Chapter 648: Third Ring Stormwind Divide
The Milky Way Sea was split up into four rings, outside of which was the Outer Sea, and area mostly made up of small islands occupied by various Cultivator Clans. Among such Clans, the strongest Cultivators were of the Core Formation stage.
To them, the Fourth Ring was an incredibly dangerous place, populated not only by thieves and murderers, but also filled with ferocious sea beasts. In addition, there were powerful Sects and Clans.
Some of those Sects and Clans were led by Nascent Soul Cultivators, which made the whole place very dangerous. However, everyone knew that it was not impossible to scrape out some good fortune there, much like the Zhang Clan had.
Of course, to the Cultivators in the Fourth Ring, the Third Ring… was like a forbidden zone filled with both danger and opportunity!
Any who entered the Third Ring without being in the Nascent Soul stage did so at great risk to their lives. Even Nascent Soul Cultivators could die easily in the Third Ring if luck wasn’t with them. That was because the Third Ring was filled with inordinate amounts of sea beasts.
Despite that, there were still many Cultivators who attempted to get into the Third Ring. In fact, there were even some experts who made their home there.
What attracted Cultivators to such a place of profound danger was none other than the potential profits there!
The sea beasts there were known as Sea Demons, and their hearts were considered precious treasures. They were objects similar to Spirit Stones, and served a similar function. A single Demon heart was superior to a low-grade Spirit Stone, and in fact was more similar to a mid-grade Spirit Stone in terms of quality.
There were even some hearts from especially powerful Sea Demons that… could compare to high-grade Spirit Stones. Such things were valuable treasures that no Cultivator could afford to ignore.
After all, the Milky Way Sea had no Spirit Stone quarries, and thus, no way to even produce Spirit Stones. Considering how valuable Cultivators viewed Spirit Stones, it was no wonder that Demon hearts quickly became a trade item in the Milky Way Sea.
In fact, there were even some precious items that could only be acquired by purchasing them with Demon hearts!
In order to acquire Demon hearts, one had to enter the Third Ring and take some risks to earn a chance for good fortune. Of course, the powerful Sea Demons there had fierce and savage dispositions, and regarded all Cultivators with extreme hostility. The two were as incompatible as fire and water!
Even still, there was no way to prevent the thirst of Milky Way Sea Cultivators for Demon hearts!
Many, many tales were told in the Milky Way Sea about people who had struck it rich overnight in the Third Ring. Therefore, throughout the years, countless Cultivators had come to brave the almost certain death of the Third Ring.
Meng Hao was well aware of this, thanks to the information provided him in the jade slip from the Zhang Clan. Although it didn’t contain a wealth of details, there was enough of an introduction for Meng Hao to gain a basic understanding.
Currently, in a particular part of the Fourth Ring of the Milky Way Sea, a beam of light screamed through the air, causing the seawater below to seethe and churn.
A man could be seen, wearing a green robe, his long, gray hair whipping in the wind. He looked young, but also emanated a faint, archaic air.
His eyes were like stars, and his features were handsome. He looked somewhat like a scholar. This was of course, Meng Hao.
He was now a month away from Saint’s Island. The entire time, he had sped along across the surface of the Milky Way Sea, during which time he had come to a much greater understanding of the entire area.
Currently, his eyes glittered brightly as he proceeded forward, thinking all the while.
“It might not have been the true self of the 10th Wang Clan Patriarch that died. It would be great if it was his true self, but if not… then I only have a temporary respite from danger. It won’t be too long before I’m in another deadly crisis.”
Meng Hao continued to think as he proceeded onward. The parrot flew nearby. Occasionally, it would dive down into the water and then shoot up again off in the distance. It was clearly having a lot of fun.
Meng Hao pulled out the jade slip given to him by Zhang Wenfang and closely examined it yet again.
“A never-ending tempest exists between the Fourth and Third Rings,” he thought. “It’s a windstorm that can shred anything alive. It’s like a huge divide that prevents anyone from entering the Third Ring….” The map in the jade slip portrayed the sea, and not much else from the Fourth Ring. It was already relatively useless to Meng Hao.
His body flashed as he continued on into the deeper regions of the Milky Way Sea.
“Although I don’t have a map, the Milky Way Sea is arranged in ring-like areas. All I have to do is keep going deeper.” He increased his speed, and the parrot went faster to keep up.
Time continued to pass. Soon, it was two months later.
Meng Hao was shocked by how large the Fourth Ring was. He had been flying for three months, although he hadn’t gone nonstop. Occasionally, he would catch sight of islands populated by various Sects and Clans.
These were groups who had inhabited the Milky Way Sea for generations, and were quite knowledgeable about the area. Considering the level of Meng Hao’s Cultivation base, it was a simple matter for him to acquire maps from such groups. It didn’t take long before he had a thorough outline of the entire Fourth Ring area.
In addition, he also learned a bit about the Third Ring.
“There are three Saints in the Third Ring!
“The so-called Three Saints are three Spirit Severing Cultivators who lead three Sects. The Sea Divinity Sect, the Flying Immortal Sect, and the Sun Soul Society!
