Chapter 1443: Difficulty Completing the Ninth Hex!
When the fifth day passed, Jin Yunshan did not look happy at all. In fact, it was almost as if he had just been slapped by an invisible hand.
A few hours before, he had boldly asserted that Meng Hao wouldn’t last for five days. But here Meng Hao was, still sitting there, and calmly at that, with no more trembling.
The scene left him very grim-faced. As for everyone else present, strange expressions could be seen on their faces.
Regardless, the suspicions people had regarding Meng Hao were now deeply rooted within them; even if he lasted for six days, they would still have their misgivings.
Unless... he could pull off a miracle, something so astonishing that it would drive away any lingering suspicions. If Meng Hao did so, then his status and grandeur would reach an unimaginable level.
“Six days is his limit!” Jin Yunshan growled. His words were met with silence as everyone focused on watching Meng Hao.
Two hours passed. Four hours. Six hours.... Ten hours. Twelve hours. As the fourteenth hour passed, the grimness in Jin Yunshan’s face deepened. Everyone else had strange expressions as they watched Meng Hao. What was happening with his ninth Essence left many of them rattled.
Soon, sixteen hours had passed. Then eighteen. Finally... twenty-four hours went by. A collective gasp could be heard.
“Something strange is going on with the Ninth Paragon. He was clearly on the verge of waking up, but then he lasted for an entire additional day!”
“True, but seven days is probably his limit.”
As people discussed the matter, Jin Yunshan’s face was as pale as ash. He couldn’t feel more gloomy. He had openly said five days was Meng Hao’s limit, only to have him last six days. Then he said six days was the limit, and he lasted for seven.
He also noticed people glancing furtively at him, causing rage to explode up in his heart.
“Seven days! That’s definitely his limit!” he growled through gritted teeth.
Everyone seemed to agree with him. Although no one said so out loud, the consensus was that Meng Hao would last for seven days.
Even the Sect Leader seemed to hold the same opinion. As for Sha Jiudong, he closed his eyes and stopped watching. Instead, he inwardly pondered whether or not Meng Hao... really had a ninth Essence.
Everyone continued to wait. Ten hours passed. Then sixteen hours. It didn't take long for twenty hours to go by. By this point, Jin Yunshan couldn’t remain seated. He rose to his feet, an expression of disbelief painted on his face.
He wasn’t the only one. Sha Jiudong opened his eyes again, and the Sect Leader was staring. All three of the peak 9-Essences cultivators looked on with minds reeling.
If they had such a reaction, there was little need to wonder how the others were responding. Looks of astonishment could be seen on all faces.
“The seventh day is about to pass. Don’t tell me... he's actually going to last for eight days!?”
“That’s impossible! The Sect Leader only lasted for seven days, as did Fellow Daoists Jin and Sha!”
People were still discussing the matter when the twenty-fourth hour passed by, and... the eighth day arrived!
As of this moment, Jin Yunshan, the Sect Leader, Sha Jiudong, and everyone else were completely flabbergasted. Eight days was longer than anyone present had maintained their position on the altar.
If Meng Hao had maintained a calm disposition the entire time, it might not have been as shocking. But he had almost woken up in the middle of the process, only to continue onward resolutely. Everyone who was watching felt as if their minds were under attack by shock.
Jin Yunshan felt like he had just been slapped in the face again. His eyes went wide as the eighth day began to go by.
Six hours. Twelve hours. Eighteen hours.... Soon another twenty-four hours had passed. Meng Hao had endured for nine days!
“Impossible!!” Jin Yunshan exclaimed. The Sect Leader’s eyes were as wide as saucers, and Jin Yunshan was panting. In the audience, jaws dropped in shock.
Meanwhile, inside of Meng Hao, the sealing mark of the Ninth Hex was once again ninety-nine percent complete. Vast amounts of Immortal qi were streaming out into various parts of his body, connecting them to the sealing mark. As a result, the feeling of an Immortal was growing stronger inside of him!
It was possible to imagine what would happen if he finally succeeded. When the Ninth Hex was completed, it could completely reverse Meng Hao’s path, and change the Demon... back into the Immortal!
Meng Hao was so focused on the matter that he could even detect that as the Hex reached a state of completion, his cultivation base was changing. It was transforming back into what it had been in the Mountain and Sea Realm, what he had cultivated all along... the path of Immortality!
Forming the sealing mark was drawing fully upon Meng Hao’s concentration and powers of enlightenment, and he was sure that he hadn’t made any mistakes.
The aura of a ninth Essence also appeared, merging with the other eight Hexes, which made Meng Hao even more certain in his judgement.
