The techniques of the Vast Expanse School were many and varied, and could be said to be all-encompassing. However, in terms of fundamentals, they were different than the magical techniques of the Mountain and Sea Realm. Instead of being driven by the energy of Heaven and Earth, they were driven by the energy of the Vast Expanse.
Cultivation in the Vast Expanse involved breathing techniques to absorb its energy, and resulted in forming a unique great Dao.
After he became an Inner Sect disciple, Meng Hao’s seven-year-old clone resided in a special residence set aside for him by the sect. He rarely left his home, and as such, didn’t know much about the outside world.
But that changed after a year passed. After only one year of practicing cultivation, Tribulation Lightning descended on Meng Hao’s residence. It destroyed the house and shattered the courtyard, and caused widespread shock among the surrounding disciples of the Ninth Sect.
Even some of the old-timers were astonished by the 9 successive bolts of lightning which fell from the sky. Afterward, a young boy emerged from the wreckage of the courtyard residence.
Shockingly, he was accompanied by... the aura of Foundation Establishment!
Foundation Establishment in and of itself wasn’t anything spectacular. However, the Tribulation Lightning was a bit of a surprise, and then some of the disciples realized that it was Meng Hao who had appeared from within it.
“If I remember correctly... he joined the sect last year, as a mortal....”
“How is that even possible? One year? One year!? He... he reached Foundation Establishment that quickly?”
“What’s his name again? Oh right, Fang Mu. His name is Fang Mu!”
Meng Hao’s clone Fang Mu experienced nine bolts of Tribulation Lightning, and reached Foundation Establishment. The news caused a small-scale stir, but the sect as a whole was huge, and Meng Hao was merely an Inner Sect disciple in one of many subdivisions.
Normally speaking, it was a matter that would quickly become forgotten. Meng Hao might have extraordinary latent talent, and might have reached Foundation Establishment in only a year, but Foundation Establishment didn’t count for much in the Ninth Sect as a whole. The number of Foundation Establishment cultivators in the sect was impossible to even count.
Even within that subdivision, they were as numerous as the hairs on an ox.
But... something happened a year later, in the same residence. Tribulation Lightning struck again, but this time, in greater number. 99 bolts of lightning fell onto the residence. Rumbling echoed out, and the residence and courtyard were destroyed. When Meng Hao emerged, he no longer emitted the aura of Foundation Establishment, but rather... Core Formation!!
The entire subdivision was thrown into a commotion that far exceeded that of the previous year. Countless people were completely shocked, even the Elders. The Subdivision Head personally came to investigate, and was astonished.
There were still plenty of people who were more powerful than him, but what was most shocking was the speed of his progress. To many people, such a thing was almost impossible to believe.
“Foundation Establishment in one year? Then Core Formation in another year? Don't tell me... he’s going to reach Nascent Soul in a year too?”
“What type of latent talent does he have?”
By now, more and more people were talking about this Fang Mu. In fact, word was spreading outside his subdivision and into other subdivisions.
Then... the third year passed. 999 bolts of Tribulation Lightning descended, and Meng Hao reached Nascent Soul!
In the fifth year, he reached Spirit Severing, and 9,999 lightning bolts fell. All subdivisions of the Ninth Sect were completely shaken. The rainstorm-like hail of Tribulation Lightning shook the whole Ninth Sect, and Fang Mu’s name was the subject of countless conversations.
In the seventh year, his moment of reaching Dao Seeking was a grand occasion for vast numbers of cultivators in the Ninth Sect. Numerous cultivators watched as a tempest of Tribulation Lightning bolts descended, only one lightning bolt short of 100,000. It was a power of Tribulation that very few Dao Seeking cultivators could fight back against. It was as if Heaven and Earth, as if the Vast Expanse, were trying to completely wipe Meng Hao’s clone out of existence!
However, as the lightning fell onto the clone, his eyes shone brightly. It was as if... he was directly opposing the Vast Expanse!
The lightning fell for ten days, after which Meng Hao’s clone was in Dao Seeking!
Time flew. The tenth year arrived.
Ten years ago, Meng Hao’s clone had been nothing more than a weak child. But now, ten years later, he was a handsome and extraordinary young man. He stood tall and straight atop one of the mountains in the Ninth Sect, looking up into the sky, which rumbled as Tribulation Lightning began to build up.
It was... Immortal Tribulation!
In ten short years, Meng Hao’s clone had created a legend on Planet Vast Expanse, even a myth!
In ten years, he went from being a mortal, to reaching Foundation Establishment, Core Formation, Nascent Soul, Spirit Severing, Dao Seeking, and Immortal Ascension!
That was a process that some people never completed within their whole lifetime, and yet Meng Hao's clone did it in ten years. The entire Ninth Sect was shaken, as was the Vast Expanse School as a whole. Even Paragons got wind of it.
The Immortal Tribulation was even more stunning than the tribulations from before it. 1,000,000 lightning bolts descended onto the ninth continent, causing all the lands to shake. People flew up into the air from all the other sects that were part of the Vast Expanse School, all to watch the Immortal Tribulation.
The Ninth Sect was very excited, and even sent someone out to act as Dharma Protector for their number one Chosen.
