Book 10: I Watch Blue Seas Become Lush Fields [1. The title of Book 10 is based on a common Chinese idiom which refers to seeing drastic changes over the passage of time]
Chapter 1558: Peace and Calm
Meng Hao extended his right hand, and the majestic Mountain and Sea Realm began to shrink down until it was the size of his palm, where it sat, radiating brightness and glory.
“Demon Sovereign!” It was hard to say who it was who first cried out and began to kowtow, but soon the entire army of cultivators from the Vast Expanse School dropped to their knees, completely shaken by personally having witnessed Meng Hao create such a precious treasure.
They weren’t the only ones. The cultivators of the Mountain and Sea Realm all began to cry out in excitement, until the words ‘Demon Sovereign’ echoed out without cease.
As all of the countless cultivators offered fanatical worship, Meng Hao turned toward the Mountain and Sea Butterfly and looked warmly at his parents and Xu Qing. Then he took a step forward in their direction.
Closer and closer he came, until he was upon the Mountain and Sea Butterfly. The first thing he did was kowtow to his father and mother.
“Dad, mom, I'm back!” he said, tears welling up in his eyes. Fang Xiufeng stood there trembling, and Meng Li rushed forward to lift Meng Hao to his feet. Meng Hao was about to say something when his father grabbed him by the shoulders and shoved him in front of Xu Qing. Meng Li immediately glared at her husband.
“The boy’s had it a lot rougher than us....” Fang Xiufeng said softly.
Xu Qing smiled, a warm, caring smile that contained... profound emotion.
They looked at each other for a long moment before Meng Hao stepped forward and wrapped his arms tightly around her. Trembling, she returned his embrace, tears of joy seeping down her cheeks.
“I'm back....” he said softly, holding tightly to that which was the greatest blessing in his life. For thousands of years, his heart had been unstable, but now it settled down. It was something that Chu Yuyan could not do for him. Other than his father and mother, the only person in his life who could make him feel this way was Xu Qing. He felt… at peace.
The other cultivators of the Mountain and Sea Realm had followed Meng Hao back into the world of the Mountain and Sea Butterfly. Up above, there were no more 33 Heavens. There was only the sea of flames, burning constantly, filled with the screaming souls of the Outsiders.
As for the army from the Vast Expanse School, they set up camp outside, where they would stand guard. Without orders from Meng Hao, they would not leave, nor would they follow him into the Mountain and Sea Butterfly.
The entire starry sky was now peaceful and quiet.
It was the calmest moment Meng Hao had experienced for centuries, and also the most joyous. He was finally able to just spend time with his parents, and with Xu Qing. They returned to the Holy Mountain of the Mountain and Sea butterfly, where Xu Qing recounted everything which had occurred while he was gone. Time passed, and Meng Hao was happy.
He didn’t force the Mountain and Sea cultivators and the Vast Expanse School to go after the Immortal God Continent and the Devil Realm. He knew that those two powerful forces would be coming for him. Therefore, he decided that he might as well just wait for them to arrive.
He remained on the Holy Mountain, turning away all visitors, choosing simply to enjoy the sunrises and the sunsets. His parents were very content to see him this way.
As for all of the various cultivators of the Mountain and Sea Realm, they spent their time preparing to move. After all, Meng Hao had created a new home for all of them.
It wasn’t just the cultivators who would be moving. There were mortals too, as well as other life forms and legacies which needed to be prepared to enter the new Mountain and Sea Realm.
After a few days passed, Meng Hao took Xu Qing traveling in the Mountain and Sea Butterfly. Their first stop was to see his Grandpa Meng, and the rest of the Meng Clan.
Because of Grandpa Meng, the Meng Clan was famous and illustrious within the world of the Mountain and Sea Butterfly. They, along with the Fang Clan, occupied the highest of positions.
The clan members who Meng Hao had personally instructed and guided when he was in the Eighth Mountain and Sea were now the pillars of the clan.
When the clan came to find out that Meng Hao and Xu Qing were coming, it caused a huge stir. A grand celebration was prepared, and the entire clan appeared to formally receive Meng Hao.
