A short while later, Meng Hao left the tower, his face grim and unsightly. In the end, he had been conned by that swindler; they ended up agreeing to a fifty percent discount.
Meng Hao had always felt as if he lived a life in which he conned others. Rarely did others con him. He especially never imagined that he would be conned by such a solemn-looking, unprincipled swindler like Saint Sun Soul. The whole matter left him feeling extremely exasperated.
“I can’t believe that swindler conned me like he did….” sighed Meng Hao. Saint Sun Soul’s apprentice led him, not to the city area, but to a private villa nearby.
That was the arrangement set up by Saint Sun Soul. By staying in this private district belonging to the Sun Soul Society, contact with outsiders could be kept to a minimum, which would make it much easier to get rid of any traces of his presence.
When Wei Li saw the look on his face, she didn’t dare to speak. Every time she looked over, he seemed to have a different expression. Sometimes he gritted his teeth, sometimes he sighed, sometimes he seemed to be in indescribable pain.
“What’s wrong with him?” she thought in astonishment. What she didn’t know was that to Meng Hao… Spirit Stones had long since become his entire life! For someone to, in one blow, reduce the number of Spirit Stones he could earn, was like a knife stabbing through his heart.
After Meng Hao left the tower, Saint Sun Soul Lin Tao began to chuckle complacently. Feeling quite happy, he raised the alcohol glass to his lips and took a long drink.
His wife sat off to the side, shaking her head. She was also very happy, not because of how much her husband had managed to take advantage of Meng Hao, but rather, the fact that a friendship was slowly developing between the two of them.
Her husband had never had any friends, and she could sense how happy he actually was.
Later that night, Meng Hao sat cross-legged in his room, thinking over his current situation. He still felt a bit of pain in his heart; the feeling of turning from the con-man into the conned left him repeatedly sighing.
“Wang Clan Patriarch, you bastard. Just you wait and see!” Meng Hao had always felt himself to be quite a reasonable person. After thinking the matter over, therefore, he came to the conclusion that the one responsible for these crimes was actually the 10th Wang Clan Patriarch.
Gritting his teeth, Meng Hao probed his Cultivation base. Currently, only three majestic portions of Cultivation base power remained, and they were in the process of fusing.
“The more progress I make, the slower it goes,” he thought, retracting his Divine Sense. This was his path to Spirit Severing. Eventually the three portions would become two, and finally one. When that happened, he would be able to enter Spirit Severing.
“I wonder what I will Sever for the First Severing…?” He was a bit hesitant about this point. Despite having thought about the matter quite a bit recently, he still hadn’t received any sort of enlightenment. The entire matter was still somewhat blurry to him.
Lost in thought, he produced the ring of holding and looked over the Spirit Stones inside. When he saw them glittering and shining, it made him feel a little bit better.
“So, that bastardly Wang Clan Patriarch isn’t dead, and he’s working incredibly hard to track me down. It seems he really thinks he’s going to take my Dao foundation this time.” A cold glint appeared in Meng Hao’s eyes as he took out the Wooden Time Sword and the copper mirror, then began to make copies and refine them with further Time sealing marks.
“Just wait until I get a hundred Wooden Time Swords. They’ll make a huge formation that will give me the power to defend against even the Dao Seeking stage, at least to some extent!”
Now that his Spirit Stones had been completely replenished to the pinnacle, Meng Hao could immerse himself in duplication. Gradually, more and more Wooden Time Swords began to build up.
Several days later, he finally produced the one hundredth copy. All hundred of the swords contained eight sixty-year cycles of Time power.
He wanted to keep working, but there wasn’t enough time. His meeting with Saint Sun Soul was set for dawn of the following morning. He glanced over the one hundred Wooden Time Swords with their eight sixty-year cycles of Time power, and his eyes glittered. But then, he gritted his teeth and examined the vast quantities of Spirit Stones in his ring of holding.
“Spirit Stones are very, very, very important. However, if I die, they’ll end up belonging to someone else….” His eyes flickered, and he took out the Time Sword tip.
He stared at it for a moment and then began to breathe heavily.
“I don’t need many copies of this sword tip, only ten…. then, I can create the first form of the Lotus Sword Formation. The power of such a sword formation would be equivalent to 100,000 years of Time.” He looked at the sword tip, and then the ring of holding. Finally, he began to work with the copper mirror.
Before beginning to duplicate the sword tip, he braced himself mentally. He knew that once he started, he couldn’t stop until the duplication was complete. Therefore, he prepared to go all out. Spirit Stones began to pour into the copper mirror.
Ten Spirit Stones, one hundred Spirit Stones, one thousand Spirit Stones….
Meng Hao’s movements were somewhat wooden. He watched the accumulation of Spirit Stones in the ring of holding getting smaller and smaller. Two hours later, the copper mirror suddenly began to emanate bright light in all directions. Meng Hao’s eyes burned with passion as the mirror’s pupil-like surface slowly seemed to turn into a watery film, from which two identical sword tips immediately appeared.
Meng Hao was panting as he picked them up. Then, he raised his head and started to laugh.
The power of Time within both sword tips was completely identical!
However, even as he laughed, he started to calculate how many Spirit Stones he had spent and he felt a sharp pain stabbing through his heart.
“I actually spent 1,000,000,000!!
“Dammit, it’s ridiculously expensive!!” Pain filled him.
“Wang Clan Patriarch, you bastard, things aren’t over between us!” His eyes were red and he felt deep pain, all of which transformed into rage toward the 10th Wang Clan Patriarch. Then, gritting his teeth, he began to make another duplicate.
