Elder Hai Sheng’s mind trembled. Although he had found out about the failure of the Seajacket Island plan, had watched the life force slips of the other cultivators shatter, and knew that Meng Hao was probably stronger than they had anticipated, he hadn’t been aware of the particulars.
Now that he saw his personally cultivated Dharma Dragon shattered by Meng Hao, his eyes glittered and, unexpectedly, he smiled.
“Now this is interesting,” he said. “I didn’t think I would have to use this, but it looks like my extra preparations will pay off!” He waved his right hand, causing a jade slip to fly out from his palm. It instantly shattered, causing a black mist to stream out that formed into a black-colored head. The head belonged to an old man, an old man that was clearly not Elder Hai Sheng.
It was a strange-looking head that emanated a shocking aura. It instantly began to speed towards Elder Hai Sheng, mouth gaping as if it wanted to consume him. However, as soon as it touched Elder Hai Sheng, it fused into him. Elder Hai Sheng’s expression turned vicious; blue veins popped out on his forehead, and his facial features began to change. Suddenly, a second face appeared, overlapped with his original face!
He laughed cruelly, and looked even more bizarre than before as he strode forward. The instant he began to advance, his Ancient Realm cultivation base rocketed up, and, astonishingly… nine extinguished Soul Lamps appeared!
Meng Hao’s eyes widened. He remembered that the last time he fought Elder Hai Sheng, the man had five extinguished Soul Lamps. Now, after superimposing with that black-colored face, it was like he was a different person. He now had a stage 9 Ancient Realm cultivation base. It was as if he had survived through extinguishing nine Soul Lamps, placing him at the peak of the mid Ancient Realm!
As his cultivation base rocketed up to stunning effect, everything in the area shook. He took a second step, and he was directly in front of Meng Hao. His hand instantly shot forward toward Meng Hao’s neck.
The speed was indescribable. He moved so fast that afterimages were left in his previous position. Furthermore, the movement of his hand seemed to contain the power of natural law, as if some of the power of the Ninth Sea had converged in his hand, becoming a personal Daoist magic.
Meng Hao’s eyes were wide. After seeing the black-colored face, and the incredibly powerful cultivation base, he could tell that Elder Hai Sheng was far stronger than him. Despite being in the Immortal Emperor Realm, he still felt a sensation of deadly crisis. If an opponent like this managed to seize the upper hand in the fight, it would be very difficult for Meng Hao to reverse the situation!
The only way to win… was to seize the initiative, and keep it the entire time! That was the lone chance of securing victory!
Meng Hao’s eyes flickered with killing intent and the desire to do battle! From the moment he had begun to practice cultivation until now, this was the most powerful opponent he had ever faced!
Fighting someone like this was sure to be a huge challenge for him, and would require absolute focus!
“Now I really feel like fighting!” Eyes flickering, he didn’t back up. Instead, even as Elder Hai Sheng’s hand shot out, Meng Hao shoved his own hand forward. As he did, he unleashed his own secret magic, merging his 123 Immortal meridians into a divine ability.
True Immortal fleshly body!
His palm closed into a fist, and he flew above Elder Hai Sheng.
Although he couldn’t seize control of the battle in terms of cultivation base, at the very least, he could seek to occupy the high ground. If he wasn’t able to gain that advantage in this first exchange, it would be difficult to recover from.
“My true form is a Sea Dragon!” Elder Hai Sheng laughed coldly. “The heads of dragons are magically cultivated to be their strongest points! Are you TRYING to get yourself killed!?” He could tell what Meng Hao was trying to do, but considering the level of cultivation base involved, he paid no heed. He raised his right hand, and his momentum did not stop, but grew even more powerful!
“Digging your own grave!” he said with a cold smile, then reached out with a clutching motion.
At the same time, Meng Hao’s momentum was also building. As his fist closed in on Elder Hai Sheng, it gave rise to a massive tempest, the center of which was a powerful vortex. The vortex slammed into Elder Hai Sheng’s hand, causing a deafening boom.
The tempest collapsed and the vortex fell to pieces. Cracking sounds echoed out from within Meng Hao, like breaking bones. Blood oozed out of his mouth, and he was sent staggering backward, clearly seriously injured. However, his Eternal stratum immediately spun into action.
Elder Hai Sheng stopped in place, and was actually shoved downward by several meters. However, all he did was let out a cold harrumph and then shoot back toward Meng Hao.
