Chapter 1256: Make a Name!
Meng Hao silently turned and headed back to the clan residence. When he arrived, he handed over the unconscious youth he had just rescued, then straightened his clothes and headed toward his grandmother’s room.
He didn’t immediately enter, but instead clasped hands and bowed deeply, then stood there with his head lowered.
After a long moment, the door opened, and the three middle-aged women filed out, glancing at him with curious expressions as they walked past. Then, an ancient voice spoke from within the room.
Meng Hao bowed once more, then entered, closing the door behind him.
When he looked up, he saw his Grandma Meng sitting in a chair, her complexion much improved. She seemed weaker than a mortal, but at the same time, solemn and filled with an indescribable dignity. Her eyes were dim, but when her gaze settled on someone it seemed to be filled with a certain might.
On either side of her sat the two old men, who were also much improved. They were staring at Meng Hao without the slightest expressions on their faces.
The first person to speak was his grandmother. She looked at him and slowly asked, “Who are you?!”
Her voice was not backed by the power of her cultivation base, but seemed to inherently contain something that caused the natural laws in the area to fluctuate. Anyone who heard her voice would be affected by the mysterious pressure it contained.
“Greetings, Grandma Meng. Greetings, granduncles, I am Meng Hao....” Meng Hao then dropped to his knees and began to kowtow.
The oldtimers were visibly moved when they realized that he had used the forms of address for maternal relatives....
“You...” Meng Hao’s grandmother gaped in shock. Something clicked in her mind, and an expression of disbelief could then be seen. Meng Hao rose to his feet, and as he did, his facial features transformed from Meng Chen’s into his own.
Then he produced a jade slip from his bag of holding, which he respectfully handed over to his grandmother. Next, he sent some cultivation base power into the jade slip, which then projected a screen into the air. On that screen was the face of a woman, none other than... Meng Hao’s mother.
Then, as the three oldtimers looked on, he bit the tip of his finger and dropped a bit of blood onto the jade slip. The jade slip absorbed it, turning blood-red in the process.
This jade slip had been given to Meng Hao before parting ways with his mother. She had told him that if he ever encountered any relatives from her side of the family, he could use it to prove his identity.
Meng Hao’s grandmother began shaking, and the two old men on either side of her looked incredibly excited. In fact, there had been few times in their entire lives in which they had been this excited.
“Li’er... you’re... you’re Li’er’s son. Fang-Meng Hao....” His grandmother stared at him, breath coming in ragged pants. Suddenly, a tremor ran through her, as if something had just occurred to her. “Is your mother well...?”
Meng Hao immediately stepped forward and offered his arm to his grandmother to support her. “Grandma Meng, my mother is in the Ninth Mountain and Sea, safe and healthy.”
“As long as she's safe and healthy, that’s what’s important....” his grandmother murmured, tears rolling down her cheeks. She raised a trembling hand to stroke Meng Hao’s cheek, her eyes shining with kindness. “You’re such a good kid. Why are you here? Where’s Meng Chen?”
Meng Hao sighed and then gave a simple recounting of how he had come to the Eighth Mountain and Sea, and then the circumstances in which he met Meng Chen.
When his grandmother and grand-uncles heard about how he had exterminated the Blacksoul Society and then slaughtered Dao Lords and other such powerful experts, their eyes went wide.
Then they heard about Meng Chen’s final words, and their eyes dimmed.
“Chen’er was also such a good kid....”
After a moment of silence, Meng Hao looked at the oldtimers and asked, “Grandma Meng, granduncles, I very much want to know what happened here? Why is our bloodline in such decline. What are those black spikes inside of you? And also... who poisoned you? Where is everyone else of the Senior generation?”
They exchanged silent glances for a moment, and then one of Meng Hao’s granduncles sighed and began to explain.
“After your Grandpa Meng went to the Ninth Mountain and Sea, he never returned. All the news we got was that it had to do with you, and that he went missing along with your Grandpa Fang.
“Your grandfather’s disappearance affected the clan a bit, but not fatally. Back then, there were seven of us brothers including your grandfather, plus many sons and grandsons. Although none of us were in the Dao Realm, there were many in the Ancient Realm. We decided not to contend for the place of Clan Chief, assuming that doing so would prevent conflict within the clan. How could we have ever imagined that everything would change overnight?
“Although news about what happened in the clan that night never spread, that was the moment the Meng Clan fell from the height of their power....
“Mysterious cultivators invaded, and were joined by traitors within the clan. A huge battle was fought, and two of our Dao Realm Patriarchs were killed. Two others were seriously injured and still haven’t recovered.
“Vast numbers of Ancient Realm cultivators died, and virtually all of the Immortal Realm clan members were slaughtered....
“Our bloodline narrowly managed to escape to this place. However, when we got here, there were nine mysterious experts waiting, apparently specifically for us. All of our other brothers died, and most of your uncles were killed. The only people left were the women and children....
“Those nine mysterious experts wanted to completely wipe out our bloodline, and the slaughter they carried out on us was far more severe than towards any of the auxiliary bloodlines. It almost seemed like their attack on the Meng Clan was targeting us specifically.
“In the critical moment, just when it seemed we would be exterminated, the ancestral statue began to glow, and emanated a powerful pressure. It turned into a voice which shouted at the nine mysterious experts, telling them to begone. Before they could be driven away, they didn’t hesitate for even a moment to kill themselves in order to transform into nine spikes. The spikes multiplied and then stabbed into our bodies, sealing our cultivation bases.