Without any hesitation, he proceeded to make his attempt at completing that final bit. Rumbling could be heard as the sealing mark of the Ninth Hex... unexpectedly collapsed again!!
A tremor ran through Meng Hao, and blood oozed out of the corners of his mouth. The same power which had exploded out before once again appeared, except with even more intensity than before.
The bronze lamp flickered, and blood sprayed out of Meng Hao’s mouth. It took supreme effort, but he managed to force himself to remain in the state of seeking enlightenment. His mind felt as if it were being pounded by thunder, and inwardly, he was raging.
“Something or someone doesn't want me to complete my Ninth Hex!!” During this second attempt at finishing the Ninth Hex, he had been paying very close attention, and was now certain that, in the very moment of completion, certain fluctuations had appeared within him that would be very hard to detect unless you were looking for them.
Those fluctuations had interfered with the appearance of the fully formed Ninth Hex, and led to his second failure.
Although Meng Hao’s eyes were closed, they were completely bloodshot. He gritted his teeth, and once again drew upon the power of enlightenment offered by the altar. He fully rotated his cultivation base, and the light of the bronze lamp poured energy out into all parts of his body. It was as if he had become one with the altar itself.
Rumbling sounds could be heard as the enlightenment power of the altar exploded out, filling Meng Hao. The aura of Transcendence grew stronger, like a tempest that raged around the altar.
His repeated attempts resulted from an unwillingness to fail again. However, to everyone else, what was happening was utterly shocking.
The crowd outside the altar watched the aura of Transcendence grow on Meng Hao, and could sense an intense level of pressure radiating out from him.
Everyone began to edge away, even the Sect Leader. The aura of Transcendence, and the powerful tempest, were things that could shake Heaven and Earth.
Wild colors flashed in the air, and to everyone watching, it almost seemed as if Meng Hao were in the process of Transcending.
It was a feeling that left their scalps tingling with shock.
“Impossible!!” Jin Yunshan murmured, his eyes wide.
Shock filled his person as he and everyone else waited another day. The ninth day concluded, and the tenth day began. Then... the eleventh day, and the twelfth.
“T-twelve... twelve days?”
“How inhuman can this Ninth Paragon be? How could anyone last for twelve days?!?!”
“Just what level is his cultivation base? The peak 9-Essences experts only lasted for seven days, but he actually... has lasted for twelve days!? And from the look of it, he's going to keep going!!” Everyone was abuzz, thoroughly shaken by Meng Hao.
Of course, however shaken they were, that feeling was not going to be reduced. It was only going to grow more intense!
Thirteen days. Fourteen days. Fifteen days....
When the sixteenth day arrived, Meng Hao had surpassed all expectations and pulled off that miracle!!
He had done something that no one else could even come close to doing, something... truly miraculous!!
Whatever suspicions people had harbored regarding Meng Hao were completely and utterly dispelled. Even the Second Paragon, who had recently stepped into the peak of the 9-Essences level, was so shaken that any desire he had to challenge Meng Hao to a fight were completely gone.
Jin Yunshan refused to believe that, after enduring for sixteen days, and having begun to emit such a strong aura of Transcendence, Meng Hao didn't have a ninth Essence.
“Dammit, he was actually holding back even more than I thought in our fight!! He did it all on purpose! He was using me to establish his place, and he let me go so that he would have an excuse to kill me if I ever made another move on him!!” Having reached this conclusion, Jin Yunshan began to tremble inwardly. Finally, he forced himself to regain his composure. However, he was filled with bitterness, and couldn’t help but muse about how sinister Meng Hao was.
The Sect Leader’s face was unprecedentedly serious. He was completely shaken, even more so than when Meng Hao had been fighting Jin Yunshan. In fact, he was thinking exactly the same thing that Jin Yunshan was.
They weren’t the only ones. Sha Jiudong had also reached this same conclusion, and his fear of Meng Hao had reached an even higher level than before.
Meng Hao had no way of knowing how frightened everyone was because of his actions. He only knew that his third attempt at forming the Ninth Hex had resulted in yet another failure.
However, this failure was met with complete calm. This time, he had not been focused on actually forming the Ninth Hex, but rather, on determining... who it was who was trying to stop him!
In the moment that the Ninth Hex collapsed, he was sitting there cross-legged on the altar, and a tremor ran through him. His eyes suddenly opened, and they were completely bloodshot as he looked up into the starry sky of the Vast Expanse. His expression was one of fury and madness as he said, “So, it turns out it was you all along!”
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