Chapter 1272: Retreat Is Not an Option!
Meng Hao was still in the clouds by the Door of the Ancient Realm, so he had no idea what was going on with the Meng Clan. The intense pressure weighing down on him made it so that even if he sent out divine sense, it would be shattered.
Furthermore, all of his energy was focused completely on the Ancient Tribulation. This was actually the most dangerous tribulation that he had faced in his entire life!
Even he wasn't absolutely certain whether or not he could succeed. However, the tribulation had descended, and whether he wanted to or not, he still had to attempt to transcend it. If he failed, he would die. The only chance he had to live... was to transcend the tribulation.
Massive rumbling sounds echoed out as Meng Hao faced the greatest danger of his life. Not even in the Windswept Realm had he faced a crisis like this. Currently, he was facing four 3-Essences Dao Lords, faceless men who had transformed into ropes that were now closing in on him.
Just as Meng Hao was in the middle of dodging, a sinister voice spoke out from the clouds. “Cease all movement!”
As soon as those three words entered Meng Hao’s ears, the entire world seemed to go quiet and stop moving. It was as if they contained some boundless magical power that made Meng Hao cease all movement; suddenly, he hovered stock still within the clouds, completely motionless.
Actually, it was only Meng Hao who experienced such motionlessness. Everything else was normal, and the four ropes quickly began to wrap Meng Hao up. Two of them encircled his arms, hoisting him up as the other ropes bound his legs together, making it impossible for him to even struggle.
Simultaneously, another figure emerged from the clouds, an old man wearing a long gray robe. This man seemed completely ancient, as if even walking were difficult for him. However, his eyes shone with a brilliant light, and even avarice, as he stared at Meng Hao.
“It's been so many years....” the old man murmured as he slowly approached Meng Hao. “At long last, the Dao Immortal Ancient Tribulation that we’ve been waiting for, has come.... You.... Are you the Dao body sacrifice offered by the later generation...? A perfect Dao body....
“I’m definitely going to succeed.... I will return. In fact, I'm already returning. Back then, we defeated those two people, but at far too great a cost. In fact, that cost was so great that we had to flee....”
As he neared, the clouds around him seemed to pass through countless years of time. They even changed colors, and behind the old man, the starry sky seemed to also pass through tens of thousands of years of time. Everything seemed to wither with age, and Meng Hao seemed to get older the closer the man got.
Even the ropes on his body began to decay. Then, the old man reached out with a skeletal hand, and tapped his finger toward Meng Hao’s forehead, his expression one of keen anticipation.
Just as his fingertip was about to touch Meng Hao, Meng Hao’s eyes glittered. A cold glow could be seen as he suddenly uttered two words.
“Battle Weapon!” Instantly, a beam of light shot out from within his bag of holding. It was the copper mirror, and as it flew out, a vigorous power erupted. The copper mirror fused into Meng Hao’s right hand, and in the blink of an eye, it had turned into a long, wicked blade!
This was... the Battle Weapon!
The sudden appearance of the Battle Weapon caused the starry sky to fill with rumbling sounds. The clouds churned, and the old man with the outstretched hand suddenly screamed. His eyes were fixated on the Battle Weapon, his expression one of disbelief and shock. Instantly, he began to fall back.
All of a sudden, he began to shout words that Meng Hao couldn't possibly understand.
“It’s you, it’s YOU.... They said to wait for you.... I can't believe that after all these years, it’s you....” Even as the old man fell back, a flash of killing intent flickered in Meng Hao’s eyes. Rumbling sounds filled his body as he cast off the decaying ropes, then shot forward like a shooting star toward the old man.
As they sped along in prismatic beams, Meng Hao roared and slashed out with the Battle Weapon. An explosively glowing light shot out, causing the clouds to fall back. It was a blade glow that, as it slashed out, caused the old man to tremble violently. Even as he began to fade away, he spoke in a growling voice that echoed out in all directions.
“I’ll be back.... Now that I know it's you, you’re DEAD!”
“Blah blah blah!” Meng Hao said with a cold harrumph. The blade glow slashed through the clouds, opening up a path, which Meng Hao followed with his eyes until he caught sight of... the Door of the Ancient Realm!
Just now, he really had been rendered immobile, and had been completely restrained by the three ropes. However, in the critical moment, his four Nirvana Fruits had exploded with power, allowing him to shake off some of the effects and then unleash his most powerful item, the Battle Weapon.
Meng Hao suddenly flashed into motion, becoming a beam of light that shot toward the Door of the Ancient Realm. He could sense that time was wasting away, and that the tribulation within the clouds had already reached a terrifying level. If he didn't get the Door of the Ancient Realm open, and get rid of the clouds, then he would surely die.
In the instant that Meng Hao charged forward, rumbling sounds could be heard, and roaring echoed out in the starry sky. Shockingly, four figures emerged from the clouds to stand in front of Meng Hao. They were... 4-Essences faceless men!
The instant they appeared, they shot toward Meng Hao. Although they had no facial features, they radiated a murderous aura that instantly weighed down onto Meng Hao.
Even Meng Hao would have to be very careful when facing four 4-Essences Dao Realm enemies. However, he was running out of time, and the clouds were becoming more terrifying by the second. Beads of sweat were running down his forehead, and his eyes were wide.
