Chapter 1520: Sculpt the Heavens!
“After that came the Devil and the God. They also destroyed one of the Allheaven’s fingers each. I wonder if the three of them were working together to completely destroy Allheaven, but just weren’t able to pull it off.
“In any case, they were waiting. Waiting... for the Demon to appear. I wonder where they got the idea that the Demon could put an end to Allheaven.
“Allheaven was waiting too, though, fearful of each person who approached the status of the Immortal, waiting for Demonic qi to appear inside of them. Then, just before they completed the process and became the true Demon... he absorbed those quasi-Demons, consumed them, used the multifariousness of the Demon, and their Nirvanic rebirth, to give himself new life!
“Perhaps the Allheaven Clans really were created by the blood of Allheaven, and yet, they were also clans which could give birth to the Demon!
“My fate is like that of a Demon, and I am the true Demon.” Meng Hao sighed. Perhaps his understanding wasn't complete, but after everything he had experienced, he was sure that it was seventy to eighty percent true.
“That is the origin of Song Daozi and the other ninety-seven faces. They were from different worlds of the past, and they all became quasi-Demons.
“And I am the ninety-ninth. I was prepared by Allheaven to be the last of the group.” He shook his head and hovered there silently for a long moment. The rain ceased to fall, and the moon was now visible, hanging in the sky. As it cast its light down onto the lands below, the reflection cast within the puddles was the picture of beauty.
Meng Hao eventually made his way through the night into the city of mortals down below. Following the tuggings of his senses, he walked through the streets until he found himself at a certain street corner, leading into a small alley.
Deep within the alley was a small shop.
The door was closed, but based on the sign, and the woodpile outside, it was obvious that it was the shop of a carpenter.
This was the home of his clone’s ninth reincarnation. Meng Hao stood there for a long time. The obscuring mist which seemed to cover the area was strong here, as was the sensation that something was brewing that could shake the Heavens.
After a long moment passed, Meng Hao sent his divine sense out in an attempt to see what was in the shop. However, that was as effective as throwing a stone ox into the ocean. He could see nothing.
A moment later, he vanished. When he reappeared, he was inside the carpenter’s shop, looking around at the neatly arranged carpentry tools. There were also rows up on rows of little wooden sculptures, which left Meng Hao a bit taken aback.
There were birds, dogs, cats, all of them remarkably lifelike. They were so lifelike, in fact, that it seemed as if they might start walking around at any moment. They even seemed to glow with a faint light that no mortal would be able to detect.
It was the light of life... and it was very strong. It was like a life force that wasn’t present in the wood itself, but which had been imparted unto it by means of the act of sculpting.
Meng Hao simply couldn’t imagine what hands would be capable of sculpting such lifelike statues.
It was at this point that his eyes came to rest on one particular little sculpture, which depicted a woman. A tremor ran through him, and his eyes went wide. He almost couldn’t believe what he was seeing; it felt as if lightning bolts were crashing in his mind.
From the look in his eyes, it was as if he were looking at something so outlandishly preposterous that it defied imagination.
“That’s.... How is this possible? Why would my clone’s ninth reincarnation have sculpted her...?” His heart began to thump as he realized that certain shocking and irreversible developments must have occurred during this ninth life.
It was in that very moment that he heard footsteps behind him. A middle-aged man emerged from the room in the back of the shop. He was blind, and yet was able to walk as confidently as if he still possessed his eyes. He seemed very familiar with the little shop, as if had been carved into his mind. He walked over to the middle of the shop and took a sculpting knife off of the shelf, then sat down and began to work on an unfinished sculpture.
The sculpture wasn’t even half complete, and although no one else would be able to see what it was, Meng Hao could tell at a glance that it was the ninth sealing mark of the Ninth Hex.
Little Treasure couldn’t see Meng Hao, and didn’t know that he was there with him. If a picture could be painted of the scene, it would depict Meng Hao standing there in front of his clone’s ninth reincarnation, looking down at him slowly carving away at the block of wood.
A very strange feeling filled Meng Hao’s heart as he watched his ninth reincarnation. This reincarnation was different from the others. From the second life to the eighth, Meng Hao had been able to observe what was happening, and even felt a sense of familiarity with the various reincarnations.
He could sense that this was definitely his clone; his soul and his blood had both come from Meng Hao. But this ninth reincarnation felt very unfamiliar.
Time passed in which Meng Hao simply watched the clone working with the sculpture. He had never seen the ninth sealing mark take shape in such a way, in such a clear and corporeal fashion.
