Chapter 1182: Great Tang; Allheaven!
"Dad...." Meng Hao said, looking back at Fang Xiufeng. He was actually far more worried than Fang Xiufeng was.
“There’s no need to worry. With Patriarchs Shoudao and Yanxu helping, then if I fail, then I guess all my years of cultivation have been a foolish waste!” Fang Xiufeng laughed heartily, but then his expression turned serious. “I'm a cultivator, and my life... has been focused on eventually stepping into the Dao!
“From the Spirit Realm to the Immortal. From the Immortal Realm to the Ancient. From the Ancient Realm to the Dao. The further along you get, the less likely you are to succeed. However, that shouldn't be a reason to avoid the danger, nor an excuse to not take that final step!
“I have transcended the tribulations of Ancient Realm Soul Lamp extinguishing, one by one. What does this trifling Dao Stepping Tribulation count for? If I really fail, then at least I’ll have a hundred years of longevity left that I can use to protect you and your sister. My only regret... will be that I will not be able to abide by my agreement to stand guard for 100,000 years!” With that, no further trace of anxiety regarding stepping into the Dao could be seen on Fang Xiufeng.
He could have chosen to be like Guru Heavencloud, to hold back from stepping into the Dao. He could have been cautious, and thus lived longer. Without any tribulation, there would be no risk to his life, and he could have lived in safety.
Actually, in addition to the danger of the tribulation itself, one of the main reasons that many cultivators chose to remain in the great circle of the Ancient Realm was because they couldn’t suppress that desire to remain safe and alive.
“Dad, you’re gonna succeed!” Meng Hao said staunchly. Those words were actually not uttered from the standpoint of a son, but rather... were backed by his status as the future Lord of the Mountain and Sea Realm.
Fang Xiufeng smiled. At the same time, Meng Li and Fang Yu flew up from below, joined by Sun Hai. The entire group hovered in midair, unable to keep themselves from looking nervously at Fang Xiufeng.
“Alright, alright,” Fang Xiufeng said, smiling gently at his wife and daughter. “You don’t all need to come with me. Having Hao’er along should be enough.”
Meng Li looked at Fang Xiufeng and nodded.
“I’ll be waiting for you to come back," she said softly.
“Yes, I’ll be back for you!” he replied with a laugh. Then he turned and flew off into the distance with Fang Shoudao and Fang Yanxu.
Meng Li watched her husband leaving and, voice quavering, said, “Meng Hao, take good care of your father. I'm... entrusting him to you.”
“Don't worry, Mom,” Meng Hao said resolutely. “Dad’s going to be fine!” He looked over at Fang Yu and Sun Hai, nodded, and then followed Fang Xiufeng and the others.
“Dad,” Fang Yu murmured, biting her lip, no longer able to suppress her anxiety. “Good luck stepping into the Dao. I’ll be praying for you to succeed!”
Fang Xiufeng’s laughter echoed back from off in the distance, filled with exuberance and determination.
The four Fang cultivators were all speeding off in the direction... of the Great Tang Forbidden Palace!!
Meng Hao had never paid much attention to the Great Tang government itself. However, ever since the year he had caught a glimpse of Emperor Tang in his Imperial City, and realized he had a profound cultivation base that was roughly the same as Meng Hao’s own father, he had realized that the Great Tang was indeed extremely mysterious. [1. Meng Hao briefly met Emperor Tang in chapter 802]
“So, we’re going to the Great Tang!” he murmured to himself as he saw the Great Tang Imperial City getting closer. There were countless mortals there, and it was a flourishing place. Dusk was falling, but the brilliant light cast by numerous colorful lanterns made a spectacular scene. Then there was the Forbidden Palace itself, which looked like an enormous sleeping beast!
As they neared, Meng Hao was able to make out a figure sitting on the Dragon Throne, wearing Imperial robes, watching the four of them approach. [2. The Emperors of ancient China usually sat on what was called the Dragon Throne]
As Meng Hao peered at the Great Tang Imperial City, Fang Shoudao looked over at him with a kind smile and asked, “Hao’er, do you find this odd?”
