The voice belonging to the face up in mid-air was ancient, and as it echoed about in all directions, an enormous red hand descended. The hand snatched up Meng Hao and Xu Qing’s soul, then shot up into the sky.
In the blink of an eye, they vanished….
The only thing left behind was the wreckage of the Black Sieve Sect, and tens of thousand of ashen-faced disciples. True Patriarch Six-Dao’s stood there, an unsightly expression on his face.
He glared with clenched jaw at the redness in the sky as it faded away.
“Blood Demon Sect!” His heart dripping with blood. He had been defeated, thoroughly and utterly defeated, leaving him with unmitigated terror that raced through his heart.
“The Southern Domain’s Top Expert!” he thought. Previously, he had despised the thought, but after this day’s battle, he had no choice but to admit that Patriarch Blood Demon absolutely was the Top Expert in the Southern Domain.
“I don’t think even Jian Chenzi from the Solitary Sword Sect is a match for Blood Demon.” His face sank further. Finally, he flicked his sleeve, transforming into a black smoke that shot down into the ground.
The Black Sieve Sect had not been completely destroyed. However, the majority of the Hundred Thousand Mountains had been crushed. Only about 20,000 remained. Whether it be in terms of the Black Yang or the Sieve Yin factions, the Sect had been severely damaged.
Four Spirit Severing experts had died!
Innumerable Nascent Soul and Core Formation cultivators had also lost their lives. Thanks to the Black Sieve Sect’s Dao Reserve, they could still technically be considered a great sect. However, the sect was so badly mangled that it would be difficult to match their previous pinnacle even after ten thousand years passed.
Meanwhile, the blood-colored shield covering the Southern Domain vanished. The blood-colored shields that had been erected over the Violet Fate Sect, Solitary Sword Sect, Golden Frost Sect, and the Li and Song Clans also disappeared.
The sects and clans were no longer sealed. Their powerful experts immediately sent divine sense out into the Southern Domain to settle accounts with the Blood Demon Sect. However, when they saw the wreckage of the Black Sieve Sect, they gasped.
Instantly, they concealed any desire they had to settle accounts.
Gradually, word of the ancient title of ‘Top Expert’ once again began to spread throughout the Southern Domain.
A few hours after Meng Hao’s departure, Pill Demon appeared in the air above the Black Sieve Sect. His face looked more ancient than ever as he looked down silently at the wreckage below.
After a long moment passed, he sighed and began to murmur to himself. “I’m the Master, and I couldn’t even save my apprentice. Do I even qualify… to be his Master…?
“He kowtowed three times, and called me Master….” Finally, Pill Demon raised his head up, determination glowing in his eyes.
“I’ve been living an easy life for far too long now…. I’ve long since reached the point where I’m not willing to search for the Dao of Immortality…. Is it because I’m afraid? Perhaps.
“The time has come for Severing….” Shaking his head, he left and returned to the Violet Fate Sect.
Three days after returning, a great Dao descended. In that moment, the eyes of all the powerful experts in the Southern Domain turned toward the Violet Fate Sect.
In truth, it was not a single great Dao which descended, but rather, a succession of three!
In the Solitary Sword Sect was an old man wearing a white robe, in front of whom floated a sword of moonbeams. “Violet East… is finally performing his Severing!” he said softly.
In the Golden Frost Sect, deep in a restricted area, within a field of blackness, a mysterious glow suddenly appeared that looked like eyes. “He’s been simmering for all these years, did he finally reach a conclusion?”
Li and Song Clan experts, as well as many others, all gazed toward the Violet Fate Sect to bear witness to the goings on.
“In his previous life, Reverend Violet East refused to become a false Immortal of the Ji Clan. He longed to be a true Immortal. Unfortunately, he passed away in meditation before his Immortal Tribulation arrived. He transmigrated his next life from the cycle of reincarnation into a medical pill, and when the spirit of that pill awakened, it became Grandmaster Pill Demon….” [1. I pointed this out a long time ago, but would like to reiterate that the characters in Pill Demon’s name literally mean “Pill Ghost.” I came up with the translation very early on in ISSTH, before I started reading ahead in the story. By the time I learned of his full story, the name had already stuck, and I didn’t want to change it. So just to be clear, the name does not contain the same character that is usually translated as "Demon" in the story.]
