Chapter 1594: Buried Within Time
The top of the mountain looked the same as it always had. It was separate from the world, as beautiful as a painting.
As soon as Meng Hao reached the top, he could see a coffin off in the distance, a coffin that was... empty!
It was not his first time looking at the empty coffin. He had come here after Xu Qing slipped into her final slumber, which was when he had discovered that no one occupied the coffin anymore.
Chu Yuyan had vanished.
As for where she had gone to, no one knew, not even Meng Hao. Back when he first made the shocking discovery, he had stood there looking at it, his heart equally empty.
Chu Yuyan could not have simply left on her own. Considering the level of Meng Hao’s cultivation base, and given the fact that he was the lord of the starry sky, he should have been able to detect her presence.
But she was nowhere to be found.
The only explanation was that she had somehow left when he was making the ice coffins with his Dao Essence. Because all of his energy and concentration had been focused on the task at hand, he hadn’t been paying attention to anything else. Something unexpected must have occurred with Chu Yuyan during that time.
Even still, it didn’t make sense that he wouldn’t have noticed. Unless... Chu Yuyan didn't leave on her own. Unless... someone came and took her away.
Whoever it was couldn’t be Allheaven, because he couldn’t enter this starry sky. It must have been someone else.
That person’s cultivation base... would either have to be at the same level as Meng Hao’s, or at least very close.
There were some clues left behind. Although they were faint to the extreme, Meng Hao was the lord of the starry sky, a powerful expert in the Ancestor Realm. If he wanted to know something, then only someone with a cultivation base higher than his would be able to conceal it from him and leave behind no clues.
But there were clues, and from them, Meng Hao was able to determine that whoever had taken away Chu Yuyan had no ill intentions.
Based on the auguries he had performed, he had come to be convinced that Chu Yuyan being taken away was unprecedented good fortune for her. He even had the feeling that he might run into her again in the future.
Because of that, he had chosen not to interfere. Instead, he allowed the place to simply remained sealed away like it had been before.
After climbing the mountain, he walked up to the coffin and looked down into its emptiness. Memories flickered within his eyes, and eventually he sighed. It was almost as if he could hear the gentle voice of a young woman speaking to him.
“Master, promise me that you’ll tell me the second half of the story one day.”
Meng Hao felt emptier than ever. When Xu Qing fell into slumber, she took away his heart. As he stood there thinking about Chu Yuyan, it was as if his will had also been taken away.
Time passed, and Meng Hao looked older than ever. He looked up into the sky, completely engulfed by loneliness.
Eventually, he left. He strolled through the Mountain and Sea Realm, visiting the Mountains, going to the Seas. Eventually, he reached the Ninth Sea. There he stopped and looked down.
The Ninth Sea was more than half dried up. Guyiding Tri-Rain was connected to Meng Hao by Karma, and was thus subject to the effects of the curse. Just like Patriarch Reliance, she had chosen to enter a state of sleep, allowing her to prolong her life.
When he looked at the Ninth Sea, he could still sense faint fluctuations coming from Guyiding Tri-Rain. Gradually, his heart began to grow calm. He proceeded along, returning to the Ninth Mountain, and the ice cave where all his memories lay. He sat down cross-legged next to the ice coffins which contained his parents and Xu Qing, and his eyes flickered with focus and obsession.
After all the time that had passed, he still hadn't given up on the idea of breaking the curse of Allheaven.
Recently, a new idea had occurred to him, an idea that seemed like madness.
“After the Nine Demon Sealing Hexes, I wonder if there... is actually a Tenth Hex!”
Time continued to pass. A thousand years. Two thousand. Three thousand....
By now, twenty thousand years had passed since Meng Hao's battle with Allheaven. During that time, many of the people he had known in the Vast Expanse School died.
It would be easier to find a phoenix feather or a qilin horn than to find people within the starry sky of the Mountains and Seas who remembered Meng Hao. Any who did exist were ancient, eccentric beings.
During the second ten-thousand-year-period, the Mountain and Sea Realm continued to expand. It grew more powerful, but at the same time, more corrupt. The Nine Mountains became nine separate factions who schemed and fought amongst each other.
It reached the point where they even wanted to part ways from each other. Were it not for the fact that the Nine Mountains and Seas were fundamentally incapable of being separated, they definitely would have split apart. Of course, the schisms were not physical, but within the hearts of the people in the realm.
Shields were erected between the Nine Mountains and Seas. In the past, they all had dealings with each other, but now they became separate worlds. The only way to pass from one to another was by fighting and killing.
The expansion outside of the Mountain and Sea Realm was similarly divided.
As more and more living beings were subjugated, the Mountain and Sea Realm eventually reached a peak state similar to when it had ruled the 3,000 Lower Realms in the past. In fact, they even surpassed that state, and came to rule tens of thousands of other types of life forms.
There was another power within the starry sky. During the first ten thousand years, it had remained relatively subdued. But in the second, it experienced explosive expansion. It was... the Vast Expanse School!
The Vast Expanse School had been the number one power in years past, and during the second period of ten thousand years, it began to expand again. It swept across the starry sky, becoming just as illustrious as the Mountain and Sea Realm. Eventually, the starry sky was split in two.
As would be expected, friction arose. Smaller conflicts grew more intense, until eventually the two powers came to be as incompatible as fire and water.
More and more powerful experts arose. The Mountain and Sea Realm had full access to all of the powers provided by the precious treasure that was the realm itself. However, even though the older generation had all died, the new experts still were affected by Karma, and had significantly shorter longevity. Because of that, although their powerful experts were numerous, there was still a limit to their overall number.
The Vast Expanse School was in a similar situation. The most powerful experts of the older generation were either dead or in secluded meditation. They had no precious treasure like the Mountain and Sea Realm, but their powerful experts could live longer. In the end, neither side had a clear advantage, and they were relatively evenly matched.
However, the number of Paragons who rose up during that twenty thousand years vastly exceeded the number from previous times. Not counting their secret reserve forces, each of the two powers had over two hundred 9-Essences Paragons.
Because of that, the fighting grew more intense, until eventually, full-scale war erupted.
Meng Hao didn’t pay attention to any of that. He sat in secluded meditation, forgotten by the world.
By now, the very few people who actually remembered him all assumed that he had long since left this starry sky.
After all, it had been many, many years since he made any public appearances. His stories, his legend, was a thing from ancient times, buried within the depths of the past.Previous Chapter Next Chapter