Chapter 1420: A Direction for Transcendence!
“And that is just ten percent of what is officially part of the Vast Expanse School as a whole.” The warm way she looked at Meng Hao never changed from beginning to end, not even when he ended up looking a bit dazed from her explanation.
As for the other Imperial Lords, the one was still cold-faced. As for the other, her disgusted gaze now seemed to contain a trace of scorn, although she apparently thought she was hiding it well.
Meng Hao’s eyes glittered faintly. As of this point, he had a relatively overall idea of how powerful the Vast Expanse School was. At the very least, it was vastly larger and more powerful than the Mountain and Sea Realm.
“Considering that the three peak powers in the Vast Expanse are the Immortal God Continent, the Devil Realm Continent, and this Vast Expanse School,” he thought, “it leads me to believe that in my battle with the former two, they weren’t using all of their strength. Or perhaps there were some factions within them that chose to remain neutral.”
Meng Hao closed his eyes in thought for a moment, and when he opened them, he looked calmly at the ten women in front of him, then waved his hand dismissively. Finally, he closed his eyes again.
They all bowed their heads and left. After departing the temple, they all went their separate ways to their various residences.
Everything in Ninth Paragon City was quiet, as though pressure was weighing down on everyone. The 100,000 cultivators who were stationed in the city were all very nervous.
There was a sun and moon in the inner planet, and soon night fell. The sky was black, with a field of glittering stars. Silence reigned. In the temple, Meng Hao finally opened his eyes.
After a moment of silence, he slowly rose to his feet and walked forward. Then he vanished. When he reappeared, he was far above the palace, on the towering pagoda which looked out over Ninth Paragon City.
A wind blew, sending his hair flying about, and his robes rustling. There he stood, looking down at the scene below for some time before lifting his head to gaze off into the distance.
He felt like a stranger here, and everything seemed unfamiliar. The terrain was unfamiliar, the people were unfamiliar, and even the starry sky up above was unfamiliar.
Meng Hao felt very lonely. He had always thought of himself as being strong, but when he thought back to everything that had occurred with the Mountain and Sea Realm, all he saw was a sea of blood, and countless familiar faces, screaming as they died. Gradually, he began to tremble.
He had once believed that his Dao was that of freedom and independence, that it was like a journey upon which all difficulties and setbacks were merely sights to be seen along the way. After looking at those sights, he could move on; his road stretched out into the beyond.
But now, with the Mountain and Sea Realm destroyed, with so many people dead, with the parrot and meat jelly having sacrificed everything so that he could have a chance at another life, it was impossible to view all of those past events as mere sights to see while on a journey.
If they really were just scenery, he would rather stay to enjoy them, and not continue on the journey.
He stood there, heart aching as he thought about the meat jelly in armor form, which he had long since removed and put back into his bag of holding.
Quite some time passed before he managed to get his emotions under control.
“Wait for me.... I will definitely return!
“When I do, I’ll take all of you away. We’ll leave the Green Coffin Vortex, and establish the Mountain and Sea Realm in the starry sky once again!
“And I will definitely do everything I can to bring back those of you who have been lost!” A fierce glint appeared in his eyes, which he eventually buried, returning to a state of calm.
Even the redness of his eyes faded. Even close examination would not reveal the bizarre crimson glow in his pupils.
“My Soul Lamps were destroyed,” he murmured, “and now this bronze lamp has become my Prime Lamp.” The wave of a hand caused the bronze lamp to appear, radiating its aura of primordial ancientness.
“Because of all the precious materials provided by the Vast Expanse School, it was able to remould my fleshly body into a form suitable for it.” He looked thoughtfully at the bronze lamp.
“The lamp is burning, and I can sense that if I extinguish it, my cultivation base, and everything else about me... will experience explosive growth!
“From what I can tell, once that explosion occurs, based on the foundation I've built with my cultivation base, it will increase by double, triple, or maybe even... tenfold!” These were the conclusions he had reached after further study of the bronze lamp.
After another moment of silence, eight magical symbols appeared on his forehead. His cultivation base rumbled with power as a shocking energy erupted out. He reached his right hand out and placed it onto the lamp in an attempt to extinguish the flame.
The flame flickered, but no matter how much cultivation base power he threw at it, would not be extinguished.
“Still not quite there yet.... I need the Essences of all eight Hexing magics to be complete.” After looking thoughtfully at the dancing flame within the bronze lamp, he gradually retracted his cultivation base power.
“Of the Essences of the eight Hexes, I’ve only gained full enlightenment of the Dao of the Eighth. The other seven Hexes are incomplete. However, the overall process won’t be difficult. Once I finish absorbing Shui Dongliu’s legacy, and spend some time in secluded meditation, I can definitely complete all of the Hexes.
“But what is most important, and what will give me the power to extinguish this lamp, is the missing... Ninth Hex!
