Chapter 1485: Malicious Intentions!
“The Ninth Sect,” Meng Hao said, looking over at the four Dao Lords.
None of them said even a single word in response. After hearing that Meng Hao was also from the Vast Expanse School, their interest waned. Sometimes plotting, scheming and even open fighting went on between the various factions of the Vast Expanse School. However, most people weren’t willing to bring those conflicts with them into a trial by fire. One could very well end up hurting oneself in so doing.
The four Dao Lords ignored Meng Hao, and he ignored them. He continued walking until he was at the same point along the line as them. There he stopped, and looked at the area up ahead.
Obviously, these four men were sitting in this spot for a reason, and Meng Hao was well aware of exactly why.
“So, not even Dao Lords dare to step past this point?” he thought. Moments ago, the Dao Lords had mentioned a third tribulation. Obviously, the different areas he had entered every three years were the tribulations these people were referring to.
“The first tribulation was tenfold, the second tribulation was twentyfold, and the third tribulation was fiftyfold. Could it be that this fourth tribulation is a hundredfold?” Even as Meng Hao stood there pondering the situation, the Dao Lord who had asked him about his identity earlier opened his eyes.
“The fourth tribulation increases the pressure by a hundredfold,” he said. “You need to be careful, kid. I don't know how you got here, but... if you step in there without having a 4-Essences cultivation base, you’ll almost certainly be killed.”
Meng Hao turned and clasped hands in thanks to to the Dao Lord. Then he turned back, took a deep breath, and to the shock of the four Dao Lords, took a step forward!
“Are you looking to die?!” That was what all four of the shocked Dao Lords were thinking as Meng Hao started to walk. Rumbling sounds simultaneously echoed out.
Almost instantly, his legs were shredded to pieces. Half of his body was destroyed! His arms burst into a mist of blood, and in the blink of an eye, the rest of his body was shredded to pieces by the hundredfold pressure!
Only his head remained within the blood mist, as well as... 108 Soul Lamps. Three of those lamps were lit, and the rest were extinguished.
Meng Hao only had his head left, but he roared nonetheless, and blue veins popped out on his skin. Then, his Soul Lamps began to vibrate, and then one of the remaining three suddenly went dark!
After the lamp was extinguished, the blood mist which had exploded out began to form back together into a body. Although it was covered with wounds, Meng Hao managed to take a breath, then cough up a mouthful of blood as he fell to the ground.
The hundredfold pressure continued to crush down onto him as he struggled up into a cross-legged position. Then he closed his eyes, rotating his cultivation base and circulating the life force which had come from extinguishing the Soul Lamp as he fought back against the pressure.
“Impossible!” The four Dao Lords on the other side all stood up, faces covered with expressions of disbelief. All of them were panting, and their eyes were as wide as saucers.
“He's... he’s actually holding up!”
“Only 4-Essences cultivators can enter the fourth tribulation. Not even we can step in there!”
“I remember three years ago when Dao Lord Flamefire from the Seventh Sect walked in, and was killed instantly....” Their minds were reeling as they stared at Meng Hao.
A moment later, one of them suddenly whispered, “Just now, was I just seeing things, or did he have 108 Soul Lamps?”
The other three gasped. Moments ago, they had been so preoccupied with the fact that Meng Hao actually took a step forward that they hadn’t paid much attention to his Soul Lamps. Now that they thought back, they couldn’t help but exchange astonished glances.
“When did someone inhuman like this appear in the sect?”
“I noticed that he only had two lit Soul Lamps. If... if he actually extinguishes those final two, then how powerful will he be?” With each moment that went by, the men were more and more shaken.
A few days later, the group of four looked on with mixed emotions as Meng Hao opened his eyes. He took a deep breath, and then oh-so-slowly rose to his feet. It was difficult to do, but after he finished the movement, he gritted his teeth and began to walk forward, completely ignoring the four Dao Lords.
As he proceeded along, he got farther and farther away, until he disappeared from view. The Dao Lords could do nothing but sit there in silence, completely shaken by the fact that Meng Hao was walking through the tribulation that they themselves could not even enter.
“Only two Soul Lamps left,” Meng Hao thought. “The final two....” His vision was swimming, and his breath came in ragged pants as he proceeded along with great difficulty.
“After those two Soul Lamps, I can step into the Dao Realm!
