Chapter 1452: Leverage!
The aura was obscure. In the moment that it exploded out, it transformed into a teleportation power which whisked Han Bei away, right out from Meng Hao’s grasp.
When she reappeared, she was back in the First Sect of the Vast Expanse School, in her secluded meditation facilities. Blood immediately began to ooze out of her mouth, but it was without the slightest hesitation that she produced an ancient Feng Shui compass from her bag of holding, which she then placed onto the ground in front of her.
Ripples immediately began to spread out, filling the area and protecting her within their range.
Han Bei was shivering, her breath coming in rapid pants, her face covered with a look of disbelief.
Her mind had been thrown into chaos thanks to Meng Hao’s sudden appearance. Earlier, she had felt the tug of memory after hearing the name Fang Mu, which was why she had gone to take a look. How could she ever have imagined what would result?
“Meng Hao, Fang Mu....” She took a deep breath, performing a double-handed incantation gesture to strengthen the power of the Feng Shui compass.
The way Han Bei had suddenly escaped was strange to say the least, and in fact, other than Meng Hao, no one on Planet Vast Expanse even noticed her.
Meng Hao’s true self looked at the spot where she had disappeared, eyes glittering.
“Han Bei.... I can’t believe she’s here!” He couldn’t help but think back to when he had seen her on the enormous God corpse. Then he recalled all her unusual behavior back on Planet South Heaven. Of course, a thorough analysis couldn’t leave out the fact that his earliest dealings with her stretched back to the Black Sieve Sect’s Blessed Land!
That was where he had found the meat jelly, and also where the Lightning Cauldron came from. Furthermore, sealed inside that land had also been... the soul of Han Bei’s ancestor! [1. Here are some links to the major events mentioned regarding Han Bei, as well as a few others. Meng Hao actually met Han Bei in the Black Sieve Sect chapter 143. In the Blessed Land, she led an expedition into the cauldron which started in chapter 155. It was in that arc that Meng Hao met and later "acquired" the meat jelly. Han Bei released and merged with her ancestor in chapter 163. She had a very odd conversation with Meng Hao in chapter 247. In chapter 734, it’s mentioned that she went missing after returning from the Ancient Demon Immortal Sect. Meng Hao went back to get the Lightning Cauldron in chapter 751. And finally, Meng Hao saw her on the corpse at the bottom of the Ninth Sea in chapter 1082. Those are just a few key chapters, she appeared in other many parts of the story such as the Song Clan search for a son-in-law and the Ancient Demon Immortal Sect arc]
Meng Hao’s eyes shone with bright light. If he had seen Han Bei in this situation before going to the necropolis, his analysis of the situation would still have occupied him, but the conclusions he would have arrived at would be far different than the truth that presented itself now. After his visit to the necropolis, though, he had learned much about many things. Because of that, he knew that Han Bei’s method of escape contained a bit of the aura of Allheaven, as well as some Demonic power. That left him completely convinced...
That Han Bei had something to do with Allheaven!
Cold light flickered in Meng Hao’s eyes as he suddenly flickered into motion and vanished.
Meng Hao’s clone was still on top of the mountain, looking up into the sky in the direction of where Han Bei had appeared. His eyes were narrowed, but after a moment they returned to normal.
Meanwhile, Han Bei was still ashen-faced after being teleported back from the Ninth Sect. Her heart was filled with an uneasy premonition, as if a great disaster were heading her way. Deep within her, a sensation of imminent crisis was building up.
People on Planet Vast Expanse believed her to be from what was known as an ancient cultivator clan. After joining the sect, the cultivation base power she revealed was that of the peak of the Immortal Realm.
However, after seeing Meng Hao and his clone, she felt something threatening looming behind her like a razor-sharp needle.
“What are you doing on Planet Vast Expanse? I can’t believe... that you’re the Ninth Paragon? How is that even possible!?” Han Bei’s face was completely ashen. Her secluded meditation facilities were surrounded by countless restrictive spells, and yet that didn’t leave her feeling safe at all. During the clone’s Tribulation, Meng Hao’s true self had looked at her, and although his gaze was calm, it was filled with a brilliance that struck her heart with dread.
