Chapter 106: The Day the Resurrection Lily Blooms in Seven Colors
“Senior, I can help you find the things you need in the city,” blurted the young man hurriedly. He was nervous, and fear shone in his eyes. He believed what Meng Hao had just said. He knew he would only have one chance to explain himself clearly, otherwise, he would be exterminated. It wouldn’t matter that they were within the city limits.
Meng Hao gave the young man a look. He didn’t say anything, but the young man was clever, and picked up on Meng Hao’s intention. He continued speaking.
“I’m Qiu Lin of the junior generation,” he said, the words pouring out, his heart pounding. “I was born here in Eastern Greatness City, so I know the place well. I noticed you when you entered the city; I can tell that it’s your first time here. You need someone who knows their way around to help you find what you’re looking for. I’d like to offer my services.
“Senior, for only fifty Spirit Stones, you can save yourself a lot of time. I can help you find what you need much faster.” He looked nervously at Meng Hao. He wasn’t lying; everything he’d said was the truth.
He had done this type of thing before, but this was the first time he had encountered someone like Meng Hao, who exuded such a deadly air.
Meng Hao looked over him coldly and then slowly loosened his grip. He frowned; the more the poison flared up, the stronger his killing intent seemed to grow. It seemed to be slowly affecting his personality.
Qiu Lin took in a deep breath and then said, “What is it you seek to buy, sir?”
“Poison pills,” replied Meng Hao coolly.
“Poison pills?” Qiu Lin stared in surprise. He thought for a long moment, and then his eyes glittered and he went on to provide a vivid description of this aspect of the city.
“Senior, there are not many shops in the city that specifically sell poison pills. But, poison pills are still medicinal pills, and there are lots of shops in the city that sell medicinal pills. There are two shops that could be considered the best. One of them, called the Ten Thousand Pills Pavilion, has the most variety of pills. It’s very famous, and when they have auctions, even Foundation Establishment Cultivators will attend.
“There’s another shop that’s a bit smaller, but they conduct trade with the Western Desert, so they have a lot of imported items. They say the apothecary there used to work with Grandmaster Pill Demon of the Violet Fate Sect. He was some kind of boy genius when it came to medicines.
“Which place would you like to go to, sir?”
Meng Hao thought for a moment, then said, “The Ten Thousand Pills Pavilion.” Qiu Lin nodded and led the way off. Having his help really did save Meng Hao quite a bit of time. They walked quickly through the city, and within about an hour, arrived at a seven-story pavilion. A huge stone stele had been erected next to it, upon which were written the characters ‘Ten Thousand Pills Pavilion.’
“I can’t really go inside,” said Qiu Lin. “I’ll wait out here for you, sir.” Looking around, Meng Hao noticed that there were quite a few disciples of the fifth or sixth level of Qi Condensation milling about.
With a slight nod of his head, he entered the seven-story building. As for Meng Hao, he had cast a bit of Spiritual Sense onto him, to ensure that he didn’t try anything funny.
Now that he was of the Foundation Establishment stage, he was becoming much more familiar with the usages of Spiritual Sense.
In the Ten Thousand Pills Pavilion, Qi Condensation Cultivators were restricted to the first floor. The second and third floors were for Foundation Establishment; Core Formation was the requirement to enter the fourth floor. Meng Hao walked around a bit, frowning as he glanced over the various medicinal pills.
Enough time passed for an incense stick to burn, and he left. Qiu Lin immediately stepped forward.
“Let’s go to the second place you mentioned,” said Meng Hao, continuing to frown. Qiu Lin was clever, so he didn’t ask any questions. He immediately led Meng Hao away. It was nearing evening when they finally arrived in a relatively remote part of the city, to a shop that seemed to have been there since ancient times.
“This place is small, and it has three rules,” Qiu Lin told Meng Hao. “The first rule is that you can’t enter unless you put up a deposit of fifty thousand Spirit Stones. The deposit is non-refundable, whether or not you buy anything.
“The second rule is that only one person at a time may enter. Everyone else must wait outside. Furthermore, only twenty people are allowed in each day. Once twenty people have entered, others must wait until the following day.
“The third rule is that once inside, random questions are not allowed. Every question asked must be accompanied with a payment of Spirit Stones.”
Meng Hao stared in surprise for a moment, before understanding showed in his eyes. He walked forward. He hated to lose Spirit Stones, but if it led to being able to dispel the poison, then it would be worth it.
The door of the shop was closed. On it hung a plaque with the number 18 written on it.
Meng Hao settled his Qi and calmed his mind, then stood there quietly. Qiu Lin stood next to him. Finally, when the sun was about to drop over the horizon, the door creaked open and a middle-aged man walked out. A frown was on his face, and he didn’t even look at Meng Hao and Qiu Lin. He walked out, turned, and then clasped hands and bowed to the old man who had shown him out.
When he saw the middle-aged man, Meng Hao’s eyes narrowed and he lowered his head. He had seen this man before. It was none other than Reverend Bi Hong, whom he had seen flying through the sky earlier in the day.
The old man who stood in the shop door was of the late Foundation Establishment stage. For a Core Formation eccentric to salute him in such a manner was very unusual.
Reverend Bi Hong turned and then transformed into a colorful beam of light that shot off into the air. A screaming whistle echoed out, after which the old man in the shop looked at Meng Hao.
Without hesitation, Meng Hao produced a bag of holding, inside of which were fifty thousand spirit stones. He respectfully handed it over.