“Yeah, it seems strange. Why are we going to the Great Tang? What secrets are locked up here?”
“Hao’er, the Fang Clan of the past was an Allheaven Clan,” Fang Shoudao explained slowly. “Our first generation Patriarch was the last bloodline member of that clan. The clan that he founded afterward is the Fang Clan that we know today, which has played such a central role in the affairs of the Ninth Mountain and Sea.” Some of these things Meng Hao already knew, and others were things which did not need to be kept secret from him now, considering his status.
“There are a few other matters that it’s time to tell you. The reason that the modern Fang Clan is an Allheaven Clan is because you awoke our bloodline. That is why you are our eternal Patriarch!
“The more powerful you become, the faster that awakening will proceed. After it is complete, the Allheaven power will be unleashed with increasing efficacy!
“If you are able to step into the Dao Realm, then the Fang Clan will truly be able to rise to prominence, and be restored to its former glory!” Anticipation gleamed in Fang Shoudao’s eyes. Although Fang Yanxu was normally very taciturn, his expression was also one of excitement and anticipation, and when he looked at Meng Hao, it was with warmth and kindness.
“Perhaps you already know that Allheaven Clans... existed in the Immortal World, before the formation of the Mountain and Sea Realm. In the Paragon Immortal Realm, Allheaven Clans were the most glorious among all the clans. Even the Paragons had to treat them respectfully.
“Also, the Fang Clan was not the only Allheaven Clan. In total, there were nine!” Fang Shoudao explained slowly.
“Of course, the nine Allheaven Clans fell apart during the war, and countless clan members were killed. For example, almost the entire Fang Clan was wiped out in the war. As for the sole remaining bloodline, it was many years until the first generation Patriarch appeared here in the Ninth Mountain and Sea.
“Nowadays, descendants of those nine clans are scattered throughout the Nine Mountains and Seas. Some, like our Fang Clan, could be considered to have been reestablished. Others have completely vanished into the pages of history.
“You should know that the Fang Clan is not the only Allheaven Clan in the Ninth Mountain and Sea. There is another such clan... right here! And that clan is... the Great Tang!!” By this point, Meng Hao’s heart was pounding.
Fang Xiufeng didn’t seem surprised. He had conferred quite a bit with Fang Shoudao in recent days, and knew about all these matters pertaining to Allheaven Clans. Furthermore, because he was standing guard over Planet South Heaven, he also had a good understanding of the Great Tang.
“The Great Tang is actually the Li Clan, and not the same Li Clan as that which currently exists in the Ninth Mountain and Sea! [3. One reason Fang Shoudao specifically points out that they are different clans is that this Li Clan shares the same common surname Li 李 with the Li Clan of the Ninth Mountain and Sea. It might seem confusing, but again, Li is a very common surname. For example, it’s the same surname shared by Jet Li (Li Lianjie) and Bruce Lee (Li Xiaolong). However, Jet Li and Bruce Lee are not related, nor are they from a Li Clan in ISSTH. In English, it could be likened to Will Smith and Anna Nicole Smith, who both share the surname Smith, but are not from the Smith Clan in ISSTH]
“Actually, of the nine Allheaven Clans, they were the clan that survived mostly untouched. In fact, by the time the war was coming to an end, when the Mountain and Sea Realm was formed, their whole clan was still intact. That was because they had been entrusted with a special mission. They were to use the power of an Allheaven Clan to protect the Mountain and Sea Realm.
“However, even in the early days of the Mountain and Sea Realm the war was still ongoing. In the final battle, a gap was opened, breaching the Mountain and Sea Realm. If that gap were ever to be torn completely open, the Mountain and Sea Realm... would cease to exist.
“In that critical time, the final Allheaven Clan, the Li Clan, chose to make a clan-wide blood sacrifice. Every member of the clan, men and women, old and young alike, all sacrificed themselves to make a door. That door closed the gap, ensuring that the powers of the Outside world could not enter. And thus ended a war that had lasted for tens of thousands of years!