And in fact, to feel dread was the correct response. After all, it wasn’t very long after she returned to her secluded meditation facilities that rumbling sounds filled the air outside.
The sounds were intense, but apparently, they were being restricted to a small area, making it impossible for anyone outside to hear. However, the area where Han Bei was located was shaking so hard that mountains were rocking back and forth, and buildings were collapsing. However, the Feng Shui compass shone with brilliant light, blocking that force. If not, she would have been immediately engulfed in the destructive power that was buckling the surrounding area.
Han Bei then looked up to see Meng Hao’s true self standing there outside her secluded meditation facilities, prevented from entering by the Feng Shui compass shield.
He wore a black robe, and his expression was cold and icy. His hair floated in the wind, and a violet third eye could be seen on his forehead. Although it was closed, it still radiated majestic power.
“It’s always nice to reunite with old friends,” he said coolly. “Why are you so afraid of me, Han Bei?”
Han Bei shivered as she looked at Meng Hao, her expression filled with mixed emotions. She couldn’t stop from shaking; she knew that her sudden appearance would be a big shock to Meng Hao, mainly because of the destruction of the Mountain and Sea Realm. Everyone else was back on the Mountain and Sea Butterfly, so why... was she here, having assumed the identity of a Holy Daughter-designate of the Vast Expanse School?
Han Bei took a deep breath and put a calm expression on her face. She was an adept schemer, but this turn of events had been too sudden, which caused her to panic. However, now her mind had settled down and she rose to her feet, eyes flickering. She gave Meng Hao a curtseying bow, clasped hands and said, “Han Bei offers greetings, Ninth Paragon.”
Then she looked up calmly into Meng Hao’s eyes. “However, this is Junior's first time meeting the exalted Paragon. When you say ‘old friends,’ what exactly is it that you mean?”
Meng Hao looked back at her, seemingly unfazed by her behavior. In fact, it corresponded exactly to the old Han Bei that he remembered. He suddenly smiled, although it was an icy cold smile.
Then his gaze came to rest on the ancient Feng Shui compass, upon which he could sense... the aura of Allheaven. [1. Something that jumps out is that the words ‘Feng Shui compass’ and ‘Allheaven’ share a character, which is the character “Luo,” the one that basically means ‘net’. So Allheaven is literally the “luo heaven” and a Feng Shui compass is a “luo disc.” The Black Sieve Sect, of which Han Bei was originally a member, would be the “black luo sect.” That doesn’t necessarily mean there is a connection between them all]
“I would never have been able to guess that you actually have something to do with Allheaven,” he said. He shook his head and flicked his sleeve. “Well, it doesn’t matter. Since you don't want to admit it, then I presume you must have some leverage to rely on, right? I’m curious to see what it is. By the way... as long as you’re on Planet Vast Expanse, it doesn’t matter what identity you assume, finding you would be as easy as flipping over my hand.” With that, he paid her no more heed, vanishing back to Ninth Paragon City.
His purpose in coming had been to confirm his suspicions. After laying eyes on the Feng Shui compass, he was now absolutely certain and didn’t need any further confirmation.
After Meng Hao left, Han Bei virtually collapsed, gasping for breath. After a long moment, she gritted her teeth.
“Thankfully I prepared that life-saving backup plan all those years ago. It seems that now... is the time to enact that plan.” With that, she reached up and gently tapped her forehead. Her forehead then split apart, revealing a swath of pitch blackness, within which floated... a soul!
It was not Han Bei’s soul, but closer inspection revealed that it was indeed a woman. Her eyes were closed, as if she were sleeping, but if Meng Hao were here, he would recognize her in an instant. Unexpectedly, it was the soul of... Chu Yuyan!
Years ago, when Chu Yuyan withered away into death, her soul dispersed. Meng Hao fought his way into the Eighth Mountain and Sea to search for her, but the only thing he ever found was a tiny sliver of her soul.
Back then, the clues had seemed to indicate that the rest of Chu Yuyan’s soul had vanished into the starry sky. He thought that the problem was that he couldn't find it, but the truth was that Han Bei had secretly interfered and captured the soul. From then on, it became a life-saving measure for future use.