“Three great Daos, and three Severings in a row. Based on the knowledge he has from from his last life, it seems he’s going from Spirit Severing… directly into Dao Seeking!”
“Considering the latent talent of Reverend Violet East, and the nature of this Severing, it won’t be long before he’s at the peak of Dao Seeking. The only question is… will he be able to reach true Immortal Ascension this time?!”
“True Immortal… true Immortal…. Either reach Immortal Ascension, or experience the soul scattering in death. After that there is no reincarnation, only a complete blotting out of one’s existence.”
In addition, there was one other powerful expert who appeared, someone who sat in a blood-colored mountain, wearing a blood-colored robe. “The path to true Immortality that opens every 10,000 years, has once again opened. The opportunity to become a true Immortal has once again appeared. I wonder… how many will experience the downfall of their Dao, dispersing their bodies and souls? Meng Hao, destiny links both you and me to the League of Demon Sealers.
“Although it was for selfish reasons that I forced you to join the Blood Demon Sect, I have absolutely no ill intentions toward you whatsoever. I’m just not too pleased with the inflexible, pedantic eight generations of your league!
“The League of Demon Sealers. Wardens of the great Nine Mountains and Seas. Is your heart… with the Nine Mountains and Seas, or outside!?
“If it is outside, then you are not worthy of the Mountain and Sea Realm. If your heart is here, then why haven’t you sealed the Heavens, Demon Sealer!?
“Starting in ancient times, the League of Demon Sealers has always been heartless. Could it be that the Ninth Generation… is the same…? I refuse to believe it!
“I won’t harm you, and in fact, I will give you great good fortune. I will help you to grow up, and I will be your Dao Protector. When you wish to leave this place, I won’t stop you. I just hope that your experiences and time here in the blood Demon Sect will make you pause for thought when it comes time to make those critical decisions in the future.” The man sighed as he muttered to himself, and it echoed throughout the Southern Domain.
The name of the mountain the man stood on was Mount Blood Demon.
The Blood Demon Sect was one of the five great sects of the Southern Domain. In the past, it was a place of incredible mystery that struck fear into the hearts of anyone who heard its name. In fact, few people knew exactly where it was. They only knew that Blood Demon Sect disciples were all decisive killers.
For example… Li Shiqi!
Another well-known figure among the rising stars of the sect was Wang Youcai, who was surrounded by the glow of blood wherever he went.
Actually, the Blood Demon Sect was not a very large place. It consisted of only five mountains.
The centermost mountain was Mount Blood Demon, which was surrounded by four other mountains that had no true names, but rather, were called by the names of whoever occupied them.
Currently, Meng Hao sat cross-legged on Mount Blood Demon. Behind him was a cave mouth that emanated a glow of blood, and pulsed with a cold, imposing aura.
In front of him was Xu Qing’s soul, surrounded by a glowing sphere of red light.
He looked at her, and she at him.
They were as separated as Yin and Yang, but their gazes seemed capable of lasting an eternity.
Also standing there on Mount Blood Demon was a figure surrounded by an aura of blood. It was impossible to see his face, but he was currently staring off into the sky. “Have you thought it through?” he said slowly.
Meng Hao didn’t reply. He had been in the Blood Demon Sect for several days now. When he first arrived, the blood-colored figure had spoken a few words to him.
“Do you wish to accompany your beloved for your whole life, or for a single lifetime? A whole life includes a single lifetime, but a single lifetime does not include whole life. A single lifetime is a simple matter, and I can help you with that. As for a whole life… I can’t help you.”
That was the choice which had been set before him.
Meng Hao didn’t respond. He only looked at Xu Qing. She didn’t say anything either. She only looked back at him.
That lasted all the way to the moment in which the blood-colored figure spoke again. Finally, Meng Hao responded, his voice soft. “Xu Qing and I have an agreement. She lives, I live. She dies, I die.”
