Chapter 259: I Want To Watch You Fade Into the Distance
As soon as the pill entered her mouth and began to dissolve, Meng Hao’s blood began to emit a crimson glow. At the same moment, the soul of Matriarch Phoenix within Xu Qing’s body began to shake. A sense of impending life-or-death danger appeared, but before she could do anything, a frightening aura submerged her, making it impossible to send a warning to anyone on the outside.
Suddenly, Xu Qing’s soul, which had previously been in a state of slumber, was infused with the red glow, nourishing her, causing her to recover. Xu Qing’s soul was being directed…. Matriarch Phoenix was being suppressed by the blood of a Demon Sealer, allowing Xu Qing to rise from her weakness, whereupon, a soul consumption began to take place within the body!
This soul consumption had been Meng Hao’s goal all along. He wanted Xu Qing to be able to do what Han Bei had done; fuse the discarnate soul, make it her own. Such a fusion would be undetectable by the Black Sieve Sect and the other discarnate souls. No one would be able to tell who truly held mastery over the body!
One in the midst of the other, a dangerous rebirth!
As Xu Qing raised the pill to her mouth, Meng Hao was sitting cross-legged in his residence. When the pill entered her mouth, his eyes opened. They were filled with a brilliant light. The blood in his pill came from deep within him, so obviously he could sense what was happening.
“The power of the meat jelly’s ever-changing forms really is hard to penetrate….” Meng Hao rubbed his face for a moment, then slowly lifted his hand, within which was a jade bottle.
Inside the jade bottle was a medicinal pill. This was a pill he had concocted back in the Violet Fate Sect, before coming to the Black Sieve Sect. The pill bottle was sealed with wax, and hadn’t been opened.
Originally, he had planned to give it to Xu Qing, but up until now, hadn’t had a chance to.
He looked at the pill bottle, and then closed his eyes.
Early the next morning, Meng Hao walked out of his residence. Immediately, the disciple dispatched by Patriarch Violet Sieve to guard Black Welcoming Mountain, turned and saluted him with clasped hands.
“Please deliver this pill bottle to Fellow Daoist Xu Qing. She requested me to concoct it when she visited the other day.” He handed the bottle to the Cultivator. Because of Xu Qing’s special standing within the Black Sieve Sect, he felt it was unlikely anyone would open the bottle.
Even if someone did, they wouldn’t understand.
A few days passed. On the seventh day, Zhou Dekun kept saying that they needed to leave. Meng Hao could delay no further. He left the mountain peak, flying up to join the impatient Zhou Dekun.
There were no problems whatsoever between him and Zhou Dekun. The alchemy lectures were over, as was the pill concocting. The invitation period from the Black Sieve Sect had long since expired.
There really was no reason to stay behind any longer. Meng Hao had had no other choice than to give in to Zhou Dekun’s prompting.
At the moment, a large group from the Black Sieve Sect was escorting Meng Hao and Zhou Dekun out of the Sect. Patriarch Violet Sieve was among them, and was very courteous as they proceeded along.
As for the pill bottle, Meng Hao had been right. No one dared to open it. It had been delivered to Xu Qing’s secluded meditation area, where it was received by a girl with a grim expression in her eyes. She scanned the bottle with Divine Sense and didn’t notice anything special about the pill stored inside. Yet, she didn’t dare to actually open the bottle. She was aware of Matriarch Phoenix’s personality. This girl had already done the unthinkable by returning from the afterlife; however, a mere thought from Matriarch Phoenix could exterminate her instantly.
A trifling medicinal pill wasn’t worth such a risk. Therefore, the girl paid little attention to it.
Finally the door of Xu Qing’s Immortal’s cave opened. As the sunlight poured in, the girl lifted her head up and then strode into the Immortal’s Cave. Catching sight of Xu Qing sitting there cross-legged, she dropped to her knees and kowtowed.
“Congratulations on your recovery, Matriarch Phoenix.”
Xu Qing said nothing. The girl didn’t dare to lift her head, and as such, didn’t notice the blank look which appeared in Xu Qing's eyes, followed by surprise.
After a few moments passed, Xu Qing stood up. She wore a long, greenish-blue robe, and her features were cold. As she left the Immortal’s cave, she coolly said, “Rise.”
The girl took a deep breath and then quickly rose to her feet, carefully following Xu Qing out of the Immortal’s Cave.
Xu Qing looked up at the azure blue sky, and the bright sun, and the strange expression in her eye slowly faded away and turned into coldness. Deep within this coldness, however, was emotion, something only she was aware of.
“Please call over the other twelve Black Clan souls,” said Xu Qing, her voice cool.
The girl immediately nodded, and was about to leave, when she suddenly hesitated.
“Yes?” said Xu Qing, the coldness in her eyes glistening as she looked at the girl.
The girl’s body trembled, and she quickly said, “Grand Matriarch Phoenix, a few days ago Alchemist Fang Mu delivered this pill bottle. He said you had requested a pill to be concocted.” For some reason, the girl felt as if Grand Matriarch Phoenix was now even colder than she had been before.
She retrieved the pill bottle from her bag of holding and held it out.
Xu Qing’s expression was calm as she looked at the pill. Inwardly, though, her heart trembled, and her breathing grew rapid. She made a snatching motion, and the pill bottle flew into her hand. She unsealed the wax and poured the pill out of the bottle.
