Chapter 1531: Charge!
Meng Hao floated above the ninth land mass, backed by the Sect Leader and the others, as well as the vast sea of ghosts.
“The ninth land mass!” The Sect Leader threw his head back and laughed uproariously. The excitement on his face was clear. He and the others had been waiting a long time for this day. This was where lay their hope to Transcend.
The Sect Leader wasn’t the only one with such feelings. Jin Yunshan, Sha Jiudong, Bai Wuchen, and all of the other 9-Essences Paragons were equally excited.
The Sect Leader took a deep breath, then turned to Meng Hao, clasped hands and bowed deeply.
“Fellow Daoist Meng, this is a kindness I will never, ever forget. If you the day comes in which you need my assistance in some matter, simply say the word!”
After the Sect Leader, Jin Yunshan, Sha Jiudong and Bai Wuchen all clasped hands and bowed as well.
“I will never forget this kindness for the rest of my life!”
“Thank you, Ninth Paragon!”
Their attitudes were sincere. All of the ill feelings from the past had long since dissipated, and their thankfulness toward Meng Hao was deep and genuine.
Compared to the chance to stride toward Transcendence, past grudges were completely insignificant. All cultivators sought to reach Transcendence in the end. These three all stood at the peak of 9-Essences, and therefore, the hope to Transcend was the greatest yearning that existed within their hearts.
They had no way to know if they would succeed or not, but as long as there was even a bit of hope, they would try.
Meng Hao could see their excitement and sincerity. Their hearts lacked any desire to fight, and contained no schemes or plots. Now that they had reached the ninth land mass, the hope of Transcendence left them excited and profoundly thankful.
Smiling, he clasped hands and bowed deeply in return.
“We have all come here for Transcendence,” he said. “Whether or not we succeed will depend on the will of Heaven, on our own good fortune, and on our own preparations. I sincerely hope that all of you succeed in Transcending, Fellow Daoists, and I hope that you all may walk a great Dao!”
Jin Yunshan took a deep breath, flicked his sleeve, and then spoke in a voice that echoed like thunder. “Forget the will of Heaven and good fortune! Our success will be determined by our own preparations! Fellow Daoist Meng, if I Transcend, then I will personally help you take care of your grudge with the Immortal God Continent and the Devil Realm Continent! In fact, even if I don’t Transcend, I’ll still help!”
The Sect Leader laughed heartily, then echoed Jin Yunshan’s words.
“Count me in too!”
“Fellow Daoist Meng,” said Sha Jiudong, “considering we've been friends for hundreds of years, then... I will help too!”
“The moment we stepped onto this land mass, our conflicts from the past vanished like smoke,” said Bai Wuchen, her voice soft. “Fellow Daoist Meng, I would like to help you, sir. Thank you for giving me a chance to return home.”
All of the other 9-Essences Paragons laughed and made similar statements and promises.
Meng Hao was moved. After a moment of silence, he once again clasped hands and bowed deeply to them.
“Fellow Daoist Meng,” said the Sect Leader, “let us all head to the Transcendence Dais together!” Laughing, he flew up into the air, followed by the rest of the Paragons.
However, Meng Hao shook his head.
“Why don’t you go on ahead of me, Fellow Daoists. Before visiting the Transcendence Dais, I need to go pay my respects to a certain individual.” Meng Hao did nothing to conceal his true aim, and after he spoke, the others looked back thoughtfully for a moment. Although Meng Hao had never fully explained how he could control the sea of ghosts, they had long since come to certain conclusions of their own. Therefore, they all understood completely.
They did nothing to convince him otherwise. After saying their goodbyes, the group shot off toward the center of the ninth land mass... and the ninth Transcendence Dais.
Meng Hao watched them leave, then took a deep breath. His path to Transcendence was different than theirs. Although Allheaven would surely attempt to stop them also, the lengths he would go to regarding Meng Hao’s Transcendence would be like the difference between a puddle and an ocean.
Therefore, Meng Hao needed to be very careful. Although he couldn't sense any of the will of Allheaven on this ninth land mass, he wanted to be prepared for all possibilities. As such, he decided that the best thing would be to go pay respects to the person who had, with a single word, prevented the will of Allheaven from interfering with him on the first land mass.
“Patriarch Vast Expanse....” he murmured. With that, he burst into motion, heading toward the far end of the ninth land mass, where the huge throne was located.