“In that moment, I will be able to form my Essence, and use its power to begin completing the Ninth Hex!
“That is when I will see if my speculations are correct!” After forming the outline of the first sealing mark of the Ninth Hex all those years ago on the Vast Expanse Shrine, he had begun to speculate about a certain matter.
He had the feeling that this clone of his would actually only be able to complete one sealing mark in his single lifetime. Most likely, he wouldn't be able to complete even two, let alone nine.
The Seal the Heavens Hex was simply far too powerful and majestic. It was a Hexing magic that, realistically speaking, shouldn’t even be able to exist in the starry sky of the Vast Expanse.
He took a deep breath as he trudged forward. Another three years passed in the blink of an eye. However, he still hadn’t reached the fifth tribulation, the reason being that he was moving much more slowly than before, and also had to rest frequently.
It wasn’t until five years later that Meng Hao reached the point where he could start jogging. Only then did he eventually catch sight of the border of the fifth tribulation.
There, he saw cultivators.
There were two of them, seated cross-legged at almost the same position along the path. Astonishingly, both were 4-Essences cultivators, and one of them, a middle-aged man in a black robe, was at the peak of 4-Essences, just around the corner from 5-Essences.
The two men took note of Meng Hao’s arrival, and one of them even looked at him with a hostile glare.
“Someone’s finally here,” said the middle-aged man. “Ancient Realm.... Wow, an Ancient Realm cultivator who can pass through the fourth tribulation. Perfect for our plan....” Obviously, any Ancient Realm cultivator who could make it here would obviously be a very important person in the sect, and most likely a future Paragon.
Because of that, he hesitated for a moment.
In that moment of hesitation, Meng Hao had already jogged up and was approaching the border itself.
The middle-aged man and the other 4-Essences Dao Realm experts exchanged a glance, and when they saw the decisiveness in each other’s eyes, they gritted their teeth and cast all doubts aside.
They looked over coldly at Meng Hao, who was now only about one step away from entering the fifth tribulation.
The middle-aged man with the hostile expression didn’t seem very anxious, nor did he seem to notice that Meng Hao apparently had the courage to immediately step into the next region. Only people with incredible power would be able to forego resting and measuring up the next area.
“Kid, why don’t we make a deal....” the middle-aged man said, his voice cold.
“Don’t worry,” said the other Dao Realm expert. “The two of us don't wish you any harm. In fact, we want to offer you something incredibly helpful.”
Neither of them were paying much attention to where Meng Hao was standing. Both of them were of the opinion that virtually no one would ever do anything except rest here before taking another step.
However, even as the words left their mouths, Meng Hao completely ignored them, and stepped forward, his eyes glittering.
“Are you trying to kill yourself?!?!” The two Dao Realm experts were completely shocked, and rose to their feet anxiously. As for Meng Hao, a violent tremor ran through him.
The pressure that was crushing down on him had rocketed directly to... one hundred and fifty times the original pressure!
His body instantly collapsed, and not even his head remained intact. He transformed into a mist of blood, provoking grim expressions from the two Dao Realm experts. They had been waiting a long time for someone to come along and fall into their scheme; how could they ever have guessed that the person to show up would be a complete idiot?
“What a moron that kid is! He deserved to die a worse death than he did for stepping in there like that!”
“Who cares if he dies or not? He’s screwed things up for us now. Dammit!” However, their curses were suddenly cut short, and their jaws dropped in shock.
The blood mist that was Meng Hao was acting differently than similar situations they had seen in the past. Instead of dispersing, it began to form back together. It only took a moment for it to once again turn into the vague shape of a person.
When they looked closer, they were shocked to find that... 108 Soul Lamps could be seen within that figure. Two of those Soul Lamps were lit, with the rest being extinguished.
It was at this point that one of those two Soul Lamps suddenly winked out. As a result, the life force remaining in the blood mist caused it to begin to form together, even as the intense pressure weighed down!
Apparently, some incredible power was forcing the blood mist back into the shape of a body!
However, the intense pressure seemed to be interfering, as if the power of one extinguished Soul Lamp wasn’t enough to complete the task. But then... the final Soul Lamp flickered, and then, to the disbelief of the two Dao Realm experts, suddenly...
In that moment, everything went completely silent. Then, a Heaven-shaking, Earth-shattering blast of energy shot out from the blood mist, sending the two Dao Realm experts staggering backward in shock!
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