Their eyes met, their fists slammed into each other, and a huge boom echoed out between the two of them. It resonated up into the Heavens, silencing the entire world. A massive wind kicked up, and nearby mountain peaks shook violently.
The shaking caused crevices to open up in the ground. The meat jelly returned to its normal state, and, seeing that Meng Hao had awoken, quickly retreated.
Han Qinglei was hit by a huge backlash, shoving him backward. The air was ripped to shreds as a succession of nine booms echoed out before Han Qinglei finally ground to a halt, his face ashen, blood oozing out of the corners of his mouth.
Meng Hao was also shoved backward; he now hovered in midair, his face slightly flush, but his eyes as sharp and penetrating as ever!
“You’re right, it is over,” he said coolly, “... for you! I've had enough of your crap!” He suddenly shot forward like a lightning bolt, using his unique battle style, charging Han Qinglei in an overwhelmingly domineering fashion!
His cultivation base exploded with power; moments ago during that critical juncture, he had finally gained enlightenment regarding the 100th Essence, and was able to come to his senses.
Han Qinglei’s face fell, but he didn't retreat. Gritting his teeth, he also shot forward in attack. Booms rang out as they met in midair, exchanging hundreds of moves in a few seconds.
Meng Hao waved his hand, causing numerous mountains to descend, crushing down onto Han Qinglei. Han Qinglei performed an incantation gesture, summoning his throne of bones, along with countless other white bones, all of which formed together into a huge bone giant that attacked the mountains.
Meng Hao gave a cold snort and advanced, transforming into a golden roc. A brutal air rose up as he slashed his claws viciously at Han Qinglei. Rumbling sounds echoed out as Han Qinglei performed another incantation gesture. This time, a swarm of bone swords materialized, forming layers of walls that blocked Meng Hao and fought against him viciously.
Booms echoed out in all directions, the air distorted, and the sky dimmed. Blood sprayed out of Han Qinglei’s mouth, and Meng Hao’s golden roc faded away. However, in that same moment, Meng Hao’s right hand clenched into a fist.
The Life-Extermination Fist!
Up to this point, Meng Hao still had not revealed any hint that he practiced body cultivation. He had only attacked with divine abilities and Daoist magics. Now that he was using this fist, Han Qinglei’s face instantly fell.
“A body cultivator!” he gasped. As the fist neared him, he shrieked and quickly performed an incantation gesture, causing multiple bone shields to appear. However, no matter how many of them appeared, all of the shields collapsed, layer after layer, until the fist slammed into Han Qinglei.
Blood sprayed out of his mouth, and he tumbled backward, completely astonished by Meng Hao. However... he was still filled with the desire to do battle.
One punch sent Han Qinglei falling backward. Meng Hao didn't immediately pursue him, but instead waved a finger toward the two bone tombs, causing them to explode. Fan Dong’er appeared, face pale, just having regained consciousness. On the other side, Bei Yu was completely pale and still unconscious.
“Time magic....” Meng Hao murmured. He performed an incantation gesture and waved his finger, causing the air around Bei Yu to distort. A feeling like that of Time radiated out, causing Bei Yu to immediately recover.
Meng Hao had a deep understanding of Time, but wasn't able to actually manipulate its flow. However... what he was doing now was not that. Instead, he was simply breaking Han Qinglei’s magical technique.
“You definitely deserve to be in the Echelon like me....” Han Qinglei said. “In that case, let’s fight!” He wiped the blood from his mouth and chuckled. Eyes burning with intense killing intent, he shot toward Meng Hao in a flash of light.
This time, his two clones threw their heads back and roared, then burned their life forces to shove the blackpod imps away and knock the parrot aside. They joined Han Qinglei’s true form to charge Meng Hao.
The parrot was still furious, but after a moment of thought, it wasn't confident enough to pursue the clone. Instead, it angrily shouted, “Haowie, crush him to death for me! That damned bastard dared to ruin Lord Fifth's good looks! I want him screwed! In fact, why don’t you screw him for me... wait, no. Don't screw him, I want the first go!”
A strange expression could be seen on Meng Hao’s face as he looked over at the parrot. After thinking about how the parrot had protected him just now, he cleared his throat and nodded.
Next, his cultivation base erupted with power. 123 Immortal meridians surged. 33 Heavens descended with full power. The aura of an Immortal Emperor radiated out, transforming into a tempest that rose all the way up into the sky. Meng Hao hovered in the middle of it all, his hair flying about, his eyes glittering like lightning as he exuded a massive pressure.
“You want to fight? Fine, let’s fight!” he said, his voice booming like thunder. This was the most formidable member of his own generation that Han Qinglei had ever encountered. Even as Meng Hao's words rang out, his three bodies arrived at Meng Hao.