Almost as soon as he could be seen on the horizon, all members of the clan bowed and joined their voices together in a thunderous call.
“We offer respectful greetings, Demon Sovereign and Demon Queen!” As their voices echoed out, Grandpa Meng stood there in the crowd, a glowing smile on his face. Meng Hao hurried forward along with Xu Qing. Completely disregarding his status as the Demon Sovereign, he unhesitatingly dropped to his knees to kowtow.
“Grandfather....” he said softly. Xu Qing also dropped to her knees to kowtow, her heart thumping. The reason for that was not because of the fact that everyone else was bowing to them, but because they were calling her the Demon Queen, and also because this was her first time joining Meng Hao to kowtow to any of his relatives other than his parents. [1. In Chinese culture, formally paying respects to new family members of the elder generation after getting married is an important custom]
She was like a new bride, nervously paying respects to her in-laws for the first time.
Grandpa Meng laughed heartily and quickly helped them to their feet. After looking over at Xu Qing, he clapped Meng Hao on the shoulder.
“You take care of this girl,” he said quietly. “She’s been waiting for you for thousands of years!” Meng Hao nodded and slipped his hand around Xu Qing’s. She blushed.
Meng Hao and Xu Qing stayed in the Meng Clan for several days, after which they said their goodbyes. At that time, Grandpa Meng seemed like he wanted to say something, but ended up holding his tongue. Meng Hao saw this and sighed.
“Grandfather,” he said. “The revenge is not complete. The Immortal God Continent and the Devil Realm will be here soon. Then, vengeance will be had in one fell swoop.”
Next, Meng Hao took Xu Qing to Ksitigarbha’s sect, a sinister, underworldly location. As soon as Meng Hao arrived, all of the cultivators there were thrown into a commotion.
Of course, Ksitigarbha was Xu Qing’s Master, so in some ways, this sect was like her traditional bridal home. When she saw her husband strolling along with her Master, her heart overflowed with a feeling of happiness.
“How soon will they be here?” Ksitigarbha asked grimly, clearly referring to the Immortal God Continent and the Devil Realm. “Exalted Demon Sovereign, these foes must not be underestimated.”
“Soon,” Meng Hao replied calmly. He looked up into the sky. “However, I have some speculations regarding those two continents. The only way to confirm whether or not I’m right will be to see them with my own eyes.”
Ksitigarbha nodded, and then looked back at Xu Qing, his gaze warm. Turning once again to Meng Hao, he chuckled. Although he didn't say anything, it was clear from his expression that he wished them happiness.
They didn’t stay for long with Ksitigarbha. They soon left to find Ke Jiusi in the Demon Immortal sect, where they were received with the same fanfare as the other places they had visited. Zhixiang was there, and when she looked at Meng Hao and Xu Qing, it was with sighing and mixed emotions.
This was not the first time she regretted the past. She regretted the fact that when she met Meng Hao for the first time all those years ago, she had done nothing about the spark of romance which had flickered. Back then, she had been completely devoted to her plans regarding the Demon Immortal Sect, and had never allowed anything to develop between herself and Meng Hao.
Instead, she had chosen to part from him, and sever any connection they had.
Years later, she always experienced complicated feelings whenever she saw Meng Hao. That had been especially true when she witnessed him fighting to protect the Mountain and Sea Butterfly, something that left her heart trembling with deep feeling.
Note from Er Gen: This is the final book. In order to spend more time interacting with you readers, each chapter will be only 2,000 Chinese characters.
I’m not in a very good mood today. The mother of one of my sworn brothers passed away earlier today, and I need to go to the funeral parlor. Life is a weak thing, please pay attention to your health.
I hope that all of you can exercise more, drink less, smoke less, and stay healthy.
Note from Deathblade: All of the chapters from here until the end of the story will be a bit shorter, with the exception of the final chapter. Up to now the average length has been 3,000 Chinese characters, about 2,000 English words. Now they will be 2,000 Chinese characters and about 1,600 English words. My personal opinion is that this enabled Er Gen to focus more on writing what he wanted to write, and not piling as much filler into the chapters. They are a bit shorter, but generally better as far as I’m concerned.
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