Chapter 1462: Establishing a Legend!
Meng Hao really was cheating. On the first level, he had relied on his willpower and mental faculties. Considering the experiences of his true self, there was virtually nothing that could surpass him in terms of that.
On the second level, he had also cheated. The test was of latent talent, or essentially, whether or not one was fundamentally suited to cultivate the techniques of the Vast Expanse School. As a matter of fact, what the Vast Expanse School considered to be Superlative latent talent, might not be considered so by other sects in the outside world.
That truth was the case everywhere. In different sects and schools, in different Realms and worlds, so-called latent talent was really just a measure of how suitable a person was to cultivate certain techniques.
Within the Vast Expanse School, the latent talent of Patriarch Vast Expanse... would naturally be the absolute, optimal latent talent!
Heaven and Earth rumbled as boundless light from two Heavens radiated out, to the uproar of the crowd. Meng Hao rose to his feet, coughing dryly, and yet feeling not the slightest bit of shame as he headed to the third level.
He hadn’t been in the third level for very long when the entire place began to shine with dazzling light, which transformed into the Third Heaven. Before the tumult could die down in the crowd, the Fourth Heaven rumbled out.
Next was the Fifth Heaven, the Sixth and the Seventh. Meng Hao was truly forging a legend. Outside the mountain, the crowd was boiling with excitement, including ordinary Dao Realm experts, Dao Lords, and even Dao Sovereigns.
“This is unheard-of! This Fang Mu... is breaking all the records!”
“This is the first time a cultivator from our Ninth Sect has ever summoned the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Heavens!”
“What do you guys think, is it possible that he’ll... do something that’s never been done in the entire Vast Expanse School, and summon... the Tenth Heaven?!”
Keen anticipation filled the hearts of the audience. After all, no one in the Ninth Sect had ever even summoned the Fifth Heaven in the Vast Expanse Shrine.
However, even though the Ninth Sect’s Vast Expanse Shrine was only one of several within the Vast Expanse School as a whole, there were others who had summoned the Fifth Heaven, and even the Sixth and Seventh Heavens. As for the Eighth Heaven, the number who had succeeded was miniscule, but they did exist.
And then there was the Ninth Heaven. Years ago, there had indeed been one person who had summoned it.
But as for that Tenth Heaven, it was completely unheard-of. In the entire history of the Vast Expanse School, it had never been seen!
The sound of the uproar echoed out, to the point that even the 7-Essences Paragon who kept watch over the Vast Expanse Shrine was visibly moved, and flew out in midair to observe.
A blank look could be seen in Yan’er’s eyes. Her Master was shaking the entire world, something she almost couldn’t believe, almost didn’t dare to believe.
As the seven Heavens cast brilliant light into the sky, Meng Hao was slowly proceeding along into the eighth level. The third through seventh levels mostly tested aspects relating to latent talent in cultivation. Some of those tests looked at the blood itself, others looked at the blood vessels and arteries. Whatever the case, Meng Hao only had to step into the level to instantly do something which had never been done!
Any other result would have been impossible... him appearing in the trial by fire was almost the same as Patriarch Vast Expanse showing up. How could he not do the impossible, and complete the level perfectly?
On the stone stele, Fang Mu’s name continued to rise until it was in the top 30!
All of the Chosen whom he had passed up were able to tell how easily he had swept past them. Their records were crushed as easily as dried weeds, as if they weren’t even on the same level as him.
As for all of the disciples who still ranked above him, they were normally people who acted superior and mighty. But now, they were sitting there nervously. Even the people in the top 10 had ill premonitions bubbling within them.
After reaching the eighth level, Meng Hao slowed down a bit. It was now taking a bit of effort to make progress. By this point, the Vast Expanse Shrine was testing one’s overall level of power. As for Meng Hao’s clone, his weakest aspect was his cultivation base, which still hadn’t left the Immortal Realm.
Virtually everyone in the top 10,000 were in the Ancient Realm; Meng Hao was definitely the only cultivator in the top 30 who wasn’t. Furthermore, all those other people were at the peak Ancient realm, and some were even on the verge of breaking through to the Dao Realm!
However, the Vast Expanse Shrine had no Dao Realm experts in the rankings. It was a test only for disciples under the Dao Realm. Generally speaking, the test for people like that was the Transcendence Path.
Only a few people challenged that trial by fire who weren’t in that Realm.
Within the eighth level, Meng Hao looked up into a starry sky, within which could be seen countless red-eyed shadows charging toward him violently.
Close examination revealed that the shadows all had threads attached to them; apparently, they were all puppets under the control of someone else.
The requirement of this test not to simply slaughter the enemy, but rather to seek out whoever was controlling the puppets, and kill that person.
