Chapter 1538: A Universe!
The first through eighth land masses, which had been pulverized into nothing more than dust, were now reformed just as they had been. Everything in the necropolis was just as it had been before.
Meng Hao once again clasped hands and bowed deeply. By now, he had abandoned his idea of taking the ghosts away to fight for him. It wasn’t that he was incapable of doing such a thing; rather, it was not the right thing to do.
This was their home. They had been born here, and they had died here. It was a place they shouldn’t be separated from.
Meng Hao took a deep breath, then turned and waved his sleeve, sweeping up the Sect Leader and the others. He took a step forward, and without the need for any teleportation portal, was instantly outside of the necropolis.
As soon as he appeared in the starry sky of the Vast Expanse, he could sense a terrifying power of expulsion pushing against him, and could even hear what sounded like the voice of the will of Allheaven.
“Leave. Leave. Leave… LEAVE this place!”
Meng Hao looked up at the starry sky. The feeling of being expelled was intense. All of the natural and magical laws within the starry sky of the Vast Expanse, all of the Essences, were now trying to expel him.
He, a Transcendent being, was something that the starry sky of the Vast Expanse could not accept. Wherever he stood, he replaced all Essences, all natural laws and all magical laws.
That, of course, created a conflict.
Meng Hao’s expression was normal as he looked away from the starry sky toward the Sect Leader and the others. All of them were panting, and as soon as he looked at them, they quickly bowed.
“Congratulations, exalted Transcendor….”
As he hovered there in the starry sky, Meng Hao realized that all existence, even the starry sky, were contained within his thoughts.
Before, the Vast Expanse had seemed endless and infinite, but now, he could send his divine sense out to its borders.
Of course, the borders were so distant that even someone at the peak of 9-Essences couldn’t reach them within a lifetime. As such, it wasn’t necessarily incorrect to call the starry sky of the Vast Expanse neverending.
Before, there was something about the Vast Expanse that Meng Hao had been incapable of noticing. But now, he could clearly see that the starry sky… contained countless rifts.
Some were large and some were small, but they filled the starry sky, and also emanated an aura of decay, which was the source of the mist that filled the Vast Expanse.
That decay was a sign of imminent death, of age, of weakness. This starry sky was on the verge of dying.
It was like an old man lying on his deathbed. However, the starry sky didn’t wish to pass away into death, which was why all of this was happening. As of this point, Meng Hao understood everything.
If he wanted to, he could rip open the starry sky and step outside of the Vast Expanse. He could enter the void outside, where the five columns existed.
Were it his wish, he could rip his way out of the Vast Expanse… to enter the true Universe.
In fact, he had already been outside in the past. He suddenly sent his divine sense raging out in all directions. He suppressed the power of expulsion, driving it away, then sent his divine sense out through the rifts filling the starry sky, rifts that only Transcendent cultivators could see. That allowed him to see what was outside of the starry sky of the Vast Expanse.
He saw a quiet void, filled with dust and desolation.
Back before he had Transcended, this sight didn’t leave much of an impression on him, other than the feeling that it had once been a beautiful and flourishing place.
Now, that feeling was stronger than ever. In fact, he even noticed signs that living beings had once existed out here. Based on the desolation which surrounded the Vast Expanse on the outside, he was sure that ages ago, before the will of Allheaven had grown old, there had been countless heavenly bodies and worlds out here.
There had been many forms of life which multiplied and grew. However, as the will of Allheaven grew old, the starry sky began to wither, beginning with the area outside the Vast Expanse.
The planets here were broken and crumbled. Everything was dead, and the only thing that remained behind amidst the rubble… were the five columns.
After pondering the pervasive aura of death for a moment, he sent his divine sense even further out. Soon, it filled the entire area that was immediately outside of the Vast Expanse. It was then that he noticed a barrier, filled with rifts. Non-Transcendent cultivators could spend a lifetime and never pass through that barrier, but for Transcendent cultivators, it would be as simple as breathing.
A moment later, Meng Hao’s divine sense saw a new starry sky. Instantly, his heart began to pound.
What he was looking at… was something which could truly be called infinite… the Universe!
Based on his divine sense, he couldn’t see its borders at all. There was resplendent, dazzling light, and a seemingly endless sea of stars, filled with countless vortexes and other heavenly bodies.
Some of them were dim, some were bright. Some were withering in death, some seemed to have only recently been born.
Meng Hao turned to look back at the Vast Expanse Realm, and his eyes gleamed with enlightenment.