“No wonder the Seajacket Island plan failed…. If I hadn’t prepared well, I might not have been able to kill you. But this is the Ninth Sea, my home ground. I can borrow the power of the Ninth Sea. Even if you get stronger than you are now, you’re still dead!” Face twisted viciously, he closed in on Meng Hao and performed an incantation gesture with his right hand. Instantly, an illusory sea appeared around him, which rumbled toward Meng Hao in attack.
As it neared, a gigantic sea turtle appeared in the middle of it, which roared as it smashed toward Meng Hao.
As Elder Hai Sheng neared, Meng Hao was able to finally determine the difference between the Immortal Emperor Realm and that of a cultivator with nine extinguished Soul Lamps.
That difference was considerable… but not so vast that it left him in despair!
“You’re going to borrow power from the Ninth Sea?” Meng Hao asked coldly. The starstone in his right eye flickered, and as the giant sea turtle bore down on him, he transformed into a planet that shot forward in attack.
When Meng Hao slammed into the sea, his planet-form collapsed, and he reappeared, coughing up blood. However, in almost the same moment, he transformed into a huge golden roc that pierced through the sea and the sea turtle. He was completely soaked in blood, but his energy was even stronger than before. Radiating madness, he appeared directly in front of Elder Hai Sheng, slashing at him with his claws. A huge rumble could be heard as the two of them tumbled backward away from each other.
“You overestimate yourself!” By this point, Elder Hai Sheng was now only about thirty meters away from the surface of the sea, but he didn’t seem to care at all. He waved his hand, instantly causing one of his Soul Lamps to fly out and speed toward Meng Hao.
Meng Hao continued to back up, coughing up blood, body withering. At the same time, his Eternal stratum was madly restoring him. Not pausing, he once again went on the offensive. This time, he summoned the Ninth Mountain, along with the sun and the moon, a composite Daoist magic that slammed into the Soul Lamp. The resulting explosion sent shockwaves in all directions. Meng Hao’s body was on the verge of collapse, but thanks to his Eternal stratum, it didn’t phase him at all as he charged downwards again. Next, his Dharma Idol of 33 Heavens appeared, focusing all of his power on another attack against Elder Hai Sheng.
Elder Hai Sheng snorted coldly and waved his hand. Immediately, ripples spread out, transforming into a Ghost Face, which shrieked as it pounced toward Meng Hao. As it neared, Meng Hao took a deep breath and clenched his hand into a fist.
He punched, not with an ordinary punch, but… with the might of body cultivation!
The Life-Extermination Fist!
As the fist sailed through the air, all of the life force in the area seemed to vanish, even Meng Hao’s. Everything seemed cut off, as if this fist contained a will of death, a fist to exterminate all life!
For the first time, Elder Hai Sheng’s expression flickered. However, he didn’t hesitate, extending both hands in front of him. Shockingly, a dragon scale appeared, like a shield, which Meng Hao’s fist slammed into.
A massive boom echoed out, and a huge depression appeared in the surface of the water. Elder Hai Sheng was shoved backward beyond his control, landing him in the water below.
“Life-Extermination Fist,” he gasped. “That was actually the Life-Extermination Fist….
“However, you were probably barely able to use it!” His eyes flashed with coldness, and he was just about to fly back up into the air when Meng Hao suddenly smiled.
His goal this entire time had been to get Elder Hai Sheng into the water!
Getting Elder Hai Sheng into that position was the most deadly tactic he could employ. He only did this because of his inability to use the Lightning Cauldron; were it not for that, he wouldn’t have allowed himself to be so seriously injured in such a short period of time.
If he himself had gone into the water to try to lure Elder Hai Sheng down, or perhaps used some other methods, he might have had some success. However, all other methods contained certain flaws. That was why had chosen this particular tactic.
It was difficult to pull off, but was the best way to push him downward.
Without his Eternal stratum, Meng Hao would already have collapsed into pieces. Even with it, he was only recovering slowly. Wiping the blood from his mouth, he extended his right hand and waved his finger toward the surface of the water.
“Flame!” he said softly.
When Elder Hai Sheng saw Meng Hao’s expression, his own face fell. At the same time, flames suddenly appeared in the water beneath the enclosed trap of seawater walls. Apparently, flames had been there all along!