"That gap is in the Ninth Mountain and Sea, behind Planet South Heaven!
“Therefore, from that time onward, Planet South Heaven became a very special planet in the Mountain and Sea Realm. It also came to be known as the Door of South Heaven!
“From then on, there was a new empire on Planet South Heaven, called the Great Tang. The entire Li Clan sacrificed themselves to protect the Mountain and Sea Realm, leaving behind only a single clan member to maintain their ancestral device and prevent the Outside world from entering. It was the clan's mission, and even if there was only one person left to carry it out, that mission remained. And that... is how things have continued, down to this day.” All of these things were matters that had been revealed to Fang Shoudao after he had gone to visit the clone of the first generation Patriarch recently.
“Your father stands guard over Planet South Heaven, and the Li Clan stands guard over the Door of South Heaven!
“It is because of the special nature of Planet South Heaven that it is impossible for Dao Realm experts to enter it. Only by suppressing our cultivation bases to the great circle of the Ancient Realm can we do so. Otherwise... Planet South Heaven as a whole would view us as enemies, and would eradicate us!
“However, that doesn’t mean that it is completely impossible for Dao Realm cultivators to be here. In order for a Dao Realm expert to remain here, that person must gain the approval of Planet South Heaven. Furthermore, the only person who can make that happen, is... the Great Tang, the Li Clan!”
When Meng Hao heard all of this, his heart trembled. Although he already knew many secrets, quite a few of them were things he had been told, and did not understand based on experiencing them personally. As such, his understanding was incomplete. For example, he had been completely clueless regarding the identity of the Great Tang.
He could only imagine what it must have been like years ago for the Li Clan to watch one Allheaven Clan after another be exterminated while they, in order to accomplish their mission, were forced to hold back their power and not participate in the fighting. They must have felt torn, and at the same time, they were obviously tenacious.
When the gap opened up in the Mountain and Sea Realm, they didn't hesitate to perform a blood sacrifice of their entire clan to create the Door of South Heaven. They sealed the gap, accomplishing the mission of their clan. What a heroic sacrifice!
Now he understood why, when first encountering Emperor Tang all those years ago, he had felt such a desolate loneliness within his majesty. He was the only survivor of his entire bloodline. Their sacrifice was like a curse for him. There had been many successive generations of people like him, the Emperors of the Great Tang, all of whom were charged with upholding the original mission. For all eternity, they would protect the Mountain and Sea Realm by standing guard over the Door of South Heaven.
Meng Hao’s eyes filled with respect as he followed his father, Fang Shoudao and Fang Yanxu. They flew into the Great Tang Imperial City and toward the Forbidden Palace. The sun was just about to set, and all of a sudden, Meng Hao recalled what Fang Shoudao had mentioned about Dao Realm cultivators being unable to enter Planet South Heaven. Then he thought about the giant he had fought, as well as the monkey face.
“Without gaining approval, the Dao Realm will be exterminated?” Meng Hao asked suddenly.
“Without exception,” Fang Shoudao replied.
Meng Hao’s heart trembled, and he began to breathe heavily. Great waves of shock rolled through him, as well as doubts. As far as he could tell, there were only three possible explanations.
One explanation was that the giant and the monkey were both approved of by the Li Clan. However, that was clearly not possible. The second explanation was that the world of the Divine Flame was somehow unique. The third explanation... was a possibility that left Meng Hao feeling even more shaken. Perhaps the giant and the monkey only appeared to be in the Dao Realm, but the versions of themselves within the Divine Flame world... were actually not in the Dao Realm!
For example, Meng Hao was currently capable of slaughtering 2-Essences Dao Realm cultivators, despite not being in the Dao Realm himself. Despite that, he was not the subject of extermination by Planet South Heaven.
Although that third explanation seemed preposterous, Meng Hao could not help but come to the conclusion that it was most likely true.Previous Chapter Next Chapter