Chapter 1441: Transcendence Dais!
After a quiet moment, Meng Hao put the bracelet away, and slowly, his killing intent faded. Everyone breathed sighs of relief. Jin Yunshan’s expression was very unsightly, but contained no hatred. He silently made his way a bit off into the distance, where he sat down cross-legged to meditate.
Sha Jiudong and the Sect Leader shared a hesitant look, then headed over to Jin Yunshan’s side, where they also sat down. It appeared as if they were there to offer protection, but even Jin Yunshan knew that they were also there to keep him in check if necessary.
They would protect him if Meng Hao’s killing intent suddenly ignited again, but they would likewise make sure that Jin Yunshan didn’t do anything to the detriment of Meng Hao.
The fight just now proved that Meng Hao had the right to be one of the Potentates, and neither Sha Jiudong nor the Sect Leader had any desire for anymore negative repercussions. The best thing was that the matter be dropped.
The ghosts didn’t disperse. After Meng Hao closed his third eye, they remained floating in the area, seemingly ready to spring into action the moment Meng Hao called them again.
“Fellow Daoist Ninth Paragon,” said the Sect Leader, “this matter stemmed from Fellow Daoist Jin’s hot-headedness. That’s true of both the incident on the bridge, and what happened here.
“However, he wasn’t completely in the wrong. There’s been a bit of a misunderstanding here. Even I was able to sense that there is a certain lingering will within the world of the necropolis. I personally do not think that it is the will of Patriarch Vast Expanse, but Fellow Daoist Jin was convinced that it was.
“Fellow Daoist Ninth, I think it’s safe to assume that you sense it too. It’s a killing intent that is directed at you....
“That is one of the reasons why Fellow Daoist Jin attacked you. He was under the belief that the will of Patriarch Vast Expanse wanted you dead. He believed that by killing you, he could please the Patriarch, and perhaps be benefited in the seeking of enlightenment.” It was in this manner that the Sect Leader explained why exactly Jin Yunshan had attacked Meng Hao.
Meng Hao’s expression flickered upon hearing the explanation. After a moment of thought, he sent some divine sense into the land. Then, he nodded thoughtfully, although he declined to comment.
The Sect Leader didn't seem to want to discuss the matter further. Changing topics, he pointed at the altar.
“Fellow Daoist Ninth Paragon,” he said with a smile, “this altar is the location of Transcendence here in the necropolis. There are nine lands here, each one of which has an altar just like this one.
“Supposedly, the altars are connected to Patriarch Vast Expanse, and were actually created by him countless years in the past. As for the specific details of the matter, even after combing through the ancient records, I wasn’t able to find many clues.
“However, Transcendence is definitely possible here. Before you arrived just now, Fellow Daoists Jin, Sha and myself managed to acquire a bit of enlightenment. However, we're still quite a ways away from a breakthrough.” As he spoke, he approached Meng Hao, seeming very much at ease. It was a sharp contrast from only a few moments before.
Although he had treated Meng Hao well in the past, he now viewed him as more of an equal, and his tone of voice was far more sincere than before.
“Time is very limited right now. Fellow Daoist Ninth paragon, why don’t you try to gain some enlightenment from the altar? It’s impossible to say how lucky you will get, but you should try. As for the other Fellow Daoists, if you don’t mind, I hope... that you can allow them to step onto the altar as well, to try to reach enlightenment. After all... we don’t have much time.” With that, the Sect Leader clasped hands and bowed. Meng Hao thought for a moment, then nodded.
“That will be fine,” he said with a slight smile. Waving his sleeve, he flew over to the altar. He immediately noticed how that there were certain strange properties to the altar, something he hadn’t taken note of before. Without any hesitation, he sat down cross-legged in the very middle.
Even as he did, the other cultivators from the Vast Expanse School took deep breaths and followed. They looked beyond excited at their chance. Before, they had only been able to wait outside of the altar as they stood as Dharma Protectors for the three Potentates. At that time, they hadn’t been permitted to even get close, but now, they had their chance to step onto it. Although Meng Hao was there on the altar, none of them had offended him, so as long as they acted respectfully, they would not incite any of his killing intent.
One by one they flew over. After clasping hands and bowing to Meng Hao, they all chose locations to sit down cross-legged and meditate. In addition to Shangguan Hong and the other 9-Essences Paragons, there were the subordinates, the 8-Essences Paragons. All of them came, even Meng Hao’s two 8-Essences subordinates.
His two subordinates had a bit of a different standing now. As the subordinates of the Ninth Paragon, they felt the least pressure of anyone. They sat down cross-legged on either side of Meng Hao, to stand as Dharma Protectors as he sought enlightenment.
The Sect Leader’s expression was very solemn as he sat down cross-legged between Jin Yunshan and the altar. Although it seemed like a random position, both Meng Hao and Jin Yunshan could read between the lines.
He was demanding stability, and no fighting!