“Of the Nine Hexes of the League of Demon Sealers, I have already acquired the first eight. As for the Ninth Hex, I’ll need to create that one.” Meng Hao looked out into the night, his eyes glittering.
“From what I can tell, my future path is clear. I must complete the Essences of the eight Hexes. I must gain enlightenment of the Ninth Hex. I must then combine all the Hexes and use that power to extinguish the bronze lamp. Then I will use the power of the bronze lamp to break through the Paragon level and step into... the Daosource! Transcend!” Brilliant light shone within Meng Hao’s eyes, making him look like a blazing sun.
“If I Transcend, toppling the Immortal God and Devil Realms will be as easy as flipping over my hand!
“If I Transcend, resurrecting my dead friends from the Mountains and Seas will be no challenge!
“If I Transcend, I can reunite with the parrot and the meat jelly. Time can be reversed, and the Mountain and Sea Realm can be reverted from a state of destruction... to its former glory!
“Transcendence. Entering the Daosource. At that point I... will become Essence. I will be a supreme and paramount Dao of Heaven and Earth!” Meng Hao was panting, and his mind spun.
“Daosource. Daosource. From ancient times until now, only a few people have ever Transcended into the Daosource Realm!”
“The Immortal God Continent is powerful because countless years ago, one of their people Transcended. It's the same with the Devil Realm.
“I, Meng Hao... can also do the same!
“The bronze lamp is my hope for Transcendence. It is like the key to open a great door! Acquiring the Essences of the full group of eight Hexing magics will not be difficult. The true difficulty lies in the Ninth Hex!
“I must gain enlightenment to create that Ninth Hex....” Meng Hao’s eyes shone brightly; he had already come to a vague conclusion regarding that Ninth Hex. “The Seal the Heavens Incantation will be my Ninth Hex!!”
He looked off into the distance as the darkness of night began to give way to the bright glow of day, illuminating his entire person.
The arrival of the Ninth Paragon was a huge matter for the Vast Expanse School. All of the millions upon millions of disciples in the sect were very excited. Of course, news about the matter rapidly spread throughout Planet Vast Expanse as well as the starry sky. In the following months, many of the powers in the region of the Vast Expanse School learned of the matter.
Endless streams of people came to offer congratulations, ensuring that the whole sect was abuzz with activity. Far more cultivators came and went than usual.
As the Ninth Paragon, Meng Hao actually remained undisturbed. He tasked the three female Imperial Lords with handling all matters. Even when other Paragons who were under his command came, he remained in secluded meditation.
That only served to make his subordinates more nervous. After all, Meng Hao was one of the nine most important people in the entire Vast Expanse School, and also had a terrifying cultivation base. At the same time, all of the outstanding individuals who made up the forces under his command were anxiously trying to determine what he liked and didn’t like.
That was the only way for them to ensure that matters went smoothly in the days to come.
The grand ceremony was held several months later. It was a huge affair that involved all of Planet Vast Expanse, and included all the cultivator clans affiliated with the Vast Expanse School, as well as the other land masses in the area.
The ceremony itself lasted for a month, but Meng Hao only made one appearance in which people actually had the chance to lay eyes on him. Even though he only showed his face once, the coldness and pressure that radiated off of him was enough to give everyone a feeling of being stifled.
That was especially true of the Paragons under Meng Hao's command.
They waited for quite some time in Ninth Paragon City before Meng Hao received them individually. After their audience, each and every one had unsightly expressions on their faces, eyes filled with both hesitation but also a sliver of anticipation.
What Meng Hao had issued to them was his first order after becoming the Ninth Paragon!
“Use all available resources to expand our influence, beginning immediately. Within a thousand years, I want my forces to increase by several times at the minimum!”
The orders were quickly passed down. Whether or not people understood them or even approved, within the domain of the Ninth Paragon, his words were commands!
Whether or not people wanted to comply... they had to!
The forces of the Ninth Paragon immediately went wild with activity. They began to expand, to invade, to raid, and to multiply.
Meng Hao didn’t care how they went about it. He only cared about the Mountain and Sea Realm, and his revenge. He didn't want to rest all his hopes on his Transcendence. Therefore, he would prepare... for the possibility that he wouldn’t Transcend; if that happened, he still needed to possess the wherewithal to get his revenge.
He needed more people. He needed more power. He needed to prepare to make his future declaration of war.
Note from Deathblade: Shortly before this chapter was originally released, Er Gen dropped down to doing only about two chapter updates per day, sometimes even one. For a long time before that he was doing three or four. He addressed the issue in a note at the end of this chapter:
Note from Er Gen: Recently I’ve been planning some of the upcoming scenes. Book 9 is very important; there are a lot of mysteries to reveal, and situations to resolve. I need more time working with my general outline, so much so that I’ve been working on it almost every day, either getting rid of things or adding things.
Because of that, my writing has slowed down and the updates have been coming later than usual. I hope you can understand, brothers and sisters.
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