It had always appeared as an outline in his mind and heart, but this time, in the hands of Little Treasure, it was taking physical shape in the world, one knife stroke at a time.
“So this is my final, ninth life...?” Meng Hao murmured. He stood there for a long time... until a woman walked out of the room. She couldn’t see Meng Hao any more than Little Treasure could, but as soon as Meng Hao saw her, he understood why Han Bei had been coming to this location.
“Yan’er....” he murmured to himself with a sigh. After seeing Yan’er depicted in the wooden sculpture, he had begun to suspect the truth. But to see her here in the flesh caused complicated emotions to rise up within him. Now he understood that in this ninth life, an unexpected twist had occurred. His clone... had ended up marrying Chu Yuyan.
Her belly was swollen with child, and her expression was warm as she placed a thick coat onto her husband’s shoulders. Then she sat next to him, watching him sculpt. From the way she watched him, it seemed she would never tire of sitting there like that, not for her entire life.
Eventually she looked down at the sculpture, and when she couldn’t tell exactly what it was, she quietly asked, “Is it almost finished?”
“Not yet,” Little Treasure replied, rubbing the wood gently. “It’s about a third done.”
She looked at it a bit closer, and then asked, “What exactly is it? I can't tell.”
Little Treasure smiled and replied, “These are... the Heavens, as I see them.”
“The Heavens?” The woman looked a bit surprised.
“Yeah. These are the Heavens, with their eyes closed. Like me, unable to see.” Little Treasure sighed. Yan’er sat there quietly.
Suddenly, Little Treasure looked up, and although he couldn’t see Meng Hao, it was almost as if he were looking at him. “Yan’er, sometimes I have the feeling that this is my purpose in life.
“It was foreordained that I be blind, to live in a world of darkness.
“But I want the Heavens to open their eyes. It's too bad that I can’t reach up and touch them.”
Meng Hao looked at Little Treasure and Yan’er for a long moment. Finally, he sighed and turned to leave. Before walking out of the shop, he looked back at Yan’er, and the little bump on her belly.
He could sense the life inside, and although it was true that the child inside was the offspring of his clone's ninth reincarnation, it was also true that it was his own flesh and blood.
This ninth reincarnation was unlike any of the other lives, and this child was also different.
Meng Hao stood at the threshold of the door, his expression one of many mixed emotions.
He did nothing to interfere with the lives of Yan’er and Little Treasure. There was no need.
He had chosen to let both of them go, and therefore, he would not break them apart now.
Because of the matter of the Ninth Hex, this ninth reincarnation apparently had keen intuition, to the point where Meng Hao was left shocked. Not only was he actually carving out the ninth seal of the Ninth Hex, he had uttered words which were thought-provoking even to Meng Hao.
“How can you seal the Heavens without being able to see them?” he murmured, shaking his head.
“No. There's more to it than that. People think that he can’t see the Heavens, but the truth is that in his world of blindness, he can see them.
“He is sculpting those Heavens, one knife stroke at a time. The ninth seal represents those Heavens!
“When that sculpture of his is complete, my clone’s ninth reincarnation will close his eyes and pass away. The purpose of his life has been to sculpt that ninth sealing mark.” Meng Hao walked quietly off into the distance.
He didn’t leave the city of mortals. He bought a house some distance away from Little Treasure and Yan’er’s, where he waited for his clone’s ninth reincarnation to finish his work.
Eight months passed in the blink of an eye, and Little Treasure became father to a baby girl. She wasn’t blind. She could see the world in all its multitudinous colors. Her bright, cheerful laughter often filled the house.
Her mother picked her name, a single character which meant ‘Perfection.’
From the time she was born, her parents called her Perfect.
It was a bit of a strange-sounding name, but Little Treasure liked it, and so did Yan’er.
Little Treasure was extremely excited from the moment she was born. He often held his tiny daughter in his arms and laughed with joy. Later, he carved his daughter’s likeness into wood, which he placed on the headboard of her bed.
A few years later, Little Treasure’s daughter was eight years old, and the ninth sealing mark was about half finished. On that day, a white hair appeared on Little Treasure's head. Soon after, young Perfect snuck up behind him, then pounced on him, laughing with joy. Chuckling, Little Treasure scooped her up into his arms, and suddenly, Perfect spotted the white hair on her father’s head.
“Daddy, you have a white hair! Don’t move, I’ll pluck it out for you.” She reached out with her little hand, found the white hair, and plucked it out.
Little Treasure stroked his daughter’s cheek and gave her a loving smile. He was happy, blessed even. The years continued to pass.
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