In order to ensure that Chu Yuyan’s soul didn't fade away into complete death, Han Bei had merged some of her own life soul into it, creating a sort of symbiotic state of existence between them.
After many years of feeding Chu Yuyan’s soul in such a way, it had become thoroughly intertwined with Han Bei’s. Only someone with the power of Transcendence could ever separate them. That meant that if Han Bei died, Chu Yuyan’s soul would well and truly disperse.
Han Bei sat there silently, mixed emotions on her face. She thought back to everything which had occurred between her and Meng Hao, and sighed softly. Finally, she gritted her teeth.
“We have different standpoints, and different missions. You want to see what my leverage is, well I’ll show you.” She waved her hand, sending Chu Yuyan’s soul flying out, where it vanished into Heaven and Earth.
In the moment that the soul flew out, Meng Hao’s true self locked onto it with divine sense. After realizing who it was, a tremor ran through him, and he felt as if countless lightning bolts were striking his mind.
His eyes suddenly snapped shut, and a powerful force like a windstorm raged up from him. It swept out to cover all of Ninth Paragon City, then the entire half-planet, then all of its starry sky, and then the lands up above on Planet Vast Expanse. Soon, all of Planet Vast Expanse was shaking violently.
The other Paragons were shocked. The Sect Leader opened his eyes and looked out in astonishment. Of course, Jin Yunshan and Sha Jiudong and the others were equally stunned by Meng Hao’s unleashing of energy.
“What is that psycho doing?!” Jin Yunshan though, shivering. He quickly unleashed his cultivation base defensively, worried that Meng Hao was in a bad mood and might be looking to start a fight.
Han Bei was also trembling inwardly, and yet, continued to smile as calmly as ever.
“As long as you care, that’s enough,” she murmured to herself.
The tempest lasted for only a moment before it vanished. Back in Ninth Paragon City, Meng Hao rose to his feet, eyes filled with reminiscence, grief, and other mixed emotions as he looked at the soul using his divine sense.
“Chu Yuyan....” he murmured hoarsely. He followed her with his divine sense as she flew into the ninth continent, into the mortal world. She eventually entered the womb of a woman... as she began the cycle of reincarnation, to become a person once again.
After a long moment, Meng Hao retracted his divine sense. How could he not have noticed that Chu Yuyan’s soul was intermixed with some of Han Bei’s life soul? Although Chu Yuyan was independent, they existed symbiotically.
“Well that... is some good leverage.” He finally closed his eyes, almost as if he had forgotten about Han Bei.
Time passed. The Immortal Tribulation of Meng Hao’s clone rocked all of the Vast Expanse School. Even the other Paragons of similar rank to Meng Hao had taken note.
From that day on, the name Fang Mu became well-known in the Vast Expanse School. In ten years, he went from mortal to Immortal. He shook the Ninth Sect, rocked the Vast Expanse School, and word about him even spread throughout Planet Vast Expanse.
Everyone learned that an incredible Chosen had appeared in the Ninth Sect!
At the same time, many disciples of the Vast Expanse School began to pay close attention to Meng Hao’s clone. That was especially true of the blazing suns among the Chosen, who came to view him as a formidable opponent.
However, some of the Chosen disdained him, being of the belief that in terms of cultivation base, they were far beyond him.
“Who cares if you reach Immortal Ascension in ten years? Don't tell me he's going to reach the Ancient Realm in ten years too?” Talk like that became the norm.
“He’s a trifling Immortal Realm member of the Junior generation, that’s all. He might have nice latent talent, but so what?! All nine sects of the Vast Expanse School have a Vast Expanse Shrine, and only by getting your name listed there are you truly a Chosen!”
“After the Vast Expanse Shrine is the Transcendence Path. Only those who walk the Transcendence Path are the true blazing suns. Other than the Ninth Paragon, which Paragon is there who hasn’t left their footprint there!?”
“The path of cultivation is a long one. Rising up too quickly is a bad thing. This kid isn't that smart, is he? He’ll definitely pay some painful consequences later.”
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