Chapter 1553: The Return of the Demon Sovereign!
Meng Hao stared at the Ninth Sea.
It had been hiding on the 8th Heaven, which was no surprise to him.
Back in the Mountain and Sea War, the Ninth Sea had turned traitor, casting Shui Dongliu’s plan into peril. It became much more difficult for the Mountain and Sea Butterfly to escape, and also ensured that fewer Mountain and Sea Realm cultivators were able to make it to the butterfly to begin with.
The Ninth Sea’s sudden betrayal at a critical moment had a huge effect on the Mountain and Sea Realm.
From that moment on, all Mountain and Sea Realm cultivators came to have a deep hatred for that sea.
The cultivators born in subsequent centuries heard the story of the Ninth Sea’s traitorous act, but up to now, it had been just that: nothing more than a story....
Now, though, the entire 8th Heaven had transformed from being a land mass into a majestic sea.
Gradually, a face came to be visible within it, the face of a woman, surrounded by innumerable sea beasts.
“Ninth Sea!” growled Ksitigarbha as he delivered the death blow to one of the Outsider Paragons. His eyes flickered with killing intent, and his voice boomed like thunder. A moment later, he was flying directly toward the Ninth Sea.
Grandpa Meng looked up, eyes flickering with memories of the past. He also began to fly toward the Ninth Sea at top speed.
Patriarch Reliance had originally been planning to head-butt the land mass of the 8th Heaven. But now that he saw it transform into sea water, his eyes went wide, and he positioned himself as if to advance. However, instead of advancing, he began to retreat. Strangely, the words coming out of his mouth seemed to indicate anything but retreat.
“Kill! Kill! Dammit! Trifling seawater! The Patriarch isn’t scared of you. DIIEEE....” However, he continued to retreat until he was far off in the distance.
Soon, rumbling could be heard from within the Ninth Sea as countless sea beasts flew out toward the Mountain and Sea Realm cultivators. Fatty, Wang Youcai, Li Ling’er, and all the others were joined by the rest of the Mountain and Sea cultivators as they transformed into beams of light which shot into battle.
Booming sounds rang out that could shake Heaven and Earth. The sea beasts of the Ninth Sea began to scream miserably as they were cut down by the Mountain and Sea Realm cultivators. Soon, the Ninth Sea was stained red with blood.
The sea began to shrink, opening up a path to the 9th Heaven, which some of the Mountain and Sea cultivators took. Patriarch Reliance’s eyes rolled up in thought for a moment, and then he headed toward the 9th Heaven as well.
Immediately, a path was torn open through the battlefield in this region.
It only took a moment for fighting to break out on the 9th Heaven. Soon the 9th Heaven was destroyed, and finally... the army advanced to the 10th Heaven!
They didn’t immediately attack, though. Instead they looked for Meng Hao, who had spoken into their minds that he would meet them on the 10th Heaven.
To the veterans of the Mountain and Sea War, Meng Hao’s name was something engraved deeply in their hearts. To all the other cultivators born in the subsequent centuries, he was both a stranger, and yet oddly familiar.
He was a stranger because they had never met him in person. He was familiar because there were countless statues of him in the Mountain and Sea Butterfly. Furthermore, stories about his deeds were told so often that virtually everyone had memorized them.
Meng Hao had long since been deified within the world of the Mountain and Sea Butterfly!
To the Mountain and Sea cultivators, he was their god, the will of Heaven, the Lord of the Mountain and Sea Realm!
Almost immediately, the cultivators who arrived on the 10th Heaven could see Meng Hao hovering in midair, and he looked exactly like all of the statues which depicted him!
In fact, he seemed even more grand and majestic than the statues.
However, the mere sight of him was of secondary importance. Even more shocking was that all the cultivators of the Mountain and Sea Realm suddenly felt their blood surging through their veins. Their cultivation bases rocketed up, almost as if the person they were looking at was the source of their bloodline!
It was an indescribable feeling, and resulted in all of the cultivators who had stepped onto the 10th Heaven clasping hands and bowing.
“Patriarch Demon Sovereign!!”
“Greetings, exalted Demon Sovereign!”
“Patriarch!!!” The sound of the excited Mountain and Sea cultivators shouting out caused everything to tremble.
The surrounding Outsiders took advantage of the moment to attack, and yet before they could reach the area occupied by the Mountain and Sea cultivators, they were transformed into ash. Apparently, only the people of the Mountains and Seas were permitted to be there. Anyone else who tried to enter would be destroyed in body and soul!