With every day that passed, the throne grew clearer and larger, and within Meng Hao’s heart, the waves of excitement which battered him also grew larger. At a certain point, the sea of ghosts hadn’t dared to proceed any further, and were now waiting some distance behind him, prostrated toward the person on the throne.
Clearly, that person far exceeded Meng Hao, as... the true Emperor of this place.
The bronze lamp inside of Meng Hao was shining with unprecedented brightness, making him look almost as if he were made from light.
As he got closer to the throne, it became clear that it had been crafted from enormous slabs of green marble. It almost looked like a mountain, rising from the very end of the ninth land mass. As for the figure seated upon it, he looked like a giant statue.
Although he wasn’t a flesh-and-blood person, he was incredibly lifelike. Even from a distance, it was possible to see the expression on his face. It was one of grief and loss.
Deep within his eyes was a gleam of reminiscence. It was as if he were looking out at all the lands of the necropolis, and thinking the only thing he had left: his memories of the past.
He seemed lonely, a feeling which somehow seeped into Meng Hao as he neared.
He stopped about 3,000 meters in front of the statue, where he looked up at it, studying it for a while before finally clasping hands and bowing deeply.
The copper mirror flew out of its own volition, and the parrot appeared within it. It was uncharacteristically quiet as it looked at the statue. It appeared to be thinking about past times as it flew over and circled around the statue a few times. The grief in its eyes was clear.
Meng Hao looked on. The bronze lamp inside of him was shining more brightly than ever, making Meng Hao look like a dazzling sun. Suddenly, the statue's gaze seemed to shift. Instead of looking off into the distance, it was as if he were now looking at Meng Hao, the grief in his eyes replaced by kindness.
Perhaps that was just Meng Hao’s imagination. Regardless, he once again bowed, then began to speak in a soft voice.
“Junior offers greetings, Patriarch Vast Expanse!
“I will never forget the kindness shown by your bronze lamp, which saved my life.
“Thank you also for the copper mirror, which has accompanied me for all my days.
“I've come here to attempt to break through to Transcendence. Patriarch, I would like to request that you act as Dharma Protector....”
After a long moment, he looked back up at the statue. After gazing deeply at it for a moment, his eyes filled with determination. As of that moment, there wasn’t the slightest bit of hesitation within his heart. He would not go to the Transcendence Dais.
That altar might be useful to the Sect Leader and the others, but Meng Hao had long since picked a different way to go about things. He didn’t need the Transcendence Dais, he needed this ninth land mass, a place where Allheaven couldn’t interfere, or at least, would have a very difficult time doing so.
Meng Hao took a deep breath and sat down cross-legged. Unexpectedly, he had chosen this very spot, in front of the statue and the throne, to attempt to reach that most paramount of Realms, Transcendence!
Transcendence was also known as the Daosource. It was something that countless powerful experts yearned for in their dreams. However, the number of people who had succeeded was minute. From ancient times until present, only three people had ever truly succeeded within the starry sky of Allheaven.
Meng Hao’s eyes glittered as he sat there quietly, his legs crossed. After a moment, he extended his right hand, and a wooden sculpture appeared, which was none other than the Ninth Hex!
He held the statue out in front of him and opened his Dao eye, sending out powerful divine sense. The divine sense wrapped around the statue, which floated up into the air in front of Meng Hao and then began to dissolve!
Meng Hao poured all of himself into the wooden statue, cutting off all connections to the outside world. He sealed off his senses as he focused utterly and thoroughly on the statue.
Gradually, a shocking aura began to rise up. The ninth land mass began to tremble, and at the same time, the starry sky of Allheaven outside of the necropolis filled with ripples as an enraged roar echoed out.
The ripples then began to converge in the void just outside the necropolis. If anyone were standing outside to observe, they would be able to see the outline of a huge person standing there.
All of the lands were shaking as a will stretched out that could shake the world.
In that same moment, the Sect Leader and the others were seated cross-legged on the ninth land mass’ altar, attempting to break through and Transcend.
In all their past forays into the necropolis, they had come to the realization that seeking enlightenment alone was far inferior to acting together.
Therefore, the best thing to do now was join forces to seek enlightenment. Their minds were linked, making them more powerful, and increasing their gains as they sought enlightenment. The result was far superior to acting alone.
In the same moment that Meng Hao began to work on the Ninth Hex, the Sect Leader and the others converged their power and divine sense, causing an invisible column of qi to rise up into the air.
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