“Those three Sects determine who is allowed to enter the Third Ring. In addition, they built three Sea Cities in different locations surrounding the Third Ring, where people have to pass through on their way in and out. Anyone who wants to go in must pay a certain amount of Spirit Stones. Furthermore, anyone who leaves must also pay Spirit Stones, based on how long they stayed inside….” Meng Hao floated there in mid-air thinking about the information gleaned from the jade slip he held in his hand.
“Those three Sea Cities all possess a special method for bringing people in and out of the tempest safely.
“According to the rumors, there wasn’t always a tempest surrounding the Third Ring. Supposedly, the ancestors of the Three Saints joined forces to summon it. Then, successive generations of descendants were able to pass through it.
“The three Sects have vast resources, and tens of thousands of members. For unknown reasons, each Sect only produces a single Spirit Severing expert. However, because of their deep resources, even Dao Seeking Cultivators would think twice before tangling with them.”
Meng Hao’s eyes glittered as he put the jade slip away. After some thought, he decided not to head toward one of the three Sea Cities. Instead, he would use the maps he had acquired to make his way directly through the hurricane.
“If the Wang Patriarch is truly not dead, then getting into the Third Ring via the Sea Cities would leave behind a trail that he could follow. The best method will be to force my way through on my own!
“That way, the three Sects won’t have any record of me. Even if the 10th Wang Clan Patriarch comes looking for me, with my altered aura, it will be difficult for him, at least temporarily.” Having made his decision, Meng Hao flared his aura and shot forward at top speed.
A few days later, a gray mass of storm winds appeared up ahead.
Rumbling sounds emanated out, and the closer he got, the more the storm winds resembled a huge wall that stretched up into the Heavens. It was ring-shaped, and seemed to have no end; it stretched off as far as the eye could see.
Fog pulsed in and out, along with howling, screaming sounds. It almost seemed as if devils and fiends lurked inside, waiting to stop any Cultivators who entered, and preventing any Sea Demons from charging out.
“According to the information from the jade slip, though, the Fourth Ring also has Sea Demons. That just goes to show that the storm winds might be powerful, but do contain weak spots.” He hovered outside of the storm winds, his hair flying around him, his clothes whipping violently.
Inside the storm winds, lightning crackled. As for the seawater in the area, it seemed to be divided. Although waves surged outside the tempest, they were incapable of entering inside. They could only crash on the outside, which caused the whole area to be filled with an almost permanent blanket of rain.
Meng Hao examined it for a moment, then looked down at the surface of the sea. His eyes glittered for a moment, and then he rotated his Cultivation base. Soon, the surface of the sea began to grow transparent to his eyes, allowing him to see into the world underneath.
What he saw was that the storm winds actually extended down into the sea. Although they didn’t appear to interfere with the flow of the water, when Meng Hao extended his Divine Sense deep down, he could vaguely sense that there were shocking things in the water that he didn’t dare to touch.
He pulled back his Divine Sense, then took a deep breath and closed his eyes. Currently, he fluctuated with only five portions of Cultivation base power inside of him. As time passed, he would slowly be able to fuse them together into one.
After adjusting his aura, Meng Hao’s eyes opened, and they glowed with a light that made it seem as if he was prepared to take Heaven and Earth by force. His aura exploded up, and he entered the Ninth Anima.
Meng Hao’s fleshly body hummed, and in the blink of an eye, reached the pinnacle of his power. A dreary expression of death covered his face, and the energy of his Cultivation base surged out with monstrous power. The air around him shattered and cracked, and any rain that fell near him was instantly pushed three hundred meters away.
Meng Hao took a deep breath. His body was like an arrow pulled tight against a bowstring. Suddenly, he shot forward; in the blink of an eye, he made contact with the storm winds. Without the slightest bit of hesitation, he entered in.
From a distance, the tempest looked like a vicious, primordial beast that opened its mouth and then swallowed up Meng Hao.
As soon as he entered the storm winds, he was battered by an intense force. Meng Hao’s expression was the same as ever as he surged forward. Rumbling sounds could be heard as the fog up ahead seemed to be ripped apart. The sweeping wind also seemed to collapse.
They were completely incapable of doing anything to stop Meng Hao. His hair whipped around, but he didn’t sustain even the slightest injury. Compared to the Underworld Wind he had experienced in the Demon Immortal Sect, this was almost nothing.
As he charged forward amidst the booming roars, the fog within the storm winds scattered and seethed. In a very short moment, Meng Hao had already traveled three thousand meters in.
He was surrounded by screaming winds and pitch blackness, interspersed with flashes of bright lightning. His face was expressionless as he proceeded forward relentlessly. His Spirit Severing fleshly body and terrifying Cultivation base made it possible for him to move further and further in.
Every time he breathed, countless bolts of lightning would shoot toward him. When they struck him, though, he would simply absorb them. If any outsider saw what was happening, they would surely be completely shocked
From ancient times to modern, few people had ever qualified to charge alone through these storm winds on the Milky Way Sea.
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