It was Divine Flame, the same Divine Flame Meng Hao had used to kill the sea beasts earlier. Essence of Divine Flame!
The Essence of Divine Flame erupted, shooting through the seawater walls to surround Elder Hai Sheng!
The flames rose up in the blink of an eye, turning the water into a sea of flames, a world of fire, a heaven and earth created from the Essence of Divine Flame within which elder Hai Sheng was completely imprisoned.
“Divine Flame! Impossible! I clearly saw this flame outside in the Ninth Sea! Even if it possesses Essence, it still shouldn’t be able to get into my death trap so quickly!!” Elder Hai Sheng’s face instantly filled with disbelief. The Demonic Cultivator Horde had done extensive investigations into Meng Hao in their preparations to kill him. How could they have missed something as powerful as Essence of Divine Flame?!
At the same time, Elder Hai Sheng could sense that this sea of flames could definitely hurt him. Thankfully, the injuries weren’t very serious yet, and if he escaped quickly, the effects would be minimal.
“Piddling Divine Flame. I’m not sure how you managed to pull off this trick. But your threat… is in vain! You can’t use this flame to kill me! How juvenile!” Elder Hai Sheng snorted coldly, and was just about to charge out of the sea of flames toward Meng Hao. Once he did so, Meng Hao’s gambit to trap and kill him would immediately fail.
He had one other option, which was to go downward into the sea, but that would mean he would have to break the sea wall seal, and he would suffer the backlash attack. That was something he wouldn’t do except as a last resort.
“What if you can’t get out?” asked Meng Hao, his voice cold. After absorbing the Paragon’s blood, all of his magical techniques and divine abilities had become more powerful. The Divine Flame was Essence, and because of the Essence power in the Paragon’s blood, the Divine Flame was far more powerful. That was why it had been able to pierce through the sea walls!
Unfortunately, it had only been able to pierce through them, not completely destroy them. That would have taken much longer.
Almost in the same moment that Meng Hao’s voice rang out, Elder Hai Sheng tried to escape from the sea of flames. In response, Meng Hao waved his finger.
“Demon Sealing, Eighth Hex!”
As soon as the Hexing magic was unleashed, Elder Hai Sheng stopped in mid-movement. His face fell as his attempt to escape failed completely. He was surrounded by flames, causing him to rage inwardly.
Meng Hao paid a bit of a price to unleash the Eighth Hex, causing blood to ooze out of his mouth. However, he ignored the injury and waved his right hand again to unleash a variety of magical techniques and divine abilities on Elder Hai Sheng.
Risking serious injury to himself, he shoved Elder Hai Sheng deeper into the sea of flames.
Elder Hai Sheng trembled, and was just about to recover from the Eighth Hex when Meng Hao waved his finger and unleashed it again.
This happened over and over, causing Elder Hai Sheng to roar inwardly. He was incapable of escaping, and was stuck in the sea of flames. His skin began to split, and his body began to wither. Gradually, he was beginning to sense a feeling of intense crisis, as well as incredible shock. In the next moment in which he recovered, before Meng Hao could unleash more restrictive Hexes, he bit the tip of his tongue and spat out some blood, which turned into a Blood Dragon that charged toward Meng Hao. Simultaneously, Elder Hai Sheng attempted to make another break for freedom.
Meng Hao’s eyes glittered and he took a deep breath. Once again, he unleashed the Life-Extermination Fist. His body trembled, and blood sprayed out of his mouth. The fist strike instantly shattered any hopes Elder Hai Sheng had of extricating himself. The Blood Dragon was shattered, and the power of the strike slammed into Elder Hai Sheng, whereupon Meng Hao once again utilized the Eighth Hex.
A ferocious expression could be seen on Meng Hao’s face. He once again launched an attack, waving his hand. Even as Elder Hai Sheng recovered, Meng Hao performed an incantation gesture and summoned the Paragon Bridge. It rumbled down viciously toward Elder Hai Sheng.
“Damn you, Meng Hao!!” Elder Hai Sheng roared. He tried again to free himself but failed. The injuries caused by the sea of flames continued to intensify. All protective magical items that he used were useless. No matter what he did, he failed. Meanwhile, his skin was splitting more dramatically, and he was withering up.
What filled him with even more fear was the thought of, after being stuck within the sea of flames for too long, the Divine Flame boring into his body and burning up his internal organs!