“From that day on, the Meng Clan in general was in decline, and our bloodline lost all of its cultivators. We wanted to return to the ancestral mansion, but it had already been occupied by other bloodlines, none other than the current nine bloodlines of the Meng Clan.
“We were forced to settle down here and try to restore our cultivation bases. However, the only result was that we got weaker day by day. More people died, and soon, we were barely able to hold on to life, not willing to even close our eyes lest we die. The two uncles of yours who survived could only look on in misery as the older generation was bullied, humiliated, and left gasping for life.”
After listening to the story, Meng Hao stood there silently for a moment. The explanation given was simple, and he could easily imagine how tragic the entire affair had been.
“Grandma Meng, I think I can heal your injuries, but I need some time.” Suddenly, he thought of something, and continued, “Those nine mysterious men, did they by any chance happen to have a combined magical technique that summoned a battle-axe?”
Almost immediately, his grandmother and grand-uncles looked at him with a start, shivering.
“They did use such a magical technique,” his grandmother replied. “However, they didn't summon one battle-axe, they summoned three! You’ve seen such a thing before?”
Meng Hao then recounted what had happened en route back to the Meng Clan, which resulted in the three oldtimers’ faces flickering.
“So, they’re coming back, huh...?” he grandmother said.
Seeing the expressions on their faces, Meng Hao couldn’t hold back from asking, “Grandma Meng, those mysterious black-robed men, is there any chance... you know where they come from?”
The three old-timers didn't respond at first. Finally, his grandmother sighed and said, “The Seventh Mountain and Sea!”
As soon as the words entered Meng Hao’s ears, a tremor ran through him. He looked at his grandmother, and the serious expression on her face, and his thoughts raced. Finally, everything turned into four words....
“Mountain and Sea War....” he said slowly.
The three oldtimers maintained their silence.
Meng Hao’s mind trembled. As soon as he thought about the prospect of war between the various Mountains and Seas, he said, “Grandma Meng, granduncles, the Fang Clan in the Ninth Mountain and Sea has become very powerful. Seniors, I can take all of you to the Ninth Mountain and Sea, and give you a chance to rise to prominence there.”
“Hao’er,” his grandmother said, “your intentions are good, but the Meng Clan is our home. We won’t give up on it.”
As for his two granduncles, their voices were filled with decisiveness that could sever nails and chop iron as they said, “We were born here, and we’ll die here!”
Meng Hao said nothing more. Clasping hands and bowing, he once again transformed into Meng Chen. Just before leaving, he calmly said, “Grandma Meng, if there really is a Mountain and Sea War, I’ll do my best to protect you. But if I can’t, please take my advice. Leave this place, and wait for the right opportunity to stage a comeback.”
Meng Hao then walked out of the room and looked around at the various bloodline clan members in the mansion. Then he waved his hand, and massive rumbling echoed out as the entire bloodline ancestral mansion and the land around it were carved away from the land mass within which it sat.
Meng Hao cut away a vast, 30,000-meter area, after which he slapped his bag of holding, causing one piece of Immortal jade after another to fly out. Organizing them in midair, Meng Hao performed an incantation gesture and pointed out, causing the vast quantity of Immortal jade to shoot down toward the land.
Each piece that touched the ground shattered, causing boundless Immortal qi to spill out like rain. In the blink of an eye, the entire area was filled with a shocking amount of dense Immortal qi.
Meng Hao then raised his hand and made a grasping motion. Rumbling could be heard as the entire vast area was sealed, ensuring that none of the Immortal qi could dissipate.
This also made the entire area occupied by his bloodline become like a paradise for Immortals!
To cultivators, practicing cultivation in places like this had vast, indescribable benefits. Meditating here for a day was like spending a month in the outside world. However, Meng Hao still wasn’t satisfied. He smacked his bag of holding again, producing even more Immortal jade. As that jade shattered, the quality of the Immortal qi grew even more profound.
Now, meditating here for a day was like spending two months outside!
The surrounding bloodline clan members were completely shocked. The three old-timers in the room, plus the three middle-aged women, all gasped and looked at Meng Hao in astonishment. Then Meng Hao's grandmother and granduncles recalled what he had said about exterminating Patriarch Blacksoul and killing the other Dao Realm experts, and were completely convinced of the truth of the matter.
There were two other nearby rooms that suddenly opened, and two men walked out. Although they didn't seem very old, their skin was withered and sallow, and their eyes were dim, making them seem very ancient. They were skinny and weak, and even smelled of alcohol, as if they hadn’t seen the light of day for many days. Currently, they were staring dumbfounded at the Immortal qi.
These two men were Meng Hao’s uncles... the only surviving second-generation members of the bloodline.
“Meng Ru,” Meng Hao said calmly, a cold gleam in his eyes, “go find all of the members of our bloodline who serve in other households. Tell them... to come home. If anyone tries to stop you, tell me immediately!” The appearance of cultivators from the Seventh Mountain and Sea indicated that a Mountain and Sea War was brewing. That completely changed Meng Hao’s plans. He would no longer lead his grandfather’s bloodline to prominence from the shadows. There simply wasn’t time for that.
His new decision was to take center stage, to make a loud proclamation that no one could dare to provoke this bloodline. The time had come to make a name!
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