As the butterfly flew along, Meng Hao stood there on its back, blood oozing out of his mouth. Although he had seemed impressively mighty in the fight just now, the truth was that his cultivation base was unstable, a result of being interrupted during the process of absorbing the good fortune from Shui Dongliu.
He was still incapable of entering the world within the butterfly. He wasn't sure exactly why, but whenever he tried to enter the wings, the butterfly would begin to tremble on the verge of collapse.
As the wings of the butterfly, Meng Hao’s parents looked into the matter, as did Ksitigarbha and others. They came to the conclusion that Meng Hao’s aura was currently incompatible with the butterfly because of not having completely absorbed Shui Dongliu’s good fortune. After the process was complete, and his various auras were in balance, there should be a way to enter.
That matter in and of itself wasn’t of great concern, and didn’t affect Meng Hao’s ability to defend the butterfly. Therefore, he sat cross-legged on its back, looking out at the Vast Expanse, an expression of reminiscence occasionally appearing on his face.
He thought back to the Mountain and Sea Realm, to Shui Dongliu, and to all the faces he remembered from there. The pain in his heart was hard to suppress. It was true that his parents hadn’t perished, and some of his relatives had survived. There was even hope for the long-term survival of the Mountain and Sea Realm. But when he recalled the past, he almost wished that the present could be nothing more than a mere dream.
It caused him to sigh deep in his heart.
He didn’t understand why things had turned out this way, but that didn’t matter. His only option was to do everything he could to protect the butterfly as it continued to head toward the location Paragon Sea Dream had discovered at the cost of her life.
“That is where the hope of survival exists....” Looking off into the distance, he could just barely make out an enormous black and white vortex, within which swirled a Dao of Time.
Inside the world of the butterfly, the surviving remnants of the Mountain and Sea Realm quietly went about creating a new home for themselves. Of the entire Mountain and Sea Realm, only a few hundred thousand cultivators remained.
Those cultivators had fought a bitter war, had watched their society crumble, and had gone through countless heartaches. And yet, they were as focused as ever. Their spirits had not been extinguished, and if things went on, that spirit would be passed down to countless future generations.
At times, Xu Qing emerged to accompany Meng Hao. Wang Youcai, Fatty, and others also came out. Chen Fan didn't appear. Meng Hao clearly remembered him being among the group transported into the world of the butterfly, but later, he was nowhere to be found.
After pondering the matter, he recalled how he had caught a glimpse of Chen Fan leaving the 33 Hells, and the confusion which had been visible in his eyes. Apparently, Chen Fan had encountered something within the 33 Hells that was... a good fortune unique to him.
In the past, Meng Hao might have attempted to investigate the matter. But now, the people of the Mountain and Sea Realm were physically and mentally exhausted, and Meng Hao himself didn't have the energy to think about it too much.
Patriarch Reliance was there in the world of the butterfly, as were Pill Demon and Ke Jiusi.
Time passed. While the people went about constructing their new home, Meng Hao sat cross-legged on the back of the butterfly. He didn't slip into a meditative trance, nor did he practice cultivation. Instead, he kept his divine sense focused on his surroundings, and remained constantly on guard.
The danger was still far from over.
He could sense that two powerful energies had locked onto the butterfly. One of them was further up ahead, mysterious and unfathomable; that was no doubt the Devil Realm, which still had yet to lay eyes on. Behind them was the pulsing killing intent of the Immortal God Continent.
As the two land masses drew closer, it was as if a huge net had been stretched out, which was now closing in over the butterfly.
However, the two land masses couldn’t precisely pinpoint the location of the butterfly. Meng Hao’s Demonic qi distorted everything, making that impossible. Were it not for that, he was certain that they would teleport over within moments.
Meng Hao sat there quietly as the butterfly got closer and closer to the vortex which held hope for the Mountain and Sea Realm. As the journey continued, Meng Hao was able to peer out into the Vast Expanse for the first time ever, and he saw many strange and bizarre things.
At one point, he saw what appeared to be a swarm of broken statues, whose faces were impossible to make out, flying along.
It was only at first glance that they looked like statues. Upon closer examination... it became clear that they were some sort of strange life form.
Thankfully, they didn't appear to be malicious, and didn’t even spare a glance for Meng Hao and the butterfly as they flew off into the distance.
Another time, Meng Hao’s eyes snapped open when he sensed something completely shocking. Looking up, he saw that, not too far off in the Vast Expanse, a wriggling mist had appeared. Bursts of intense coldness pulsed off of it as it began to follow the butterfly.
Moments later, gray eyes appeared within the mist. When they realized that Meng Hao’s crimson eyes were staring back at them, and sensed the malice within his gaze, the mist fell back and then faded away.
Meng Hao frowned. The mist gave him a very strange sensation, as though there were countless life forms within it. He also had the feeling that if it weren’t for the 9-Essences pressure within him, the mist would have continued to follow the butterfly... waiting for a chance to pounce on it in attack.
Those were only some of the bizarre entities which Meng Hao saw in the Vast Expanse as they traveled along. He also saw a pack of wolves.... They were real wolves, just like wolves from the mortal world, except that they lurked within the Vast Expanse. To them, the Vast Expanse was a forest that made up their habitat.