The level of danger he was now facing was completely unheard-of.
“Screw off!” Meng Hao roared, shooting forward toward one of the faceless men. Ignoring any potential chance of being injured, he slammed into him viciously. The faceless man was knocked back, but simultaneously performed an incantation gesture and waved his finger. A wild Essence power exploded out, causing Meng Hao to cough up a mouthful of blood. A vicious expression twisted Meng Hao’s face, and he was just about to take advantage of the faceless man’s backpedaling to charge past him, when two other faceless men closed in. Meng Hao’s Battle Weapon flashed with light as he slashed it toward them!
He didn’t hold back anything from his cultivation base in that attack. Explosive power burst out, and the blade glow was instantly upon the two faceless men. However, they didn’t attempt to dodge. Instead, they quickly performed incantation gestures and then pressed down onto their bodies, instigating a self-detonation!
Although Meng Hao had predicted that possibility, in the face of a self-detonation by a 4-Essences Dao Realm opponent, he had no option other than to evade. Blood sprayed out of Meng Hao’s mouth, and numerous wounds were opened up. However, he had no time to pay any attention to them. As he fell back, the Lightning Cauldron appeared. Even as the final faceless man closed in, Meng Hao transformed into an azure roc and smashed through the man. Blood oozed out of his mouth as lightning then surrounded him, creating an electric lake that shot toward the Door of the Ancient Realm.
Closer and closer!
3,000 meters. 2,400 meters. 1,800 meters.... It was at this point that, all of a sudden, four more faceless men appeared in front of him. When their cultivation base power radiated out, Meng Hao’s mind spun. These were... 5-Essences Dao Sovereigns!
These four were completely different from the other faceless men he had fought. These four had eyes on their faces!
Their expressions were completely merciless, and radiated boundless coldness. Each and every one of them possessed Heaven-shaking, Earth-shattering energy. If any one of them could leave the clouds and emerge into the Mountain and Sea Realm, they would be powerful experts whose fame would spread throughout the entire Mountain and Sea Realm.
And now, four of them had appeared simultaneously. All they did was hover there, and they already emanated towering pressure that caused everything to shake violently.
Actually, the most powerful type of Dao Sovereign had six Essences; 4-Essences and 5-Essences merely led up to that most powerful state.
Meng Hao had already reached his limit by slaying 4-Essences Dao Sovereigns. After Greed re-molded his fleshly body, and then fully fused with his Nirvana Fruits, his battle prowess was essentially equivalent to having five Essences.
Therefore, he wasn't confident at all in fighting a 5-Essences enemy. At most, they could fight to a draw and inflict serious mutual wounds. And yet, these 5-Essences faceless men were a bit different, and Meng Hao's eyes flickered with a mad light.
“Not giving me any chance to transcend the tribulation, huh...? Well, it’s not completely hopeless. After fighting all of these faceless men, it's become clear that they’re not really exactly the same as Dao Realm experts in the real world. They’re missing a lot, including sentience. All they have is their cultivation base... they’re essentially as mindless as puppets!” Meng Hao's eyes flickered with coldness, but there was little time. The terrifying, suffocating pressure grew on both sides, and howling sounds grew closer.
Even just the howls were enough to cause Meng Hao’s scalp to go numb at the thought of what other terrifying entities might exist within the clouds.
“And here I thought this was nothing more than an Ancient Tribulation....” He smiled bitterly. How could he ever have imagined that an Ancient Tribulation would be this incredibly difficult....
Gritting his teeth, a light of madness filled his eyes as he shot forward. Waving his hand, he caused numerous mountains to descend, materialized a sun and a moon, and even summoned the Paragon Bridge. He went all-out with his cultivation base, rotating it at 120%. Even his fleshly body power exploded at its ultimate peak.
He called out the meat jelly, which became a suit of armor. By now, he couldn't use the Battle Weapon, so he pulled out his dragon spear, extending it in front of him as he shot forward.
As he began his charge, the four 5-Essences faceless men looked at him, killing intent flickering in their eyes. They attacked simultaneously, using the full power of their cultivation bases to stop Meng Hao.
From a distance, Meng Hao appeared to be soaked in blood and radiating madness. He was now completely committed to his course of action, as if becoming a crazed devil were his only path to survival!
Since retreat was not an option, the only thing to be done was strive forward!
Blood sprayed out of Meng Hao’s mouth as his Mountain Consuming Incantation collapsed.
The sun and moon shattered!
His Paragon Bridge fell apart, and the meat jelly screamed miserably.
Blood spurted out from numerous wounds. Meng Hao’s kneecaps were shattered as he exploded with cultivation base power. He threw his head back and howled under the combined attack of the four 5-Essences Dao Sovereigns.
“Get the hell out of my way!” he roared. The pressure bearing down on him from both sides had reached a horrifying level, and only one thought now existed in Meng Hao’s mind.
“I have to get through and open the Door of the Ancient Realm!” Blood oozed out all over his body, and half of his bones were shattered. These injuries were even more serious than the ones he had sustained in the Heavengod Alliance. Using his last bit of energy, he swung his spear viciously; it was like a long dragon that slammed into the faceless men, pushing them back and... opening up a gap.
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