at that time his perception of the world was just as real to him as reality. Once he got to that point he began thinking that everything might be false, and the only thing he truly knows exists are his thoughts.

  3. Thanks for the chapter Deathblade, anonpuffs, Madam Deathblade, GNE, Tsukihime, Shu, JerryDaBaws, and Baby Deathblade! Seems like it has to do with either reincarnation or time? My guess would be time since Meng Hao seems to have an affinity with time magics.

  4. wow treasure magic, your self not in the cycle, but you can feel the change of the time from the cycle of that world, a second there mean 10.000 cycle life of a world? meng hao must be the most highest level cultivator now….humhum

  5. This was the best chapter so far. I can’t pinpoint why, it didn’t touch me emotionally, but the ending was intriguing and there was something important in Lord Li’s speech.

Leave a Reply