He saw the corpse of a giant, which had long since begun to rot, and was being slowly eaten by a horde of countless disembodied heads.
Among those heads were men and women, young and old, all of whom were slowly gnawing away at the corpse.
This giant was different from the Three-eyed God, or the God Tribe of the Immortal God Continent. It had two heads, and a long tail.
More than half of it had been consumed, but by looking at its bones, it was possible to tell that in life, it had been... comparable to an 8-Essences expert.
When Meng Hao neared, the heads stopped chewing and slowly looked over at the butterfly with cold, detached eyes. However, as soon as they caught sight of Meng Hao, strange expressions could be seen, and they quickly turned back to eating.
Some things were quite fear-inspiring, but there were other things which Meng Hao simply didn’t understand. At one point, he saw a stone palace floating out in the Vast Expanse. Upon passing it, eyes popped open upon on the stones which made up the palace. They looked curiously at Meng Hao, and at the same time, the sound of countless shouting voices could be heard.
“Dammit, you’re squishing me! That hurts! Ow!”
“Shut up! I’ve always been on top of you! It’s not like I want it that way. There’s somebody on top of me who’s squishing me too!”
“Aaahhhhh! I’ve been turned into a stone! This is so weird....”
Apparently, the arguing voices came from the stones themselves, which continued to squabble as the palace floated off into the distance.
Eventually, the butterfly got so close to the vortex that it was possible to say that it had actually arrived at its final destination! It was then that a person suddenly appeared!
This was the first time a human had appeared within the Vast Expanse. It was an old man in a woven rush raincoat, who sat cross-legged on a boulder, floating there in the Vast Expanse. That boulder had eyes, and it was currently shouting out in a rage.
“You damned old codger! Get off me! You’re not allowed to sit on me. Aaaghhhh! This is a disgrace! This is a humiliation. I-I-I, I don't even have a husband yet! That’s it. We're fighting to the death, you and I!”
As the boulder screamed, the old man snorted coldly and continued to dangle his fishing pole out into the Vast Expanse.
As the butterfly passed by, Meng Hao assumed that this entity would be like all the others, that it would merely look over and then ignore him. However, it was in that moment that the butterfly trembled, and changed course... to head toward the hook dangling from the old man’s fishing line!
Meng Hao’s eyes flickered, and he shot to his feet. Even as he sent his divine sense out, he heard his parents’ voices echoing in his mind.
“Hao’er, we’ve lost control of the butterfly....”
The redness of Meng Hao’s eyes increased in intensity, and his Demonic qi roiled as he stared at the old man.
The old man looked up at Meng Hao and smiled. It was a strange smile, and even as it touched his face, his forehead split open, and a black horn jutted out. His body continued to split, and soon his whole body was covered with cracks. Then, his body exploded, revealing... a green figure with a solitary horn!
He pulsed with a chaotic aura, and as he looked at Meng Hao, he began to laugh uproariously.
“When the Vast Expanse is thrown into chaos, Heaven and Earth will once again be at hand!
“When the universe collapses, the great Dao will reappear!
“Who will be above the God and the Devil... to Seal the Heavens!?
“So this is what it was all leading up to.... So that’s how it was...” The green-colored entity laughed, then abruptly pointed out at the butterfly.
“Ah well, since this moment is upon us, I might as well help you, and sow a bit of good will.” Laughing, he waved his finger, and the butterfly trembled. Unexpectedly, ripples spread out from its wings into the starry sky, and a timeshift magic appeared. The trembling of the butterfly seemed to push the starry sky to the point where it might shatter, as if it had been building up with power that was about to explode, and if it did, would unleash shocking speed that could break free of all obstructions.
A timeshift magic appeared around the green-colored entity, and it seemed to Meng Hao that from the moment he had looked at him, time had been flowing differently around him.
Apparently, he did not come from this time period, and had in fact used the strange fluctuations of time in the area to come to this point.
As the figure grew more and more blurry, Meng Hao suddenly asked, “Who are you?!”
“You don't know me, and maybe you never will.”
Laughter continued to ring out as the green-colored entity vanished without a trace.... The only thing that remained behind was his voice, which seemed to contain a tone of relief as it echoed out into the Vast Expanse.
“Who created the white pearl!?
“Who created the black pearl!? [1. About the white pearl and black pearl. To be perfectly honest I ran out of time to thoroughly investigate this, so what I’m about to say should be taken with a grain of salt. Long story short is that I saw some stuff online about these pearls being references to pearls which appear in Renegade Immortal and Beseech the Devil respectively. I did a bit of digging but couldn't come up with anything conclusive about the subject. This is not the type of thing I can escalate to Er Gen, so for now, take this info as it is. If I get more conclusive info I'll share it later]
“Who carved out the Four Great Realms.... Who turned the starry sky into the Vast Expanse...? [1. Spoiler information to follow: The Four Great Realms were mentioned in previous novels. Apparently, one of them is the place where Wang Lin existed, and another is where Su Ming existed]
“And who... created that mirror...? Who gave up the Immortal to become the Ghost!?
“He was the beginning. You are the end. So, that’s how it is... Immortal. God. Devil. Demon. Ghost. I get it now...”
Chapter 1404: Immortal, God, Demon, Devil, Ghost!
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