Everyone was crying out to the Patriarch, to the Demon Sovereign. As additional cultivators arrived, they looked up, and were profoundly shaken by the sight of Meng Hao. Their eyes burned with passion, with ardor, with veneration.
As for the cultivators who had been raised on stories of the venerated Meng Hao, when they saw him, they didn’t just bow in respect, but in worship!
The ground quaked as more and more cultivators arrived on the 10th Heaven. Even more struck with emotion were all of the old-timers who had fought in the Mountain and Sea War.
“It’s Meng Hao!”
“Meng Hao’s back!”
“He’s back, Meng Hao the Demon Sovereign!” Their voices were filled with happiness, and they wept tears of joy. Years ago, Meng Hao had fought to protect the Mountain and Sea Butterfly, blocking the path of the Immortal God Continent and the Devil Realm. It was something that those cultivators would never be able to forget.
As Meng Hao hovered there looking down at the crowds, he heard their cries, and tears welled up in his eyes.
It felt like he was reuniting with his family, people he had missed profoundly for centuries.
“I am Meng Hao, and... I'm back!” His voice was soft, and yet echoed like thunder, smashing through the entire 10th Heaven. With that, he began to descend.
That movement caused all of the Outsiders to tremble in fear, and let out miserable shrieks. They felt as if countless invisible mountains were crushing down onto them.
That was pressure from Meng Hao, his aura, and as he descended, the Outsiders on the land mass... all exploded.
“Demon Sovereign!!!” Countless Mountain and Sea cultivators flew to his side, all of them shouting in passion and veneration.
“Let’s go home!” Meng Hao said. The cheering grew louder as the cultivators clustered around him and headed downward. Behind them, the 10th Heaven transformed into nothing more than ash!
As of this moment, there were no land masses above the Mountain and Sea Butterfly. There was only... a trembling, shrinking sea.
The cheering of the Mountain and Sea cultivators grew louder, causing powerful ripples to spread out in all directions. The group who had been besieging the Ninth Sea all looked over at Meng Hao, trembling.
Fatty was shaking visibly, and as soon as he saw Meng Hao, he let out a loud cry and flew toward him, laughing. A moment later, he was directly in front of Meng Hao, who he wrapped up into a huge bear hug.
“Meng Hao, Meng Hao, Meng Hao... you’re finally back. I’ve missed you so much, you don’t even know! Two thousand years. Can you imagine? Lots of people thought you were dead, but not me. I knew that you wouldn't die. Meng Hao, Meng Hao, Meng Hao....” Fatty was so excited he was crying and laughing. The two of them had been friends for so many centuries that Meng Hao had become an inseparable part of him.
Meng Hao slapped Fatty’s shoulders, equally as excited.
Fatty’s Daoist partners and offspring all stared wide-eyed. The sight of their Patriarch acting in such a way was completely shocking. All of them quickly dropped to their knees to kowtow to Meng Hao.
Another figure appeared, shooting along at high speed. It was... Fang Yu, Meng Hao’s older sister!
She looked like a grown-up woman now, and tears poured down her face as she landed in front of Meng Hao and then hugged him.
“Sister, I'm back....” Meng Hao said softly. He looked over at Wang Youcai off in the distance. For centuries, Wang Youcai’s face had been covered with a grim expression, but now there was an excited grin.
Meng Hao saw Ksitigarbha, who looked over at him and started laughing. Then there was his Grandpa Meng, who gazed at him kindly, tears streaming down his cheeks.
Li Ling’er was there, an old woman now. Zhixiang was in the crowd as well, a complex expression on her face as she seemed to be thinking about past times. She was mostly happy, though, and excited.
There was Sun Hai, Meng Hao’s brother-in-law. His first reaction upon seeing Meng Hao was to be excited, but then he looked a bit afraid. At the same time, he felt proud. After all, he was Meng Hao’s brother-in-law....
Among all the other familiar faces was Ke Jiusi, who looked over at Meng Hao and smiled warmly. It didn’t matter how powerful Meng Hao had become, to Ke Jiusi, he was still his younger brother.
Eventually, Meng Hao looked down through the starry sky to the Mountain and Sea Butterfly. He saw his father and mother, and he saw his wife Xu Qing, who was standing next to them. At that point, his heart filled with a warmth it had lacked for many years.
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