It was an ordinary medicinal pill, worth very little. However, despite its relative lack of worth, it caused an enormous storm of emotions to rise in her heart.
This was none other than… a Cosmetic Cultivation Pill.
She stared in shock at the medicinal pill.
“Which mountain is he located in?” said Xu Qing, closing her eyes to recover her grim coldness. The soul fusing wasn’t complete at the moment, and her mind was still a bit conflicted, and filled with confusion.
“Black Welcoming Peak….” replied the girl. Even before she could finish speaking, Xu Qing took a step forward and then disappeared.
Meng Hao and Zhou Dekun stood smiling outside the main gate of the Black Sieve Sect. Patriarch Violet Sieve and the others clasped hands and bowed. Meng Hao and Zhou Dekun politely declined the offers to escort them further. After exchanging the proper formalities, they prepared to leave.
It was at this very instant that a bright beam of light shot through the air with indescribable speed. It emerged from the Hundred Mountains of the Black Sieve Sect, whistling through the air at such speed that ripples emanated out. A roaring sound filled the air which caused Patriarch Violet Sieve’s face to twist. He spun and looked up at the approaching prismatic beam, and his face flickered again.
It all happened in the blink of an eye. Within the space of a breath, Xu Qing appeared in mid-air, wearing her long greenish-blue robe, her demeanor icy. Her grim, cold gaze swept over the crowd, coming to rest upon Meng Hao. Inside her heart was pounding.
The world seemed to disappear around her, forming a haze… except for one space.
This look… is because I want to catch another fleeting glimpse of your figure within the crowd.
This look… is because I want to always be able to see you.
This look… is because I want you to know… I’ve watched over you this whole time.
Meng Hao smiled as he looked at Xu Qing. She was immeasurably cold, but he was used to that. His smile contained happiness, within his eyes was warmth.
Their gazes met; Meng Hao’s smile and Xu Qing’s coldness. Only the two of them knew how their gazes reached into each other’s hearts. He knew that she understood. She knew that the person standing there in front of her was none other than Meng Hao.
It was the same as that look they had shared outside the Black Sieve Sect’s Blessed Land. It was just like the smile underneath the moonlight in the Reliance Sect. It was like the time Meng Hao had turned his head to look at her back on Mount Daqing.
Obviously, this was not the proper place for words. In truth, though, there was no need for words; the emotions of their period of separation were contained deep within their eyes. A look was all they needed to express the joy which existed in their hearts.
“I’ll escort you,” said Xu Qing coolly.
“Many thanks, Fellow Daoist Xu,” said Meng Hao with a smile, clasping hands and lowering his head.
Zhou Dekun stared in shock for a moment. Patriarch Violet Sieve and the others also gaped; they knew who Xu Qing really was, and they also knew that her presence here far, far exceeded that of their own.
Xu Qing ignored them, having eyes only for Meng Hao.
The three of them left.
Far outside the Black Sieve Sect, Meng Hao and Xu Qing stood atop a tall mountain peak, looking at each other. Zhou Dekun tactfully waited some distance away.
“Thank you….” said Xu Qing, her voice soft.
Meng Hao shook his head and looked back in the direction of the Black Sieve Sect. Xu Qing waved her right hand, and the ghastly coldness once again appeared in her eyes. She turned, and her voice echoed out into the emptiness.
“Any soul within thirty thousand meters of this place will be instantly exterminated!” As she spoke, a ghastly aura accompanied the sound to echo out. Meng Hao immediately sensed the countless discarnate souls in the area fleeing at top speed. An instant later, there was no sign of any discarnate soul.
Time passed, and the two of them stood there in the early morning air on top of the mountain. They spoke simple words, smiling, listening. Time passed, but neither of them seemed willing to part.
In the past, they had been friends in the same Sect. Later, they met in the Black Sieve Sect Blessed Land. Now here they were, meeting again in the outside world. All of these things things melded together deep in Meng Hao’s heart, as well as Xu Qing’s.
Her expression was cold, but her heart was filled with joy. Within her seemingly cold pupils could be seen a touch of warm light. No matter how his appearance had changed, the person in front of her was still her Junior Brother Meng Hao.
As soon as she had realized that Fang Mu was Meng Hao, her heart had begun to pound. There were so many things she wanted to tell him, but as soon as he looked at her, she felt like she didn’t have any words to speak.
The fact that he hadn’t left the Southern Domain, that he was a Furnace Lord of the Violet Fate Sect… this was enough. As soon as she saw the Cosmetic Cultivation Pill, she completely understood everything. She wasn’t sure when it had happened, but Meng Hao’s figure had at some point become deeply ingrained into her; he was now a part of her very heart, a part that would never leave her.
No matter how many years passed that tried to wash clean the memory, as long as she thought back, she could see that faint smile. The years could not wash it away, so it grew deeper, to the point where she didn’t need to think back. She just kept moving forward, because she knew that one day, the two of them… would meet again, and would walk together amidst the snow and wind.
Soon, moonlight caressed the branches of the willow trees, and the sky began to turn slightly violet. The mountain breeze lifted Xu Qing’s long, black hair to cover her face. The sight of it filled Meng Hao with warmth, and a slight smile.
The smile appeared on his face, but came from his heart.
It was faint, but like water, it was something her life could never do without.
“Go,” she said softly. “I want to watch you fade into the distance.”
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