That person was a Dao Sovereign, a woman of extraordinary beauty. She sat on the Ninth Sect’s Dao mountain, looking up into the sky with a look of surprise.
“This is a mere Immortal Tribulation, and yet the Vast Expanse sends Tribulation Lightning like this? It’s almost as if there's a Heavenly Dao or a magical law of nature intent on preventing lightning that exceeds his cultivation base from descending. Were it not for that, the Vast Expanse would wipe him out in body and mind.” The Dao Sovereign found it very strange, especially when she realized that she could sense... fluctuations of fear.
“Fear?” she thought, shaking her head and wondering if she was mistaken. “The Vast Expanse is boundless and majestic. Even if it really does have a will of its own, how could it fear a trifling Immortal Realm cultivator?” [1. Since I'm sure some people are wondering, there are plenty of different words for fear, fright, being scared, terrified, etc. in Chinese. Here, the word is indeed the same word for "fear" as in "Allheaven fears the Immortal," which is a word that isn't used very often in the story]
The Immortal Tribulation lasted for three whole months before it faded away. During that entire time, Meng Hao’s clone proudly closed his eyes and allowed himself to be bathed by the Tribulation Lightning.
He didn’t fight back or resist it. He allowed the lightning to strike him. It was like a baptism in which he didn’t move an inch. That, of course, led to widespread shock.
When the last bit of the Immortal Tribulation was about to fade away, Meng Hao’s eyes suddenly opened, and he reached out, pointing his finger up at the Heavens.
He did not speak, but the gesture of pointing his finger caused colors to flash, and a gale-force wind to scream. The entire sky seemed to tremble, and countless Tribulation Lightning bolts shattered, transforming into motes of light that drifted out. At this point, the Immortal Tribulation ended, and Meng Hao's clone began to emanate Immortal qi.
But then, the sky shook, and a red bolt of lightning suddenly formed, shooting down toward Fang Mu. It was backed by a shocking will, and unexpectedly radiated the might of the Dao Realm.
Even as the red bolt of lightning descended, a red cloud appeared up above, and red rain began to fall. It was a sight shocking to all, that caused even the female Dao Sovereign’s face to fall.
“The blood of the Heavens! That means... the Dao of the Vast Expanse Society is violating its own magical laws, paying the highest price to eliminate this young man by sending Tribulation Lightning against him that exceeds the Immortal Realm!” The Dao Sovereign was just about to do something when, all of a sudden, the red bolt of lightning lurched to a halt about 300 meters away from Fang Mu’s head. There it remained in midair, completely unmoving.
An incredible pressure suddenly filled the entire continent. At some point, a person had appeared in the air. It was a young man wearing a black robe, with long violet hair. As he floated there, he radiated a supremely domineering aura, as if he were the most important entity in existence!
Boundless coldness roiled off of him, and a red, Demonic glow could be seen in his eyes. On his forehead was a long violet mark that was apparently a closed third eye!
“Ninth Paragon!!” blurted the female Dao Sovereign. Trembling, she dropped to her knees to kowtow. In that same moment, countless cultivators in the vast area that made up the Ninth Sect, regardless of the levels of their cultivation base, dropped trembling to the ground.
“We offer respectful greetings, Ninth Paragon!”
“We offer respectful greetings, Ninth Paragon!!”
The sounds echoed out, causing everything to shake. To the cultivators in the Ninth Sect, the Ninth Paragon was their lord, their spirit, and their leader, the most ultimate of monarchs.
This was none other than Meng Hao’s true self!
As soon as he realized that there was something out of the ordinary with this bolt of Tribulation Lightning, he came as his true self. As soon as he appeared, he reached out and grabbed the bolt of red lightning, then crushed it in his hand.
A boom rang out as the lightning bolt shattered. The cloud layers up above roiled, and a faint roar of rage could be heard.
Meng Hao’s true self looked up into the sky, eyes glowing red.
“Scram!” he said, flicking his sleeve. Then, a massive blast of energy exploded out as he flew up toward the clouds.
At the same time, his clone stood on the mountain, looking up into the sky, his eyes glowing without the slightest hint of red. They only contained pure, Immortal light.
The Heavens trembled, and the clouds ceased to seethe. In fact, they collapsed, and their redness faded away. The sky went dark, and outside of Planet Vast Expanse, boundless ripples spread out into the Vast Expanse for a long moment before everything finally went still.
Having accomplished these things, he prepared to vanish. But then, he looked out into the void and saw something far off in the distance that made him stop.
His glance caused the void to vibrate, as if someone were out there, reeling in shock. Suddenly, Han Bei stumbled out into the open, mixed emotions on her face, including shock as she looked at Meng Hao’s true self, and his clone.
A tremor ran through her, and without the slightest hesitation, she began to back up. However, even as she did, Meng Hao reached out and made a grasping motion.
The entire world seemed to freeze in place as a tremendous power rumbled out. Even as that power was about to sweep over Han Bei, fluctuations suddenly began to emanate out from her that Meng Hao recognized!
It was... the aura of Allheaven! The aura of a Demon!!
Chapter 1451: Han Bei’s Secret!
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