Chapter 126: Out of Nowhere
On the opposite shore is a flower; it blooms with seven colors; its name means Immortal Ascension. [1. The name of the Resurrection Lily in Chinese contains a reference to a Buddhist concept called Pāramitā, which literally translates as "the other shore"]
Every Resurrection Lily in the world feeds on the life of someone powerful, is watered with that person’s blood. As a result of the countless condensations of mystical will, it lives, going from one color to another, seven in all.
Meng Hao had been infected with a three-colored Resurrection Lily. In front of him, was a four-colored Resurrection Lily. Complicated feelings arose inside him. He could clearly sense that this flower had once been just like him, a Cultivator.
As soon as he caught sight of the Resurrection Lily, a three-colored mist emerged from the top of his head and congealed into a beautiful three-colored Resurrection Lily. It swayed back and forth. The petals formed a demonic face that seemed to wish to cry, but didn’t. It was as if recalling its life made it wish to weep, but at the same time, it was unwilling to.
Gradually, the four-colored Resurrection Lily in front of Meng Hao also began to sway back and forth. Eventually, Meng Hao realized that standing on top of the flower was the dim image of a man in a white robe. He stood there silently, and though his figure was indistinct, he was looking directly at Meng Hao.
They seemed to be gazing at each other through time, from opposite shores of a river. A long moment passed, and finally the white-robed man sighed. He lifted his right hand and waved it; next to him in the sand appeared a glowing door.
People who share the same fate have no need to make things difficult for each other. The glowing door led out; stepping through it meant leaving the fourth matrix.
As soon as the glowing door appeared, the white-robed man vanished. The only thing left behind was the Resurrection Lily, swaying back and forth slowly. It looked like it wanted to cry, and yet at the same time, didn’t want to.
Meng Hao was silent for a moment. Then, he clasped his hands and bowed deeply. With that, he lifted his head and walked through the glowing door, his mood mixed and complex. The world around him fragmented, then came back together. He was on a large platform filled with dense spiritual energy that immediately enveloped him and the mastiff.
Ahead of him was the fifth matrix and Li Daoyi. Everyone else was stuck behind Meng Hao in the fourth matrix. To emerge from the fourth matrix in fewer than ten days was something that had never happened during all the Legacy tournaments since ancient times. Meng Hao had charged through the fourth matrix faster than anyone else in history!
Outside in the Southern Domain, Meng Hao’s appearance caused an uproar. Everyone watching the blood screens outside the Blood Immortal Legacy zones stared at Meng Hao’s indistinct figure, shocked. They simply couldn’t believe it.
“Seven days! This person charged through the fourth matrix in seven day! How did he do it? In the history of the Blood Immortal Legacy tournament, something like this has never happened!”
“Based on his performance in the fourth matrix, he’s now superseded all those others! Now, the only person in front of him is Li Daoyi! If he can do as well in the fifth matrix, then even if he doesn’t acquire the Legacy of the Blood Immortal, he’ll still be famous in all the Southern Domain.”
“Where is this guy from? I can’t believe that he has no history…. Unless… unless he’s from the Black Sieve Sect. After all, when the seven previous Blood Immortal Legacy zones opened, the Black Sieve Sect never showed up!”
Amidst the continuous uproar, Eccentric Song stared at the indistinct form of Meng Hao as he sat meditating. It wasn’t just him. Wu Dingqiu of the Violet Fate Sect, Zhao Shanling from the Golden Frost Sect and even Zhou Yanyun of the Solitary Sword sect as well as Chen Fan, were all paying very close attention to Meng Hao.
Of course, none of them had any way to know that each and every one of them had met him before.
Wang Tengfei glanced at Meng Hao, his hands clasped together tightly. He had no way to recognize him either, and in any case, was paying more attention to his brother Wang Lihai.
In the Li Clan, frowns had appeared on the faces of the two old Nascent Soul Cultivators. They were now feeling a bit threatened by Meng Hao.
While the outside world buzzed about Meng Hao getting through the fourth matrix in seven days, he sat meditating, absorbing the boundless spiritual energy of heaven and earth as quickly as possible. The outline of his second Dao Pillar was becoming more and more distinct. His mastiff was also absorbing spiritual energy rapidly. Soon it was as large as a person. Standing next to Meng Hao, who was sitting cross-legged, it looked quite fear-inspiring.
It had a thick, luxurious coat of blood-red fur covering his body, and even his face. Visible through the fur covering its head were two blood-red eyes that shone with a cold, blood-thirsty light. Its claws were as sharp as flying swords, and seemed capable of ripping apart heaven and earth. When it opened its mouth, the first thing you saw were long, sharp teeth, seemingly capable of ripping apart any living thing.
Meng Hao continued to meditate for eight days after leaving the fourth matrix. Eventually, the air rippled, and Wang Lihai emerged. When he did, he looked at Meng Hao with surprise. He had assumed that he would be the first person after Li Daoyi to emerge from the fourth matrix. Having passed through the matrix in half a month should have caused quite a stir outside. However… any stir he might have caused was already stolen by Meng Hao.
He looked closely at Meng Hao for a moment, and then sat down cross-legged to meditate. Three more days passed before Song Jia came out. She staggered a bit, blood oozing out of her mouth, before sitting down cross-legged to begin breathing exercises.
Meng Hao opened his eyes. The spiritual energy in this place was dissipating. He muttered to himself for a moment. The outline of his second Dao Pillar was almost completely formed. If the surrounding spiritual energy remained as thick as it had at the outset, then he would only need half a month to completely solidify the Dao Pillar.
But the spiritual energy was thin now, and would require time to replenish.