Jin Yunshan sighed inwardly. Actually, he had long since quelled any notions of trying to fight Meng Hao. The ghosts still existed, and he knew that if he made a move, he would most likely be killed in body and spirit.
“I wonder how many days this Meng Hao will be able to continue to seek enlightenment on the altar,” he thought. “This place is not as simple as it appears on the surface. The longer you sustain the effort of seeking enlightenment, the more you will gain. However, everyone has their limit. He might hold the higher ground in terms of fighting, but the altar requires personal enlightenment and good fortune. It has a lot to do with cultivation base level as well. I bet Meng Hao... will last no more than five days!” He snorted coldly. He himself had lasted for seven days on the altar before reaching his limit. Even if Meng Hao hadn’t appeared when he did, he would still have awoken from his seeking of enlightenment.
The Sect Leader and Sha Jiudong had lasted for similar lengths of time, seven days. At the moment, Jin Yunshan wasn’t the only one who was pondering how long Meng Hao might last. Sha Jiudong was thinking about the same thing.
Even the Sect Leader was contemplating the matter. Although his expression was placid, his eyes gleamed with thought as he looked over at Meng Hao.
The altar was completely silent as dozens of people sat down cross-legged and closed their eyes to seek enlightenment.
As soon as Meng Hao’s eyes closed, rumbling sounds filled his mind as he was connected to the altar.
He instantly sensed his thought processes speeding up, whereas his qi and blood began to slow. Even his cultivation base became extremely calm. However, his divine sense and his mental faculties all began to spin at ten times their normal speed.
Apparently, meditating on this altar focused one’s power in a way that made it easier to grope for understanding regarding Transcendence.
It was as if he were gazing at the starry sky, at the heavenly bodies, at the transformations of the world, at the flow of time, at the beginning and end of all living things. He was looking at everything.
It was his first time experiencing visions such as these, but it was not his first time experiencing such a mental journey. Actually, this experience was very much like what he had gone through when looking at the frescoes in the tunnel!
The Hexing magics inside of him, which were in the midst of turning into Essences, experienced a sudden acceleration in the process. After a long moment passed, Meng Hao reigned his thought processes in. Inwardly, he was shaken.
“This altar serves to bless the power of one’s enlightenment. It can be used to propel one from eight Essences to nine, and can also aid in moving from 9-Essences into Transcendence.... At the moment, the most important thing for me is not Transcendence, but rather, the creation of my Ninth Hex, and subsequently, my ninth Essence!
“I will use this altar to... gain enlightenment of my Ninth Hex!” Rumbling filled his mind as he focused his thoughts, cast aside any distractions, and focused completely on seeking enlightenment of the Ninth Hex!
This was not his first time contemplating that particular Hex. Quite the contrary, he had long since begun to make preparations for it!
“My Ninth Hex... will be... molded upon the Seal the Heavens Incantation. It will form... the Seal the Heavens Hex!” Meng Hao felt as if thunder were crashing inside of his mind. As his thoughts focused, the aura of Transcendence rose up within him. Gradually, a wind sprang up, which began to swirl around him.
His mind was completely occupied with seeking enlightenment regarding the Seal the Heavens Hex. He would take the Seal the Heavens Incantation and elevate it from being a magical technique or divine ability, into being a Hexing magic. Once that was branded into his soul, it would become... the Ninth Demon Sealing Hex!
Normally speaking, if he wanted to successfully accomplish such a task, it would take a very long time. However, with this altar, he could increase that speed exponentially.
Time passed. After the first day went by, different fluctuations were emanating off of different cultivators. The 8-Essences Paragons were radiating auras of the 9-Essences level, and the 9-Essences Paragons were emanating a feeling of Transcendence.
Various expressions were flashing across their faces. Some people seemed enraptured, some confused, some regretful, some grim.
On the second day, some of the 8-Essences Paragons began to tremble and sweat profusely. Pained expressions could be seen on their faces, but they held on bitterly.
On the third day, all of the 8-Essences Paragons were clearly on the verge of giving up. Only the 9-Essences Paragons were still completely focused on enlightenment.
On the evening of the third day, one of the 8-Essences Paragons opened his eyes, and blood oozed out of his mouth as he flew off the altar. He looked back at everyone else on the altar, his expression conflicted as he sighed inwardly. However, after a moment, his eyes gleamed. Having endured for three days, his gains were significant.
Soon more 8-Essences Paragons opened their eyes and then flew off of the altar, blood oozing out of their mouths. After enduring until they couldn’t do so anymore, they had no choice but to remove themselves from the area of the altar.
By midnight on that third day, all of the 8-Essences Paragons had awoken from their trances and left the altar.
Left behind were only seven people: Meng Hao, and the other 9-Essences Paragons of the Vast Expanse School.
Jin Yunshan’s face was calm, but inwardly he was laughing coldly. “He’ll hold out for two more days at the most. As for everyone else, they’ll awaken tomorrow.”
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