The Third Ring was very large and contained a great number of Cultivators. Most organized into groups of three or perhaps five to go hunting Sea Demons in various regions of the Third Ring. To encounter a Sea Demon was a lucky break in and of itself. Of course, there were some powerful Sea Demons who could also bring incredible disaster.
There were even some areas within the Third Ring that were specially noted in jade slip maps. Anyone who wanted to enter such areas had to prepare special items ahead of time.
Furthermore, there was one particular city in the Third Ring called Seahold that had been established jointly by the three Sects, which made it convenient for Cultivators to trade for supplies. The city was enormous, and towered up above the surface of the water like a huge fortress. It was covered with shocking spell formations that had protected it for countless years against the attacks of Sea Demons.
Within the city were garrisoned more than 10,000 Cultivators from the three Sects. In addition, there was always one of the three Saints in command of the city. They rotated every one hundred years.
For years, the three Sects had maintained an incredible reputation, to the point where even the powers in the Southern Domain, Eastern Lands, Western Desert, and Northern Reaches acknowledged them.
Several days later, Meng Hao flew in mid-air over the Third Ring. He lifted up his right hand, and lightning crackled. Instantly, a thirty-meter long Sea Demon comparable in power to a Foundation Establishment Cultivator, was destroyed.
This particular Sea Demon didn’t even have a Demon heart. However, for some reason, as soon as it detected Meng Hao’s aura, it had seemed to go crazy, and had attacked him with complete abandon. Meng Hao had run into seven or eight other Sea Demons just like this in his travels so far.
“Something’s not right!” he thought, frowning. It almost felt as if he were going around the Third Ring with a big target on his back. No matter where he went, Sea Demons would come for him.
His eyes flickered as he thought for a moment, then sent his Divine Sense out. After searching for about three days, he was able to find a group of Cultivators, five of them, who were cautiously hunting for Sea Demons.
He followed them from a distance, and they were unaware of his presence.
However, after only half a day, he sensed eight frenzied Sea Demons closing in. All of a sudden, they burst out from the water, howling. The faces of the five Cultivators instantly filled with shock.
“How could there be so many Sea Demons!!”
“Don’t tell me some sort of treasure is in the area!?” The five of them began to flee in alarm. Of course, the Sea Demons weren’t after them, so they were able to get away easily.
Meng Hao floated there in mid-air, his brow furrowed. Having observed what was happening, he now understood that it was he himself who was attracting the Sea Demons!
“Is there something special about me that drives them crazy?” he thought, his eyes flickering. Down below, the Sea Demons were charging across the surface of the water at top speed. Meng Hao let out a cold snort, then waved his right hand. Instantly, the sword tip with 30,000 years of Time power flew out. Under Meng Hao’s control, it turned into a black beam of light that shot directly toward one particular Sea Demon which looked like a crab.
When it shot through the Sea Demon, the creature instantly turned completely gray, as if had just passed through tens of thousands of years of time. In the blink of an eye, it turned into nothing more than ash.
The beam continued on to pierce through six more Sea Demons, all of whom, regardless of the level of their Cultivation base, instantly withered up and turned into nothing more than ash.
As for the final Sea Demon, it looked like a sea turtle. When it saw everything that happened, its eyes filled with terror. Despite that, it didn’t seem to be able to resist the urge to charge toward Meng Hao. It was like an instinct that it was unable to control. With a howl, it charged onward.
Meng Hao glanced coldly at the sea turtle, which was only a few dozen meters long. He put away the Time Sword tip, then performed an incantation. The Mountain Consuming Incantation appeared, and an enormous mountain peak descended. It smashed down onto the sea turtle, completely sealing it inside. Meng Hao waved his sleeve to collect up the mountain, as well as the other Demon hearts in the area. Then, he proceeded off into the distance.
Not too long later, Meng Hao materialized out of thin air to appear near an island. Instantly, roaring could be heard from the island. Meng Hao frowned somewhat grudgingly. He had no idea what type of ferocious beast or Sea Demon was there, but without waiting to find out, he sent a palm strike down. The entire island shook and trembled as the palm attack slammed into the area where the roaring came from.
The island trembled, and then was completely silent. Whatever creature was there had been killed with a single strike.
Meng Hao sat down cross-legged, then waved his right hand. Immediately, the mountain peak flew out from his bag of holding, within which was sealed the body of the sea turtle.
The first thing that Meng Hao thought about when he looked at the sea turtle was old turtle Reliance. He frowned for a moment, then waved a finger, causing the mountain peak to vanish. The sea turtle glared at him viciously with red eyes. Then it howled and charged in attack. Meng Hao’s right hand instantly waved down.
A boom rattle out as a huge, invisible palm crushed down onto the sea turtle. No matter how it struggled, it was incapable of freeing itself. It could only look at Meng Hao and roar.
“You want to eat me?” asked Meng Hao coolly. He sent out some of his Demon Sealer aura, but it didn’t seem to provoke any special reaction from the sea turtle. It continued to roar and snap at him as if it wanted to swallow him in a single bite.
