Chapter 437: Bridge of Immortal Treading!
“The first kindness shown to me by the Crow Scout Tribe was the Greenwood Tree totem,” said Meng Hao as he strolled out. His voice contained a certain bizarreness, as if it were filled with the indistinct sound of countless beasts roaring in unison. “The second was the water of destiny of the Crow Divinity Tribe, which raised me to the full circle of Wood-type power. Within the Holy Land, I encountered the Crow Divinity and acquired a Metal-type totem tattoo. That was the third kindness.
“Meng Hao clearly distinguishes between gratitude and grudges in taking action. You tested me out and even allowed enemies to attack me. However, it was all for the safety of your Tribe, and you had no choice. That, I can understand.
“I don’t want your Spirit Stones. As for your neo-demons, they will definitely be much more powerful if they are under my control. However, if the Five Tribes still exist after the fighting is over, then I will return them to you.
“Regardless of splitting spoils, or anything else, I, Meng Hao, will stand by your sides during this war, Fellow Daoists. The reason I shall do so… is because of those three kindnesses. Therefore, please, no more investigations and no more incidents like that which happened yesterday. Otherwise, I will truly sever the relationship forged through those kindnesses.”
Having finished speaking, he clasped hands and bowed deeply to the various members of the Five Tribes.
They looked back at him in stunned silence for a moment. Then their faces filled with shame. At this point, it was impossible for them to not realize that all of this had been a warning, not a request for payment. The only thing Meng Hao wanted was the proper attitude.
I will help you in order to pay a debt of gratitude. The only price I demand… is respect!
That was what Meng Hao wanted, and also the reason why he had not appeared, but rather sent Gu La out to meet them.
“In addition,” Meng Hao continued, “I would like to hear more about this Bridge of Immortal Treading that the Crow Soldier Tribe Greatfather referred to.”
Meng Hao’s body was covered in totem tattoos, and he had the aura of a powerful expert. Having heard his sincere words, the Crow Soldier Tribe Greatfather slowly said, “The Bridge of Immortal Treading is a stretch of ruins. According to legend, there used to be nine bridges in the great lands of the Western Desert. As for who built them, it is impossible determine. Some people say that they formed naturally from soil that came from the stars.
“As for these bridges, they were used for Immortal Ascension. By treading on three of them, you could form an Immortal Body. By treading on six of them, you could form an Immortal Soul. By treading on nine of them, you could achieve Immortal Ascension.
“Allegedly, these bridges were connected to the stars, and were located next to a mountain and a sea…. Unfortunately, these bridges met with great Tribulation. The Heavens were not pleased, and destroyed them with lightning. The roaring lasted for 937 years before the bridges finally collapsed and transformed into a world. Later generations called that world… the Realm of the Bridge Ruins!
“Within the Realm of the Bridge Ruins is the wreckage of the Bridge of Immortal Treading. There is also Celestial soil which contains Immortal Qi. To us Cultivators, such Immortal Qi is like a rare tonic, far superior to all medicinal pills. Also available in the Realm of the Bridge Ruins are high-grade Spirit Stones, to which nothing on the outside can compare.
“Furthermore within the wreckage of the Bridge of Immortal Treading that exists in the Realm of the Bridge Ruins can be found countless Celestial magics and divine abilities. There are even creatures which have been extinct in the outside world since ancient times. The Realm of the Bridge Ruins is one of the most precious treasures of the Western Desert!”
Up to this point, Meng Hao’s expression hadn’t changed, and he continued to listen calmly.
“The Realm of the Bridge Ruins opens every thousand years. When it does, people from the Southern Domain, the Eastern Lands and the Northern Reaches cannot enter it! Only Western Desert Cultivators with totems are capable of entering this world and seizing the good fortune therein!
“However, not every Western Desert Cultivator can enter. According to information in the ancient records, throughout the generations, there have only ever been twenty three spots. That is because in ancient times, there were twenty three Tribes which were officially recognized as great Tribes. Though they have long since fallen into decline, their bloodlines still survive!
“When the time comes for the Realm of the Bridge Ruins to open, an Immortality Bridgestone will descend to each of those great Tribes, which thus allows them to enter!
“The Crow Divinity Tribe was once one of the approved great Tribes of the Western Desert. Therefore, we have always had a spot to be able to enter the Realm of the Bridge Ruins.
“As long as the blood of our Tribe continues to exist, that spot will also be. It is also another reason why the Five Poisons Tribe stirred into action when the Crow Divinity Holy Land collapsed.
“If they can enslave us, consume our totems, and imprison our Tribe members, then… they will be able to secure the Crow Divinity Tribe’s spot in the Realm of the Bridge Ruins.” The Crow Soldier Tribe Greatfather made no attempt to conceal any of the facts. He was telling Meng Hao everything, including secret matters known only to them.
As Meng Hao listened to the explanation, his eyes began to shine brightly. He could tell that what the man was saying was most likely true. Furthermore, the mention of Celestial soil had definitely sparked his interest.
“Based on our calculations, there is about one year left until the Realm of the Bridge Ruins opens. Before that happens, an Immortality Bridgestone will fall down to us. If you help us, Grandmaster Meng, then we will deliver that stone to you in one year!” With that, the Crow Soldier Tribe Greatfather clasped hands and gave Meng Hao a deep bow.
Meng Hao was silent for a moment as he pondered the so-called Celestial soil. He already had a collection of Black Lands Celestial Talisman soil.
“In terms of my five elements totems,” he thought, “I’m currently missing Water, Fire and Earth. I need them to reach the level in which they manifest an ancient character; then I can concoct my Five-Colored Nascent Soul. I wonder if the Celestial soil in this Realm of the Bridge Ruins… could be used for one of my totem tattoos?”
