Chapter 154: To Each His Own Path
Meng Hao didn’t respond. He looked down at Xu Qing and gave her a little smile. He retreated backward with her, causing the late Foundation Establishment old man to snort and then fly forward toward Meng Hao like a nightingale.
His speed was incredible, and he displayed the full power of his late Foundation Establishment Cultivation base, causing eight ripples to spread out in the air. He obviously had eight Dao Pillars within his body.
By this point, Meng Hao had already reached the two mid Foundation Establishment stage middle-aged Cultivators. They laughed, and one of them flashed incantation gestures. A hundred Ice Blades magically appeared and began to spin, forming a giant whirlwind. The whirlwind shot toward Meng Hao, each blade within filled with the power of the early Foundation Establishment stage.
The other man slapped his bag of holding to produce five black, buzzing, head-sized wasps with long, red stingers.
“You overestimate yourself!” said the man who had created the Ice Blades. The Ice Blade whirlwind screamed toward Meng Hao. Holding Xu Qing with his right arm, he waved his left hand. Instantly, an enormous Flame Dragon appeared, along with a Wind Blade. Shockingly,the Flame Dragon was not pure red, but streaked with gold! Because of the Sublime Spirit Scripture, the dragon had become a Golden Dragon.
The Wind Blade fused with the dragon, causing it to expand to three hundred meters in length. Furthermore, two bulges appeared on the left and right side of the Flame Dragon. As soon as the Wind Blade touched the dragon, they exploded out into two enormous wings. It unfurled the wings; this was a Flying Rain-Dragon.
Meng Hao had been enlightened regarding this technique when the roc had awakened the Flying Rain-Dragon Legacy within him.
The next thing to appear with the Dragon was a Flame Sea. This Flame Sea was birthed from the power of the Perfect Dao Pillar. Mid Foundation Establishment Cultivators simply had no way to resist it.
The Ice Blade whirlwind broke apart in an instant, transforming into a mist which was consumed by the Flame Sea. The flaming Flying Rain-Dragon roared. The two mid Foundation Establishment stage Cultivators retreated, looks of shock on their face. In the blink of an eye, the Flying Rain-Dragon shot forward and consumed one of them in a single bite.
A miserable scream echoed out as his body was transformed into ash.
All of this happened in the time it takes a spark to rise off of a piece of flint. Neither the old man of the late Foundation Establishment stage nor the man with the five wasps had time to react before it was over.
Face expressionless, Meng Hao turned and strode directly toward the five ferocious buzzing wasps.
They shot toward him, but as they neared, their bodies suddenly began to tremble violently. It seemed as if they had sensed something frightening and didn’t dare to get any closer. They retreated instantly, something their master had never experienced before.
Even as shock covered his face, laughing-crying demon faces appeared in Meng Hao’s eyes. One was clear, the other was blurry, and they instantly caused Meng Hao to emit a bizarre aura. The five wasps emitted sharp cries, and their bodies trembled even harder, as if they might lose their ability to fly. Suddenly, they turned and savagely attacked each other.
As this bizarre scene played out, Meng Hao strode through the midst of the wasps, raising his left hand and slicing his own finger, covering it with blood. Suddenly, the entire area was covered with a bloody aura. When it disappeared, Meng Hao was standing directly in front of the middle-aged man. He lifted up his index finger and pushed between the man’s eyebrows.
The man’s body shook, and his eyes bulged. His body rapidly began to wither, and by the time Meng Hao removed his finger, his entire body had transformed into blood, which drained down onto the ground.
Meng Hao turned and looked at the shocked late Foundation Establishment old man. Only the space of a few breaths had passed since Meng Hao took action, and yet he had already completely exterminated two powerful mid Foundation Establishment Cultivators.
His methods were vicious, his techniques bizarre. A coldness suddenly appeared in the old man’s body, growing rapidly.
Now he understood why Xie Jie of the Black Sieve Sect had been watching Meng Hao that day on the Feng Shui compass, and had even tried to bait him into doing something that would reveal his abilities. Clearly, Xie Jie had heard something about Meng Hao.
“Want to keep going?” Meng Hao asked calmly. His index finger still glowed with a bloody light, casting a bloody light over his body.
The old man didn’t respond. Considering the level of his Cultivation base, he too could have easily killed the two mid Foundation Establishment stage Cultivators. But he couldn’t have done it in such a leisurely fashion. He felt fear in his heart, especially when he saw Meng Hao’s complete lack thereof. Clasping hands in salute, he moved backward several paces, giving way for Meng Hao to pass.
“I am Xu Youdao [1. Xu Youdao's name in Chinese is 徐有道 Xúyǒudào - Xu is a common family name. You means "have." Dao is the same Dao as "The Dao," which also means "way" or "path"]. As for the matter today, I offer my apologies. I believe we will be meeting again soon.” He said the last in a very meaningful tone.