The three figures slapped their palms together.
“Three Body Dao!”
“Bone Tomb Magic!”
“Slaughter By Time!”
Their cultivation bases rocketed up, causing them to look like three long spears stabbing toward Meng Hao. Meng Hao’s face was calm, and he did not fall back. Instead, he took a step forward. Massive winds surged around him as he clenched his right hand into a fist and punched out.
The striking fist caused colors to flash in the sky, and at the same time, a will of self-immolation to the point of Bedevilment exploded out. That fist seemed to represent the darkness of night. The sky above turned black, and the darkness of a Devil crushed down onto the lands.
As the fist struck out, and darkness fell, Han Qinglei’s three forms transformed into a huge bone tomb. However, that tomb instantly collapsed into pieces, and the Time magic inside was shattered.
Blood sprayed out of the three figures’ mouths as they fell back. However, their will to fight was as strong as ever.
“Meng Hao, you qualify to see my complete state! Three Body Unification!” Han Qinglei threw his head back and howled. At the same time, his two clones began to glow with boundless light. In the blink of an eye, they shot toward Han Qinglei, merging into him, forming a shocking...
Three-headed, six-armed figure!
The three heads radiated an intense murderous aura as the six arms all performed incantation gestures, unleashing divine abilities and Daoist magics with unmatchable speed.
Han Qinglei transformed into a beam of light that burst with energy as he shot toward Meng Hao.
Instantly, the two of them slammed into each other. Meng Hao was a master of devious divine abilities. He attacked with ruthlessness, and even when injured, would not retreat. He was constantly on the offensive, his Eternal stratum in full operation, his secret Immortal meridian technique ensuring that the power of any divine ability or Daoist magic he used was amplified.
Furthermore, he also wielded the power of an Immortal Emperor. That made his magical techniques even more powerful. Every attack he made could cause the sky to fade. Han Qinglei was now completely shocked.
Meng Hao’s way of fighting, his constant aggressive attacks, turned into a heavy pressure that weighed on the mind, and seemed to give him more powerful momentum. Han Qinglei was being forced back, and thus losing any opportunity to land a decisive strike.
“Dammit, how can this Meng Hao be so strong!?” Han Qinglei’s face fell, and he gritted his teeth. Six arms all performed incantation gestures, causing a shocking, magical wheel to appear in front of him!
The wheel was not complete, and in fact, only about ten percent of its full state was corporeal, with the rest being illusory. Numerous magical symbols covered it, and it emanated an ancient and primordial aura.
This was the Paragon magic that Han Qinglei had used to earn his spot in the Echelon. The Wheel of Time!
This wheel had a mysterious origin, and had the power to manipulate Time. Because of it, Han Qinglei had been enlightened regarding Paragon magic, and was endowed with a mysterious might.
“Paragon magic, Dao of Time!” Han Qinglei’s hands flashed with incantation gestures, and the magical wheel began to rotate. Time seemed to flow, spinning toward Meng Hao, ripping open the air as it neared him. Shockingly, numerous images manifested by Time appeared, filling the area with countless scenes of the past eras from the surrounding lands.
“Paragon magic, huh....” Meng Hao gave a cold harrumph. He waved his right hand, and the sky trembled. A huge bridge descended, which was none other than... the Paragon Bridge!
As soon as the Paragon Bridge appeared, the magical wheel trembled, as if... it wasn’t even able to match up!
Han Qinglei’s face fell. As the two Paragon magics collided, everything trembled violently. It almost seemed as if the world was going to collapse. Intense shaking filled all of the cultivators in the Windswept Realm.
Rumbling booms could be heard as the magical wheel collapsed. Although the Paragon Bridge was slightly shaken, it continued to emanate intense pressure. Blood sprayed out of Han Qinglei’s mouth, and his body began to fall apart. Two of his heads exploded, and three of his arms were destroyed. Although he let out a miserable shriek, his will to fight had not left him.
His remaining three arms performed incantation gestures, and threw his head back and roared. All of a sudden, a bone statue appeared in front of him, emanating an astonishing aura. This was one of his trump cards, a bit of good fortune that he had acquired. Now that he was using it in battle, Meng Hao waved his hand, causing the Essence of Divine Flame to appear.
“Essence? Impossible!!” For the first time, Han Qinglei was inwardly shaken, and felt terror rising up in him. This fear was something that caused Han Qinglei to feel extremely humiliated. He was in the Echelon, and yet here he was, scared of someone else in the Echelon. He wanted to pull his emotions into check, but just couldn’t stifle his terror.