If you left the mountain range containing the five Crow Divinity Tribes and flew about a month’s time, you would reach an area that was still considered the Western Desert North region, but was actually nearing its Central region.
There were no mountains here, only a vast plain called the Blood Wastes. The reason for the name was that the soil of this plain was red in color.
Within the red soil grew tens of thousands of varieties of poisonous grasses. During the rainy season, poisonous mists would fill the sky, turning the area into a sort of prohibited zone for Cultivators.
There were also vast quantities of enormous, poisonous neo-demons here, which made this plain somewhat like a pit of poison.
It was difficult for Cultivators to exist in a place like this. That is, except for… the largest of the Western Desert North region’s two great Tribes, the great Five Poisons Tribe!
It was a huge Tribe divided into five branches, each one named after a different poisonous creature. They were like an enormous black flower with five petals, spread out in terrifying fashion over the plain.
Each of these branches were equivalent in size to a medium sized Tribe. Together, they formed the great Five Poisons Tribe, whose name rocked the entire Western Desert North region.
They were very different from the five Crow Divinity Tribes. These Five Poisons Tribes were not fractured. Rather, because of the different totems they possessed, they were organized into five different auxiliary Tribes called branches. In the central-most location in the plain was a Sacrificial Rites Assembly Hall, where fifteen High Priests would make decisions regarding important matters to the Five Poisons Tribe.
The branches themselves did not have Chieftains, only Priests. As far as Chieftains went… there was only one in the entire Five Poisons Tribe.
In past times, the Western Desert North regions had three great Tribes, the Crow Divinity, the Five Poisons, and the Scorching Ice. After all these years, the Five Poisons and Scorching Ice still existed; in contrast, the Crow Divinity was in decline. After having been split into the five sub-Tribes, they were much weaker and reduced to an inferior position.
Were it not for the existence of the Crow Divinity Holy Land, they would long since have been picked apart, their totemic power stolen, and the Tribes themselves forced to become auxiliary branches of other stronger Tribes.
Unfortunately, the Crow Divinity Holy Land had fallen. There was no need for word to be spread about this. Totemic Sacred Ancients could sense each other; therefore, the Poison Patriarchs that the Five Poisons Tribe had worshiped for the past ten thousand years immediately sent their will out to inform members of the Tribe that the Crow Divinity Holy Land was destroyed. The Crow Divinity… was dead!
Despite that, one of the reasons the Five Poisons Tribe had survived for such a long time was because of their cautious nature. They didn’t immediately just go to war, but rather decided to feel out the Crow Divinity Tribes first. That was why they had dispatched rank 9 Dragoneer Zhou Ye from the Spider Branch.
The instant Zhou Ye died, his Lifesoul jade slip shattered. The Spider Branch immediately sensed this; roars of rage filled the air to echo about in all directions. The Five Poisons Tribe immediately called a Sacrificial Rites Assembly.
During their meeting, the fifteen High Priests from the five Branches decided to dispatch the Spider Branch to declare war on the five Tribes of the Crow Divinity.
After three days, the official resolution was issued, and the entire Spider Branch began to make preparations for war. More than three thousand Totem Cultivators, three rank 9 Dragoneers, and a vast quantity of neo-demons entered a teleportation portal in the Blood Wastes and headed toward the Crow Divinity Mountains.
By using a teleportation portal, they were able to save quite a bit of time. The month-long journey was now reduced to only seven days.
That was how the war began!
Of course, this war attracted the attention of other Tribes within the Western Desert North region. Many eyes turned to observe. Wars between tribes were common in the North, but… the five Tribes of the Crow Divinity had once been a great Tribe. As such, this particular war was of much more interest than normal.
This was especially true when it came to the other great Tribe in the area, the Scorching Ice Tribe. They were paying very close attention. Were it not for the fact that they were much farther away than the Five Poisons Tribe, they too would have participated. Others might have thought such actions would be taken in an effort to grow their own Tribe. However, the Scorching Ice Tribe knew that the main purpose the Five Poisons Tribe had for going to war… was for the spot in the Realm of the Bridge Ruins.
Seven days later, war loomed over the five Tribes of the Crow Divinity.
On that day, Meng Hao sat cross-legged in his courtyard behind the mountain. In front of him were three flickering totems. One was a Flame Thrush, the other a Water Drop, the third a Stone Golem.
These totems came from the Crow Flame, Crow Gloom and Crow Fighter Tribes respectively.
Comparatively speaking, they didn’t match up at all to the Greenwood Tree that Meng Hao had acquired before. Nor were they even comparable to the earliest seed of the Metal-type totem that the Golden Crow had given him. That was why Meng Hao was hesitating about whether to fuse with them.
The seed would determine what type of transmogrification the totem could manifest later. In making his selections, how could Meng Hao not be careful?
After a long moment, his eyes filled with determination. He gathered up the totem seeds and put them away. If he really couldn’t get any better totems in the future, then he would have no other choice but to use them.
After putting the totem seeds away, his eyes flickered and he lifted his head. He could see that a seething mist was suddenly beginning to spread out through the previously clear and boundless sky. The mist was enormous, covering everything, and rapidly approaching as it expanded out.
From a distance, it was still possible to see that, shockingly, this boundless mist was actually made up of incomparably fierce spiders.
At the same time, a rumbling sound filled the sky, shaking Heaven and Earth, causing even the mountains to tremble. Any vegetation that the mist touched instantly withered and died.
“Well, they arrived quickly!” thought Meng Hao, his eyes glittering coldly.
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