The blood-colored figure was silent for a long moment before his ancient voice once again echoed out in Mount Blood Demon.
“If you choose a single lifetime, then I will fuse her soul into her fleshly body. By nourishing it with a miraculous object of Heaven and Earth, she can be completely recovered in a hundred years.
“However, her soul has been damaged, and her body weakened. The fusion is difficult and if it fails, she won't last even a hundred years. Even if it does succeed, she will be incapable of Spirit Severing. You will be able to spend a thousand years with each other, until her longevity reaches an end.
“If you choose a whole life, then… she must enter the cycle of reincarnation. Her soul will travel to the underworld of the Fourth Mountain, and she will be born anew. As to which Mountain she is born in, it is impossible to say. Before reaching Immortal Ascension, she will remember nothing from her previous life. However, in the moment she does reach Immortal Ascension, she will remember everything.
“Then, she will be able to accompany you for your whole life.
“You have a choice to make. Take her to the underworld to be reincarnated. Or, live with her here for a thousand years.
“If you take her to the underworld, then I can make you a promise. I’m on good terms with Kṣitigarbha, the Earth Store Bodhisattva. Your beloved will be able to avoid any suffering in the underworld, and upon reincarnation, she will be accompanied by incredible good luck. Afterward, there will be a high likelihood that she can achieve true Immortal Ascension.
“You have a month to decide. I’ll be waiting for you in the Blood Pond.” Gradually, the blood-colored figure transformed into a glow of blood that faded away into the surroundings.
The sun rose and set. Meng Hao looked at Xu Qing, and she gazed tenderly back.
They didn’t speak, they just looked into each other’s eyes. Day, after day, after day….
Half a month went by, although it seemed like an eternity. Finally, she smiled. “Send me into the cycle of reincarnation. I don’t want a thousand wonderful years. I want to spend my whole life with you.”
Meng Hao didn’t respond.
She looked at him for a moment. “We agreed, didn’t we? I want to grow old with you….”
Meng Hao shook his head. He was about to open his mouth to speak when Xu Qing smiled and interrupted him. “You’re scared that you won’t be able to find me, aren’t you?
“Senior Blood Demon said that if we pick reincarnation, then it’s impossible to tell which Mountain I will end up on…. However, let’s make an agreement. You come looking for me, and I’ll wait for you….
“There’s no need to fear, Junior Brother. Our agreement in this lifetime, is an agreement for a whole life….
“In my next lifetime, I’ll definitely dream of you treading through the Heavens to come find me. You’ll hold out your hand to take mine, and then we will live the rest of our lives together.
“There’s no need to talk any more about what decision to make. We can live together for ninety-nine years. In the final year… I’ll enter the cycle of reincarnation.” Xu Qing looked at Meng Hao earnestly.
Meng Hao looked at her and then nodded, pain stabbing through his heart.
She smiled, a beautiful smile. He reached up toward the glowing red pearl that contained her soul, and it floated down onto his palm. He closed his eyes and clutched it as if he was embracing her.
He would never forget how her beauty had turned into old age.
He would never forget how some of his life force contained hers.
Finally, he opened his eyes and stood up. “It doesn’t matter which Mountain you are reincarnated to, I will find you.”
With that, he carefully took Xu Qing’s soul into the mouth of the cave behind him, which glowed brightly like blood.
Meng Hao walked into the shallow cave, quickly reaching its end. Up ahead was a blood-colored pond, within which was a withered corpse. It emanated invisible ripples that made it look incredibly ferocious, and growing out of its forehead was a blood-colored horn.
He wore a tattered blood-colored robe, and the skin visible through the tears was dark-red flesh covered with blue veins. The entire image was quite terrifying. His lips were shriveled, his eyes sunken in, his entire body dried up. Visible within his mouth, were razor-sharp fangs.
His body was the shape of a human, but this was clearly no cultivator.
This was a Demon! Patriarch Blood Demon! [2. In contrast, Blood Demon's name does use the character I usually translate as "Demon." And yes, the characters are exactly the same as the Blood Demon from the Demon Immortal Sect]Previous Chapter Next Chapter