“There are a lot of things which you might think are impossible, but really aren’t,” Meng Hao said coldly. “You just lack experience.”
As he closed in on Han Qinglei, the world trembled. Fan Dong’er and Bei Yu looked on with complete shock. They knew Meng Hao, and yet were still astonished. It was as if Meng Hao... was even more powerful than they had imagined!
It was as if in this battle, Han Qinglei was completely suppressed, totally on the defensive. In fact, the awe-inspiring way he had fought against them moments ago now seemed like nothing.
Han Qinglei was forced into retreat over and over. His face fell, and soon he began to laugh bitterly. However, his eyes gleamed with focus.
“You’re strong,” he said, “much stronger than I imagined. You’re surnamed Meng... but there’s no way you could have anything to do with the Meng Clan. However... it will definitely be amusing to kill you with one of the Meng Clan’s own divine abilities!” Laughing maniacally, he extended his right hand and waved a finger through the air.
“Azure Lightning!” [1. Don’t forget that Han Qinglei’s name literally means “azure lightning”] As he spoke, his body trembled, and blood sprayed out of his mouth, as if making this attack pushed him to the boundary of his limits. Innumerable lightning bolts crackled around him, spreading out, transforming into a lake of lightning. Up in the sky, a bolt of azure lightning crackled down, connecting to Han Qinglei, causing his energy to rise dramatically.
Meng Hao’s eyes glittered, and a sensation of imminent crisis welled up in him.
“Meng Clan....” he murmured, face flickering. As Han Qinglei’s energy spiked, Meng Hao took a deep breath and suddenly stepped forward.
That step caused everything to shake dramatically. At the same time, a massive foot appeared in the sky, crushing down toward Han Qinglei, instantly interfering with his rising energy!
Shockingly, Meng Hao was now unleashing the divine ability he had acquired from Su Yan, the Seven God Steps magic!
The second step caused the entire world to tremble, and the wind to churn violently.
Meng Hao didn't stop. He took a third, a fourth, and a fifth step. Each step caused wild energy to surge up around him. It wasn’t his own energy, but energy from the magical technique, summoned from the void, from the world, from Heaven and Earth!
When Su Yan had used the Seven God Steps on him, Meng Hao had been thoroughly shaken. She even used it to resist his Paragon magic. That was what had originally caught his interest, and was also why he had chosen to take this particular Daoist magic from her.
Of all the Daoist magics he was familiar with, none could compare to the Seven God Steps in terms of the momentum it could unleash. This magic... was a Dao of momentum!
As he took those five steps, nothing about him looked out of the ordinary. However, for some reason, the feeling he gave off was that he existed above Heaven and Earth. Massive energy swept out and crushed down toward Han Qinglei.
Han Qinglei's face drained of blood. His Azure Lightning was based on energy, and caused the will of lightning inside of him to form together into Heavenly might, which he could then use to crush his enemy.
But now, he was shocked to find that Meng Hao was even more powerful than that!
“Impossible!!” he gasped. Then Meng Hao took a sixth step, and finally, a seventh. He now seemed vastly higher than anything in existence. Heavenly might formed a gigantic foot that crushed down onto Han Qinglei.
“NO!!!” he cried miserably. He quickly performed an incantation gesture, causing Azure Lightning to shoot out from him toward the descending foot.
When they slammed into each other, the foot crushed the lightning without even pausing and kept going, stomping viciously down onto Han Qinglei. A huge boom could be heard, and the lands quaked. A gigantic footprint appeared between Mount Whiteseal and the capital city of the Ninth Nation, which sunk deeply down into the earth.
Blood sprayed out of Han Qinglei’s mouth, and his body withered. His aura was severely weakened as he stood there in the middle of the footprint. Laughing bitterly, he crushed a jade slip, which caused a mist to appear that surrounded him and carried him away rapidly.
He was fleeing, and it caused his heart to drip with blood. He was utterly humiliated by his complete and utter defeat in battle. He had been the invader in this instance, and also the one to flee. He had never imagined that he would be forced to escape via this particular jade slip during a battle with someone of his own generation. And yet, here he was, fleeing in the face of death by crushing that jade slip.
“Think you can just leave?” Meng Hao said, appearing in midair, his face somewhat pale. This battle had been somewhat difficult, but it was nothing compared to the deadly ambush set up for him by the Demonic Cultivator Horde.
With a cold snort, he waved his hand, and a strange light began to gleam in his eyes. He suddenly waved his finger toward Han Qinglei.
“A Writ of Karma!” he said, his voice echoing out, filled with sternness, austerity, and holiness....
“Call upon Karma to form ties of destiny! You owe me money!”
Chapter 1099: Victory!
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