Chapter 1353: I Demand An Explanation!
The voice echoed out into the minds of all of the cultivators in the Mountain and Sea Realm, and regardless of what they were doing, they stopped in place. The entire Realm went silent.
Soon, eyes began to shine with the desire to fight. The bewilderment and fear that had existed in those eyes were now replaced by a brilliant glow that reflected their spirits.
Although they maintained their silence, they went back to whatever important tasks they had been working on with renewed haste.
In accord with the requirements of Paragon Sea Dream and the Mountain and Sea Lords, the First Mountain became the first line of defense. Furthermore, innumerable spell formations and restrictive spells were set up, until the entire place was like a gigantic restrictive spell formation.
As for the denizens of the First Sea, they were also part of the war, and their survival was also on the line, so they held nothing back in their preparations.
Each successive Mountain and Sea was an additional line of defense, after eight of which was the nucleus, the headquarters of the entire Mountain and Sea Realm.
As the Mountain and Sea Realm prepared for war, Meng Hao sat cross-legged in the Fang Clan ancestral mansion. Another half month passed before he chose to leave.
There was someone he wished to see on Planet South Heaven... as well as someone on the Ninth Mountain!
The first person was... Shui Dongliu!
He had recently learned from his Grandpa Meng that Shui Dongliu was the Outsider he had known of for some time. After thinking about everything that had happened throughout the years, and putting many pieces of the puzzle together, Meng Hao was increasingly certain that there was more to Shui Dongliu than met the eye.
In fact, he even had the feeling that there was some monumental secret connected to Shui Dongliu, a secret that perhaps... had something to do with the entire Mountain and Sea Realm.
“Shui Dongliu used a single sentence to get my grandfather to become the Lord of the Eighth Mountain and Sea. Just... who exactly is he?
“According to what Grandma Meng said, my Grandpa Fang isn’t in the Mountain and Sea Realm. Could it be... that he’s in....” Meng Hao looked up. His gaze seemed to pass through all eight lines of defense, out into the starry sky, to the 32 Heavens.
During his more than one month on Planet South Heaven, Meng Hao had frequently sent divine sense out to cover Planet South Heaven in search of Shui Dongliu. He was certain that Shui Dongliu was there, somewhere.
However, he hadn’t been able to turn up even the slightest clue about his actual location. In the end, he sighed. Trusting in his own senses, but having no other recourse, he bid farewell to his parents and everyone else. Upon leaving, he hovered just outside of Planet South Heaven and looked back down.
“Don't want to see me, huh?” Meng Hao said coolly.
In that same moment, back down on a high mountain peak on Planet South Heaven, Shui Dongliu was looking up into the sky at Meng Hao.
Apparently, he could see Meng Hao, but Meng Hao couldn’t see him.
Meng Hao hovered there for some time before his eyes glittered. He quickly blinked his left eye nine times in a row, causing his view of the world to change and magnify. Soon, he could see all of the lands below in complete detail.
Suddenly, he vanished. Shockingly, when he appeared... he was standing on the mountain peak directly in front of Shui Dongliu.
Shui Dongliu didn’t move a muscle, although a look of surprise could be seen in his eyes as he looked at Meng Hao.
Except... Meng Hao could see nothing in front of him at all. He got a very strange feeling from this mountain, as if it were somehow connected by Karma to Shui Dongliu.
After standing there silently for a moment, Meng Hao suddenly smiled in a relaxed fashion. Finally giving up on the idea of tracking down Shui Dongliu, he clasped hands and bowed deeply to the air in front of him.
“Senior, since you don’t wish to meet with me right now, then I’ll take my leave. I will never forget the kindness you have shown me. I'm not sure what your plan is, Senior, but... the Mountain and Sea Realm is weak now, so please... don’t play with fire and get burned!” The words he spoke were icy, and a bitter coldness emanated from him. Even the Paragon puppet up in the starry sky radiated a coldness that seemed to lock down onto that mountaintop.
With that, Meng Hao looked up and made his way out into the void, paying the mountain no more heed. There, he transformed into a beam of light that left Planet South Heaven.
As he made his way off, Shui Dongliu continued to stand there, and a flicker of praise could be seen in his eyes. After a moment passed, he smiled.
“So, kid,” he murmured, his smile deepening, “you've finally grown up... grown some teeth too, I see. You know what it means to protect your home. Excellent. Excellent....
“As for the Mountain and Sea Realm, let’s just say... I care about it more than you do. More… than anyone.”
Outside of Planet South Heaven, Meng Hao proceeded along through the starry sky. Throughout the Ninth Mountain and Sea, cultivators were crafting planets and land masses in numerous locations, filling the starry sky.
Gathered upon those planets and land masses were all of the mortals of the Mountain and Sea Realm, and all of the bloodlines of all the cultivators....
There was only one Mountain and Sea Lord here, though, and that was Ji Tian. Paragon Sea Dream had personally come to visit him and appoint him as guardian of the place.
Meng Hao looked out at this vastly changed Ninth Mountain and Sea, and eventually, his gaze came to rest upon a certain mountain.... The Ninth Mountain!
Meng Hao wanted to meet a certain person and put an end to the Karma which tied them together. That person was none other than Ji Tian!
Ji Tian had interfered when Fang Xiufeng stepped into the Dao, and had attempted to possess Meng Hao in the Eighth Mountain and Sea. Because of things such as these, the Karma between them was varied and strong.
Meng Hao proceeded through the starry sky toward the Ninth Mountain, then began to walk up the steps leading to the peak. Soon he was there, at the highest part of the Mountain.
He saw a celestial pond, within which was a sleeping Xuanwu turtle. Sitting cross-legged next to the pond was an old man in a violet robe. His eyes were unclouded and bright, and boundless Karma was visible upon his person.