Meng Hao thought for a moment, then nodded. The blood glow was beginning to fade as he shot off into the distance. In his arms, Xu Qing was completely shocked by the battle power of his Cultivation base.
She hesitated for a moment and then blurted, “What… what level is your Cultivation base, really?”
“I’m at the peak of early Foundation Establishment,” he said with a little smile. He now appeared to be a completely different person than the one who had just been fighting. He really had changed because of all his experiences through the years. However, this change was in the way he dealt with enemies. His disposition toward his friends was as scholarly as ever, and hadn’t changed in the least bit.
Actually, his ruthless killing had a lot to do with the poison within him. Someone infected with the three-colored Resurrection Lily would become increasingly cruel and ferocious until the day they transformed into an actual Resurrection Lily.
“How can you kill people of the mid Foundation Establishment stage…?” asked Xu Qing, her brow furrowed.
“Oh, there are many reasons,” he said simply. “I may be at the early Foundation Establishment stage, but I can hold my own against the late Foundation Establishment stage.”
Not much time passed before they reached a mountain. From the mountain peak, Meng Hao could see the large man-made area and the big black tower that was being erected.
He could just make out the nearly one thousand Black Sieve Sect disciples sitting cross-legged around the tall tower, along with the faint sound of scriptures being chanted. He couldn’t make out the details of the scriptures, however.
“I can’t get any closer,” he said. His gaze shifted from the scene below, to Xu Qing. “There shouldn’t be any rogue Foundation Establishment Cultivators in this area, you should be able to proceed on your own without being in danger. Take this, it’s an invisibility item. You’ll be able to use it after you reach Foundation Establishment.” He handed her the invisibility talisman.
She accepted it. She still had Meng Hao’s robes draped over her. They were a bit large, but she still was beautiful. She looked at Meng Hao and was about to open her mouth as if to say something. Instead, she leaned forward and embraced him lightly. Her head pressed against his chest, and she could hear his heart beating.
This was not an embrace of passion, but the embrace of a sister to a brother, of family.
The sky was growing light, and the darkness was fading away. Meng Hao looked down at Xu Qing’s beautiful hair. It seemed as if her hair knew he was looking at it; or perhaps it was the wind. It floated up gently to caress his face.
A long time passed, and then Xu Qing stepped back and looked him deep in the eyes.
“You need to be careful,” she said. “Get out of this place as soon as you can.” Then she turned, stepped onto a flying sword and shot down the mountain. She glided up and down a few times, eventually entering a small forest at the bottom of the mountain. When she emerged from the other side of the forest, Meng Hao’s clothes were gone and she was dressed in a fresh Black Sieve Sect robe.
Meng Hao stood there the whole time, watching her disappear into the distance. A sense of departure filled him, and for a moment, he felt like he was back in the Reliance Sect when it was being disbanded.
Now, though, he was no longer a Qi Condensation Cultivator. He was of Foundation Establishment, with a Perfect Foundation. He was no longer a child, but a young man. Wisdom birthed from maturity helped him to understand that it didn’t matter whether you are a man or woman; every person has the right to make their own choices.
His path could only be tread by he himself. Perhaps his path would cross the paths of others, and that was well and good. But for the moment, he needed to walk alone. Unless… he could be powerful enough to forge his own road. Change everything. The alternative was to live a life full of sighing.
He watched Xu Qing until she reached the Black Sieve Sect rendezvous point. Determination filled his eyes. He lifted his head, looking into the sky. There, the rising sun and the moon were almost on top of each other.
Meng Hao’s eyes began to glow.
“Since I’m here, I might as well go check things out. If the Classic of Time is real, then using the copper mirror and Spring and Autumn trees, I can forge that so-called treasure of Time! And then there’s my Thunderclap leaf. Lu Tao is in this place too, I might be able to get some more information.” He turned and shot up into the air, using the position of the sun and moon to guide his path.
He proceeded on for a while. Suddenly, a booming sound filled the air, and the gravitational force appeared again. This time, Meng Hao saw with his own eyes an early Foundation Establishment Cultivator who couldn’t fight against it. His body exploded, and an intangible Dao Pillar flew out from the remains.
“The gravitational force is getting stronger. I’m worried that eventually, I won’t be able to resist it.” He frowned, suppressing the trembling of his Dao Pillars and flying forward as quickly as possible. Soon, the sun and the moon would not be overlapping any more. But now that Meng Hao knew which direction to go, he realized that he was getting closer and closer to his destination.
This chapter was sponsored by Andy Zheng, Yu-Chiang Hsu, Nghia Nguyen, Manh Tran and Matthew RishtonPrevious Chapter Next Chapter