“So, this is what Patriarch Vast Expanse’s clone referred to… the Universe. The Vast Expanse Realm is just one whirlpool of stars within this boundless Universe.” He shook his head at the realization that the Vast Expanse Realm was simply a small part of the Universe. You could even say that it was like a seed. Inside the seed was the Vast Expanse, and outside of it… was the Universe as a whole.
Out in the Universe, everything was quiet. He could see countless other whirlpools of stars, and it was very possible to imagine that they were full of their own various worlds.
“The others who Transcended before me all went out into the Universe,” he murmured. Each whirlpool of stars was a world, and only by Transcending could one be qualified to leave that world.
It was impossible to say how many living things there were in the Universe, but one could imagine that there were definitely other Transcendent beings there. Most likely, many more existed than the few who had emerged from the starry sky of the Vast Expanse. However, when compared to the Universe as a whole, such people… would still be incredibly rare, as rare as phoenix feathers or qilin horns.
As he looked out at the Universe, Meng Hao felt the impulse to go out, to explore it. There was surely a much longer path for him to walk out there.
Perhaps, years later, he might even encounter the Ghost, the God, and the Devil….
In the end, he retracted his divine sense and quelched that impulse. There was still far too much unfinished business within the Vast Expanse Realm.
After returning to his body, his eyes shone with profound light. He almost looked like the young scholar he had been thousands of years ago on Mount Daqing.
Now that he had Transcended, there were no traces of age at all on his face. However, the ancient look within his eyes was even more prominent.
He heard the Sect Leader and the others greeting him formally. Apparently, time moved differently for him now. From the moment he had sent his divine sense out into the Universe, until the moment it returned, only enough time had passed to speak a single sentence.
The words, “Congratulations, exalted Transcendor,” were still echoing out as Meng Hao looked off in the direction of the Mountain and Sea Butterfly.
“Call me the Demon Sovereign,” Meng Hao said coolly.
The Sect Leader and the others shivered. Bowing their heads, they said, “Greetings, Demon Sovereign!”
Even as everyone offered greetings, Jin Yunshan took a deep breath. He had failed to Transcend, but Meng Hao had succeeded. As such, he was quick to realize that any hope he had in Transcending lay with Meng Hao.
Furthermore he could sense how vastly different he was from Meng Hao in terms of power. It was as if a single word from Meng Hao could alter natural law. It was as if a single thought from him could become Essence. It was as if a single action on his part could shake the entire starry sky.
In his view, Meng Hao was now on equal footing with the legendary Patriarch Vast Expanse. Because of the vast disparity between them, he also had the feeling that he could not be able to step into Transcendence any time soon.
“Exalted Demon Sovereign,” he said. “I am willing to be a slave for you as your vanguard. I will lead the Vast Expanse School to slaughter the Immortal God Continent and the Devil Realm Continent!”
The Sect Leader’s heart trembled, and he immediately voiced similar words. The others all did the same.
Trembling, Immortal Bai Wuchen stepped forward and bowed deeply. “Your humble servant is willing to do anything for you, oh exalted one. I only hope that in the end… you will return me to my home outside the Vast Expanse.”
Even as she bowed, she looked at Meng Hao with anticipation, focus, and hope.
Meng Hao looked back at her for a moment before replying, “You really wish to go back outside the Vast Expanse?”
“Exalted one,” she replied, “I beg for your aid in doing so. I was born outside the Vast Expanse, in the Vast Expanse Society. My family, my friends, my roots… are all outside the Vast Expanse.” From the way she looked at Meng Hao, she seemed to be pleading with him.
Meng Hao sighed softly. By this point, he realized that all of Bai Wuchen’s memories were illusions. In fact, all of the people on Planet Vast Expanse who had supposedly descended from above had had their memories altered by the will of Allheaven. All of those people had been put in place by that will.
That included Han Bei. As for exactly why that was, Meng Hao wasn’t sure. However, he was absolutely certain that it had something to do with Planet Vast Expanse.
“Once everything is concluded,” he said coolly, “if you still wish to go back outside the Vast Expanse, I will help you.” With that, he made a grasping motion, and a soul strand appeared in his hand.
It was a middle-aged man who had a third eye on his forehead. After he appeared, he trembled, then immediately kowtowed to Meng Hao. Apparently, he didn’t dare to speak even a word.
That soul was… the true Ninth Paragon of the Vast Expanse School.