“Perfect Foundation….” Again, Meng Hao’s desire for the Perfect Foundation grew.
Suddenly, his mastiff raised its head toward the heavens and let out an astonishing roar. Meng Hao, as well as the others on the platform, instantly looked over.
What they saw was the Mastiff’s aura growing more and more powerful. Its body suddenly grew another three meters longer. Its appearance was now thoroughly frightening. Such growth would be astonishing enough, but there was more. Multiple blood-red bone spurs suddenly grew out of its legs, and its teeth grew so long that it didn’t even have to open its mouth for them to be seen. One look would cause anyone’s heart to thump.
There was a roaring sound as its Cultivation base rose. In an instant, it no longer emitted the aura of the Foundation Establishment stage, but… the Core Formation stage!
The outside world once again erupted in shock.
“Core Formation!! This guy’s Blood Divinity is the second to reach Core Formation!”
“It seems he is the only person who will be able to give Li Daoyi a run for his money! Who is this guy…?”
Meng Hao looked at his mastiff’s fearsome appearance and shocking aura, and sighed in his heart. The dog could only exist in this place, and couldn’t be taken out. If it could, then based on the friendship that had developed between the two of them, Meng Hao would feel much safer in the Cultivation world outside.
“And it’s still not done growing….” thought Meng Hao, his eyes glittering. “The only way to take it outside of this place is to acquire the Legacy of the Blood Immortal.” He reached up to pet the mastiff. Others might think it looked cruel and savage, but in Meng Hao’s eyes it was incredibly cute. As he pet it, it let out a pleased grumbling sound, just like it had when it was small. Then it laid down on its stomach and licked Meng Hao’s hand, looking at him with the same fawning eyes it had when it was young. The only difference now was that its tongue was the size of Meng Hao’s entire hand.
It seemed that it could treat everything in this world with fierce savagery, but as for Meng Hao, no matter what happened, it would view him just as it always had. Meng Hao would pet it, it would lick his hand, and everything would be peaceful.
“Actually, I don’t care much about the Legacy of the Blood Immortal, but I will fight to take this Blood Divinity out with me….” Meng Hao lifted his head, and his eyes sparkled. He slowly stood up. Now that the spiritual energy here was weak, it was a waste of time to stay. He had a total of three months to spend in here, and half a month had already passed. He strode forward, and the mastiff followed. Under the watchful eyes of the outside world, the two of them flew into the fifth matrix.
Up until now, only Li Daoyi had entered the fifth spell matrix. As soon as Meng Hao entered, the archaic voice could be heard.
“This matrix is of the void, the void is of the end, thus the name ‘end the void.’ There are blood runes which form a seal over a myriad spirits; gain enlightenment, and it can be broken. If you break it, you retain it after acquiring the Legacy. Fail to acquire the Legacy, and it shall be erased.
“This matrix is exceedingly difficult, so the Blood Divinity may chose to leave at any time. However, the Legacy competitor must to fight the battle to the end, even if that end be in death.”
As the voice echoed out, a new world materialized in front of Meng Hao. To be specific, it was a mountain. On top of the mountain was an enormous stone stele. Next to the stele was a glowing door that could only be used by the Blood Divinity.
The stone stele was covered with blood-colored magical symbols. The symbols flickered, seemingly containing some type of Dao that required enlightenment to understand.
When Meng Hao appeared in this world, he found himself at the top of the mountain, beneath the stone stele. The mastiff stood next to him, looking around vigilantly.
Meng Hao’s eyes were thoughtful as he looked at the magical symbols on the stone stele. Even as he did so, his face twisted in astonishment. Something was happening that hadn’t occurred the entire time he had been in the Blood Immortal Legacy zone. He slapped his bag of holding, and a Spring and Autumn tree appeared. He grasped it in his hand.
However, he suddenly had no power to absorb the Spring and Autumn tree. Apparently, within the fifth spell matrix, he was completely cut off from the tree. Meng Hao’s expression once again flickered.
Before he could do anything else, his body suddenly trembled, and he coughed up a mouthful of blood. The blood was black, and even before it could reach the ground, it transformed into a three-colored Resurrection Lily. Its face of petals, crying and not crying, looked straight at Meng Hao.
Meng Hao’s face went pale, and within his eyes appeared faces made of three-colored flower petals. His body shook even harder, and severe pain flowed throughout him, threatening to send him unconscious. He doubled over as the poison within his body once again flared up.
“I suppressed the poison only half a month ago in the volcano….” he thought, forcing his eyes to stay open. He repeatedly told himself not to pass out; if he lost consciousness in the fifth matrix, he would most certainly die.
Actually, the poison flare-up had nothing to do with the fifth matrix, but the fourth. After seeing the four-colored Resurrection Lily, the poison within his body had been aroused, causing it to flare up.
Meng Hao’s body was covered in sweat, and an indescribable pain washed over him like floodwaters, causing him to become like a mortal in all aspects. His face twisted wretchedly, and he gritted his teeth tenaciously.
The mastiff didn’t understand what was happening, but seeing Meng Hao this way caused it to let out a nervous whine. And it was at this moment that suddenly, a multitude of roaring shouts could be heard drifting up from the bottom of the mountain.
Down below, a hoard of figures appeared. It was a group of people dressed in ragged clothing, like barbarians. They were tall, and their eyes were filled with cruelty as they raced up toward the top of the mountain.
Based on their speed, they would reach the top of the mountain within the space of a few breaths. Meng Hao’s face was pale, and his body trembled. This flare-up was more intense by far than previous ones. He didn’t even have the energy to lift up a hand. He could only look around with his eyes at the massive group of people rushing toward him.
Here is some official art depicted the mastiff at about this level of its growth:
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