The old man accepted it with a slight nod, then turned and entered the shop. Meng Hao followed him, glancing back as the door closed behind him. The number on the plaque changed from 18 to 19.
The shop wasn’t very large. There were no shelves. Instead, there were seven pill furnaces of various sizes, two long tables, and an oil lamp. The light was relatively dim, although to Cultivators, this didn’t matter; they could see everything clearly.
“How can I help you?” said the old man coolly, sitting cross-legged behind one of the long tables.
Meng Hao said nothing, instead slapping his bag of holding to produce a jade vial. He pushed it across the table toward the old man.
The old man picked it up and opened it, then gazed at it closely. He lowered his head and sniffed it, then tipped it over. Blood flowed out onto the surface of the table.
The jade vial contained a sizeable amount of blood, which Meng Hao had extracted from his body.
“Interesting,” said the old man, his voice low. He stared at the blood on the table. He lifted his hand, and a long, silver needle appeared. He dragged it through the blood, and immediately, the needle began to glow. Then, in the blink of an eye, it began to melt with rot. In an instant, it had turned into bits of ash, which floated out in the air.
The old man’s eyes glistened. He smacked the table with his left hand, causing the blood to fly up into the air, where it congealed into a globule. He then smacked his bag of holding, and a withered seed appeared. He flicked his finger, and the seed merged into the globule of blood.
The blood instantly began to contract, and soon was gone. The seed was no longer withered, but rather, plump and nearly bursting. As it floated in the air, it slowly began to sprout.
Meng Hao watched with rapt attention as all of this happened, growing more and more nervous. He had spent a lot of Spirit Stones, all to attempt to dispel the poison.
The seed sprouted, forming into a long branch, upon which a single leaf grew. The leaf eventually grew into a flower. As soon as the flower appeared, the old man’s face went pale. Meng Hao’s eyes narrowed.
The petals of the flower were three different colors: yellow, blue and red, interlocking with each other. The flower itself had the appeared of a demonic face that was laughing and crying at the same time. The demonic-face-flower floated there in the air, seemingly alive. It was extremely bizarre.
“A three-colored Resurrection Lily…” said the old man in a hoarse voice [1. The name Resurrection Lily is based on a real plant, although I doubt its appearance in real life is anything like how it's supposed to look in ISSTH]. He stared at the flower, his eyes shining.
“When this poison flares up three times, it forms a complete cycle. After three cycles, the flower will bloom. After it blooms, a demonic face that seems to be both laughing and crying will appear in your right eye. It will come and go depending on your usage of your Cultivation base. If you circulate your Cultivation base for a long time, it will grow more clear. At this stage, the poison will not injure you, and in fact will protect you from all manner of other poisons. However, your desire to kill will grow stronger.
“After three more cycles, the flower will bloom again, and when the poison flares up, another demonic face will appear in your left eye. At this point, your desire to kill will be even stronger. You will become incredibly bloodthirsty. At this point, not only will you be immune to a vast array of poisons, you will begin to emanate a poisoned miasma. Your flesh will become incredibly tough, and you will be more resilient than the average Cultivator.
“However, you will find that your body is also becoming more and more stiff. Your agility will be reduced, and your life force will slowly become dim. You will often be surrounded by a death aura.
“After this, the flower will bloom a third time,” said the man, his voice filled with profundity. “Your… your mind will be lost, your life will be gone. Your body will transform into a three-colored Resurrection Lily. The person who planted the seed in you will come to pick the flower. Sometime after the transformation, you will turn into a four-colored Resurrection Lily.
“Mortal, Qi Condensation, Foundation Establishment, Core Formation, Nascent Soul, Spirit Severing, Dao Seeking. Seven stages, seven colors, one for each stage. Eventually, the Resurrection Lily will bloom in seven colors, the flower descends, Immortal Ascension, one thousand years.
“In ancient times, Cultivators used this flower in order to achieve Immortal Ascension.” The old man gazed at Meng Hao.
Hearing the man’s word caused him to shiver, not from cold, but from fear. He frowned as he thought about everything the man had said regarding the poison.
“Fellow Daoist, please, don’t joke with me. I have ordinary latent talent, and no special treasures that people are pursuing. It wouldn’t be worth it for an enemy to plot against me with such a rare flower.”
The old man looked at him with a smile, but said nothing.
Meng Hao was silent for a moment, then produced another bag of holding which he placed down in front of the old man. The man nodded.
“Young friend, what you said is both correct and incorrect,” said the old man slowly. “This three-colored Resurrect Flower is not complete; it’s defective. It won’t bloom past three colors. Otherwise, no one in the world would be able to dispel it for you.
“How can I dispel it?” When the man didn’t respond, Meng Hao threw over another bag of holding.
Meanwhile outside the shop, the stars and moon had appeared in the evening sky and lanterns were being lit throughout the city. A woman appeared in the distance, dressed in a long, sleeveless white garment.
She was incredibly beautiful. Graceful and slender, her appearance underneath the moonlight was like that of a celestial being. She looked cool, calm and very refined. Her appearance was beyond ordinary in every aspect. As the lamplight filled the city, she walked up to the shop. When she saw the number 19 on the plaque on the door, a slight smile appeared on her face that caused Qiu Lin’s heart to race.
Meng Hao himself had seen this woman before, in the Reliance Sect. She had accompanied Wang Tengfei when he left the sect. This was … Wang Tengfei’s fiancé.
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