With his original accumulation of 5,000,000,000 Spirit Stones, Meng Hao was only able to copy four Time Sword tips. Including the original, he now had five. As for the remaining Spirit Stones, he used them to duplicate medicinal pills, Wooden Time Swords and other miscellaneous objects.
Eventually, he was absolutely and completely equipped for battle. However, his bag of holding was virtually empty. The ring of holding was also empty. To Meng Hao, even though it was early morning and the sun was shining brightly in the sky, everything seemed dark.
The night before, he had been unbelievably wealthy. The next morning, he was back to normal. Other than smiling bitterly, the only thing Meng Hao could do was… well, smile bitterly.
“Perhaps I’m just not destined to be rich…. To me, Spirit Stones are just something I need to copy magical items and other things. Besides, if I chose to cultivate the Nine Heavens Treasured Body Seal, which absorbs magical items into my body, then the Spirit Stone wastage would be virtually endless.” He sighed. The Nine Heavens Treasured Body Seal was the Daoist magic he had acquired in the Demon Immortal Pagoda, the one that could be used to temper his fleshly body!
It was a Daoist magic that, even in the ancient Demon Immortal Sect, could be considered a famous Dao. In fact, the only reason it was ranked behind the art of Fleshly Sanctification was because the latter was a secret art. The Nine Heavens Treasured Body Seal required cultivation year in and year out, and the sealing technique was not difficult. However, the resources that ended up being wasted was something that most Sects could not afford.
The combination of both the Daoist magic and the secret art could be used to temper the body to an ultimate level. It was only by combining them that their true power could explode out.
“Fleshly Sanctification is a secret art, which means that it most assuredly has other functions. My Cultivation base just isn’t sufficient to invoke them.
“Cultivating the Nine Heavens Treasured Body Seal… is a shortcut to improving my fleshly body. For others, it would be too difficult. However, as long as I have enough Spirit Stones, there is no end to the number of magical items I can duplicate. Therefore, I could continue to cultivate the Nine Heavens Treasured Body Seal indefinitely.” Meng Hao sighed. The entire reason he hadn’t begun to practice the Nine Heavens Treasured Body Seal was because of not only matters of enlightenment, but, more importantly, the fact that he was poor….
“Spirit Stones. I need Spirit Stones!!” [1. I’m not sure if it was intentional or not, but this line is an exact repeat of what he said in chapter 7. In fact, it was the title of the chapter.] Meng Hao’s eyes were red as he lifted up his head; his thirst for Spirit Stones had reached a pinnacle. His entire person radiated a somber aura as he flew out.
When Saint Sun Soul Lin Tao arrived and saw Meng Hao, he was instantly astonished.
“Who pissed you off?” he asked.
Meng Hao didn’t say anything, but the somber air grew even more obvious. His body flashed as he flew off into the distance. Saint Sun Soul followed, even more perplexed. The two of them moved at top speed, and within the blink of an eye, were gone from Seahold.
When they were quite some distance away from Seahold, Meng Hao stopped in mid-air and then glanced down at the sea.
“Alright, swindler, are you ready?” he said, looking over at Saint Sun Soul.
“You have no respect for your superiors,” replied Saint Sun Soul, frowning. “How old are you again? Come on, stop wasting time. Let’s get started.”
Meng Hao took a deep breath. Saying nothing further, he began to suppress his Cultivation base. As for the Resurrection Lily, it had become much more active after the encounter with the Dawn Immortal. As soon as it saw an opening, it made its appearance.
When the aura appeared, Saint Sun Soul’s eyes flickered and he backed up. He looked at Meng Hao suspiciously.
“That aura….” he thought. “It’s similar to that of the Sea Devils…. However, he’s clearly a Cultivator.” It was in that moment that the sea suddenly began to churn, and great waves began to roll across the various sea districts of the Third Ring. One Sea Demon after another trembled, then began to head toward Meng Hao, eyes red.
In the time it takes half an incense stick to burn, hundreds of Sea Demons were already in the area, closing in.
“No, it’s not a Sea Devil aura,” he thought. He could sense that something about it was different. “If the aura of a Sea Devil appeared, it would cause most Sea Demons to capitulate. But in this case, they are attacking him as if they are archenemies. It looks like they want to eat him even if they destroy themselves in the process.”
Hundreds of Sea Demons burst out of the water to savagely attack Meng Hao.
He gave a cold snort, then raised his right hand. Immediately, 10,000 magical symbols appeared to sweep about the area. Even as the booms rang out, thousands more Sea Demons appeared off in the distance.
“Not very many,” mocked Saint Sun Soul.
Meng Hao didn’t reply. He sank down to the bottom of the sea and allowed the aura of the Resurrection Lily to spread out even more. The entire sea trembled as if it were on fire.
Of course, that fire was none other than countless Sea Demons, burning their own life forces in exchange for shocking speed to rush toward the aura of the Resurrection Lily. In the blink of an eye, tens of thousands of Sea Demons appeared off in the distance. Even further off were hundreds of thousands, causing the sea to swell into towering waves.
In addition, there were seven or eight especially shocking roars that echoed out from over the horizon.
Face flickering, Saint Sun Soul sank down into the water, whereupon he saw Meng Hao surrounded by one hundred wooden swords, which were formed into ten shapes like lotuses. As they swirled around Meng Hao, it became clear that each of the flowers was actually a petal, all of which formed together… into an enormous spell formation that looked like a lotus!
The formation swept about for three hundred meters around Meng Hao, and any Sea Demons that got close withered up and disappeared. It was as if in the blink of an eye, they had passed through an entire life’s worth of time.
In fact, even the water in the area seemed to show signs of wastage. Apparently there was nothing that could escape the power of Time!
The scene caused Saint Sun Soul’s heart to tremble.
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