Without doing that, the cultivator would be overwhelmed by the huge amount of foes, and would then be forced to wipe them out by means of slaughter. Of course, with a sufficient cultivation base, that was always an option.
In fact, this test actually placed a high priority on cultivation base. All of the shadows were at the peak of the Immortal Realm, and after looking them over, Meng Hao quickly identified which one was in control, but could also tell that his cultivation base wasn’t sufficient to ensure a kill.
Time seemed to slow down, and Meng Hao’s eyes flickered with cold light. He knew that he had most likely reached his limit, and yet wasn’t willing to just give up.
“Well, since that’s the case, I might as well tackle my Ancient Tribulation right here. I’ll go from the Immortal Realm into the Ancient, and see if I can take 1st place!” Without the slightest hesitation, he backed up. His eyes closed briefly, then opened again, and it was as if the world were exploding.
Rumbling sounds echoed out from him as his Immortal meridians began to explode. His cultivation base rose up, and the air of the Ancient Realm began to rise up within him.
As he started to transform, and his cultivation base aura began to rise; everything was shaking violently. At the same time, he shot forward like lightning to appear in front of one of the shadows, whereupon he shoved his palm out violently.
A boom could be heard as the shadow shattered. In that instant, all of the other shadows faded, as though the trial of this level were about to vanish.
But then, Meng Hao made a slight exclamation of surprise. According to his divine sense, there was actually another person within the shadows, controlling them.... As it turned out, there wasn’t one person controlling them, but rather, two.
“A test hidden within the test, huh?” Without the slightest hesitation, he flickered into motion, appearing in front of another of the shadows. His palm launched out, and the shadow shattered. The other shadows were already mostly transparent, and now they seemed to be on the verge of vanishing. However, it was at that point that Meng Hao suddenly waved his finger out in front of him.
A blast of wind shot out, slamming into one of the fading shadows some distance away, completely exterminating it!
In that instant, Meng Hao frowned as he realized that the number of individuals controlling the shadows had once again increased. It turned out there were now more than eight!
At the same time, the surrounding figures, including the controllers, were all rapidly vanishing. There didn’t seem to be enough time to kill them all. Meng Hao's eyes flickered, and without the slightest hesitation he suddenly took in a deep breath, then performed a double-handed incantation gesture and pointed out.
It was none other than Demon Sealing Hexing magic! He was unleashing the Fourth Hex... the Self Hex!
Almost instantly, bizarre fluctuations began to spread out from Meng Hao. A ghost image rose up, and a second version of himself walked forward. Then a third, and a fourth, and a fifth...
In the blink of an eye, ten million incarnations of Meng Hao appeared. There were men and women, old and young, and they all looked somewhat different, and yet they were all Meng Hao!
This was the Self Hex, and as soon as it was unleashed, the countless versions of Meng Hao launched themselves toward the eight puppet controllers, cutting them down. Almost immediately, twelve new controllers appeared.
Slaughter ensued. In a short period of time, Meng Hao killed so many puppet controllers that he lost count. Eventually, the world faded away completely, and the eighth level was over.
Meng Hao’s Self Hex faded away, and his incarnations vanished. He stood there in the middle of the eighth level, his cultivation base continuing to rise as his Immortal meridians began to transform into Immortal Soul Lamps.
The Immortal Soul Lamps didn’t appear outside of him, but rather inside his body.
He took a deep breath, eyes flickering as he murmured, “That eighth level was incredible.”
He now understood that the eighth level’s test was a complex one. It tested one’s cultivation base and divine sense, as well as one’s judgement and observation. Not only did one have to identify the numerous controllers amidst the vast crowd, but then one actually had to kill them.
That was the way to pass the level, but in order to reach the absolute peak of perfection, one needed speed and instinct.
That was something Meng Hao couldn’t actually do on his own, and had been forced to rely on the Self Hex to accomplish.
“I underestimated the Vast Expanse Shrine,” he said, looking up toward the ninth level with anticipation.
It was at this point that brilliant light began to shine out from the eighth level. On the outside, all of the cultivators could now see... the Eighth Heaven!
The Ninth Sect was in a complete uproar, and was unprecedentedly shaken. From Paragons to ordinary disciples, tens of millions of people were all shouting out in excitement.
As for the Chosen in the top 20, they couldn’t help but chuckle bitterly. After seeing the Eighth Heaven, they understood the grand splendor it represented. They already knew that they were all destined to fall by one spot in the rankings.
Step by step, Meng Hao was on the verge of creating... a shocking legend within the Vast Expanse School!
And that legend hinged on... the Ninth Heaven!
If Meng Hao pulled it off, and the Ninth Heaven appeared, then all of the nine sects in the Vast Expanse School would ring their bells to fill Planet Vast Expanse with the sound of their tolling.
That was... the most supreme of honors!
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