“So, it’s not because I’m a Demon Sealer?” he thought. He retracted the aura and then started to remove all of the bags of holding he possessed and place them off to the side. What he discovered was that the sea turtle didn’t even glance at them. It continued to glare directly at him and him alone.
“It’s not anything in my bags of holding either. Could it really be me personally? Is it because of the Fleshly Sanctification?” After a good period of thought, he couldn’t come up with any better explanation.
After all, he did have some of the characteristics of the Demon Immortal Body. Meng Hao found it plausible that it could be attractive in some way to the Sea Demons.
After more thought, his eyes began to shine brightly. He raised his right hand, sliced a cut into the tip of his finger, and then squeezed out some blood. The sea turtle instantly went into a frenzy, howling and writhing as it attempted to charge forward and get at the blood.
“So that’s what’s going on,” thought Meng Hao. The wound on his finger instantly healed back up, and he rose to his feet. Then, he lifted up his hand to do away with the troublesome sea turtle. However, before he could complete the motion, his hand stopped.
“What if that isn’t the complete explanation…?” he thought. He glanced at the turtle again, and then closed his eyes to recall a divine ability he had picked up in the Demon Immortal Pagoda that was similar to the one he had used earlier to erase memories.
Based on his previous Cultivation base, using the ability would have resulted in a backlash. However, if he used it now, he could reduce the effects of the backlash to a minimum. His body flashed, and he appeared directly next to the sea turtle. Even as it eyed him hungrily, his hand pressed down onto the turtle’s head.
“Soulsearch!” It was only a light touch, but the sea turtle’s body immediately went stiff.
White light emanated out from Meng Hao’s eyes. In a scant moment, his senses entered into the mind of the sea turtle. He sensed brutality, madness, and desire.
There were also a random assortment of memories that flooded into Meng Hao’s mind. Being his first time using this technique, Meng Hao felt a bit out of sorts. However, his powerful Cultivation base pushed down the ill feeling, and he began to search for an answer in the sea turtle’s memory.
He searched for quite some time, until suddenly his concentration peaked. Within the intact memories inside the sea turtle, he had encountered a word.
“… lily ….”
Meng Hao’s face flickered and he pulled his right hand away. The sea turtle was now laying prone, gasping for breath. A Soulsearch like the one he had just performed would leave it either dead or injured.
“Lily….” murmured Meng Hao. With that, he looked down at himself, then used his right hand to violently push down onto his belly. His entire body shook, and then began to grow weaker, both in terms of Cultivation base and in his Qi and blood.
As he grew weaker, he performed an incantation gesture. A seal appeared, which he placed onto himself, causing his energy to fade. Underneath the pressure, his Cultivation base sank to the Nascent Soul stage, then the Core Formation Stage, and then the Foundation Establishment stage….
Now that he had weakened himself to this extent, another bizarre aura silently appeared. This aura was none other than the aura of the Resurrection Lily!
Normally speaking, Meng Hao was too powerful, and kept the aura suppressed to the point where it wouldn’t be easily noticeable. Now, though, by intentionally weakening himself, he caused the aura of the Resurrection Lily to be revealed more openly.
As soon as the aura appeared, something happened that caused Meng Hao to be deeply shocked.
The sea turtle, which moments ago had been gasping on the verge of death, suddenly lifted its head up. Its eyes focused, it let out a shocking roar and then charged toward Meng Hao. Its body was being suppressed, but it didn’t seem to care. It roared and struggle until its shell began to crack and shatter. Its body began to fall apart, but its eyes were bright red and its head stretched out violently until it literally ripped off of the body. Blood spattered about as the dying head stretched out toward Meng Hao, its mouth gaping.
Meng Hao backed up a few paces. He could clearly see the desire and madness in the dying eyes. His face flickered as he looked out at the surrounding sea. Huge waves rolled across its surface, and countless shocking auras could be sensed charging from all directions, filled with madness.
Meng Hao immediately severed the aura and released the seal. His energy rapidly rose, and the Resurrection Lily’s aura was suppressed. The madness in the sea around him was reduced by a small measure.
Meng Hao instantly transformed into a green smoke and vanished.
When he reappeared, he was in mid-air off in the distance.
“So, the Resurrection Lily is what’s attracting the Sea Demons!
“Now that I think about it, Master told me about someone who came to him looking for medicine to help with the Resurrection Lily infection. As to whether he is alive or dead now, I have no idea. I just remember that he was from… the Milky Way Sea. [1. Grandmaster Pill Demon told Meng Hao about a person from the Milky Way Sea named Reverend Silverlamp, who came to him asking for help regarding the Resurrection Lily. That was in chapter 294]
“If I can find him, maybe he could use his understanding of the Resurrection Lily to help me with mine.” After thinking for a moment, Meng Hao vanished again.
Meanwhile, far from the Third Ring, in the depths of the Second Ring….
The water in this area was black, and everything was quiet. Even the surface of the sea was calm, without any waves or even ripples. There was also a black island, upon which sat a cross-legged figure. He had the physical appearance of a Cultivator, except that a spiraling horn stuck out from his forehead. He was surrounded by vast quantities of bones, many of which were the bones of Cultivators.
His eyes suddenly opened, and within each eye, two pupils could be seen. A savage aura exploded out from him.
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