In the instant in which Meng Hao saw him, he knew that this was the man he had come to see... Ji Tian!
He was a former subordinate of Lord Li, a powerful expert from the same era as the first generation Patriarch of the Fang Clan. He was also the Lord of the Ninth Mountain and Sea!
Ji Tian was not alone. A young man and a young woman stood behind him. Meng Hao was unfamiliar with the man, having never seen him before, but could see that he had an extraordinary cultivation base in the mid Ancient Realm. When he looked at Meng Hao, the awe in his eyes was evident, and although he was apparently trying to hold back from revealing it, Meng Hao could see it clearly.
As soon as Meng Hao laid eyes on the young woman, he recognized her. It was Ji Yin, and as soon as she saw him, a complex look could be seen in her eyes, and her expression darkened. [1. Ji Yin was one of the many Chosen who Meng Hao beat and stuffed into his bag of holding in the events of the Immortal Ancient Daoist Rite temple arc. He fought Ji Yin in chapter 829. Later someone disguised as her appeared when the Ji Clan attempted to overthrow the Fang Clan]
Ji Tian’s expression was the same as ever when he looked up at Meng Hao. It was almost as if he considered him to be an old friend. He smiled, and in a casual tone said, “You’ve come.”
Meng Hao looked at Ji Tian, expression calm as he approached and stood before him. Then he looked down at the Xuanwu turtle in the pond water, and his eyes suddenly glittered.
“So you can see it?” Ji Tian said, smiling. “I knew there would be no way of hiding the truth. The only question is, will I be able to calm your anger, Crown Prince of the Mountains and Seas?”
Meng Hao stood there silently, eyes flashing. What he saw was that there were innumerable powerful Karma threads binding Ji Tian to the Xuanwu turtle, creating a connection between the two of them that vastly exceeded the connection between an ordinary Mountain and Sea Lord and Xuanwu turtle. In fact, the life forces of Ji Tian and the Xuanwu turtle seemed to be bound together.
Furthermore, it was not a situation in which Ji Tian was in the dominant position, with the Xuanwu turtle being bound to him. Instead, the Xuanwu turtle was dominant!
If the Xuanwu turtle died, Ji Tian would perish. However, if Ji Tian died, it wouldn’t have any negative effect on the Xuanwu turtle at all. In fact, if Ji Tian died, the Xuanwu turtle would be able to absorb the power of his cultivation base, and thus have an explosive increase in battle prowess.
The way Meng Hao saw it was that this was an oath sworn by Ji Tian that he would live or die with the Ninth Mountain and Sea!
Meng Hao examined the situation for a very long moment before turning to look Ji Tian in the eye. “Why have you done this?”
Ji Tian looked back at Meng Hao and began to speak slowly, sounding as proud as the Lord of the Ninth Mountain and Sea should. “That is the wrong question to ask, Crown Prince. Let us make things clear. I have a grudge with your Fang Clan. Furthermore, although there are many sects and clans in the Ninth Mountain and Sea who venerate me, most of them fear me, but don’t respect me.
“However, after becoming the Mountain and Sea Lord, I have committed no depraved acts of inhumanity! Perhaps I haven’t lead the Ninth Mountain and Sea into riches and glory, but I haven’t led it into decline either!
“As a matter of fact, many Chosen have appeared here, one after another. I never had a single one of those Chosen killed, no matter what sect or clan they come from, nor have I engaged in any wholesale slaughter!
“It's true that the Ji Clan has grown large and powerful thanks to the Immortality Bestowal Dais I created, which allowed many people to become false Immortals by means of my name. However, in the end, I have done nothing to harm the Ninth Mountain and Sea. If anything, I gave more people the hope, and the chance, to reach Immortal Ascension.
“As for the Fang Clan, the only reason I ever targeted them was because of the old enmities that exist between our two clans.
“Despite that, from the very beginning until now, when you still haven’t stepped into the Dao, I never made a move to attack you... with the exception of that one time in the Eighth Mountain and Sea.”
Meng Hao thought for a moment, then responded in a cool voice, “Nice soliloquy, but it's not enough. I demand a complete explanation.”
Ji Yin couldn’t hold back from jumping in. “Meng Hao, y-you’re pushing things too far. What the Patriarch did to you and your father wasn’t his true wish. He actually--”
“That’s enough,” Ji Tian said, waving his hand to interrupt Ji Yin. He looked at Meng Hao, and he seemed to have come to a decision.
“I can give you that complete explanation, Crown Prince.” With that, he rose to his feet and waved his hand, causing a rift to appear in front of him, which he immediately entered.
Meng Hao glanced over at Ji Yin. Based on what she had just said, he already had an idea of what was going on. He strode forward into the rift, then appeared in a small dimension.
The surroundings weren’t very large. It was a sepulcher.
“Crown Prince, the explanation I owe you lies in here,” Ji Tian said, his voice hoarse.
Meng Hao looked around, and was instantly moved. Within the sepulcher were eight coffins, none of which contained bones, only piles of skin.
There was also a strong Karmic power that caused Meng Hao’s eyes to glitter. It only took a moment of extrapolation on his part to determine the general function of this place, although he couldn’t determine the specific grand magic at play.
“Clone possession,” he said. “Crafting the perfect body.... Eight possessions were like eight lives, and from the look of it, Ji Dongyang was your eighth life. He wanted to possess me in order to become the ninth life!
“Therefore, what you want to tell me is that the divine magic you unleashed actually took control of you. The ‘you’ that I encountered before wasn’t really you. Furthermore, after cutting down Ji Dongyang, the magic was broken, and you recovered control?” Eyes glittering, he looked over at Ji Tian!
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