Popping sounds echoed out in all directions from within the region of scorching flames as intense pain wracked Elder Hai Sheng. Soon, his internal organs began to burn, intensifying both the pain and the sensation of crisis!
The shadow of death loomed over him, and he could sense that if this went on much longer, he… would die!
He was surrounded by a sea of flames that was rapidly burning him to ash!
He had never even considered the possibility that he might lose this battle, or that he might actually die. He hadn’t arrogantly assumed that he could win with only five extinguished Soul Lamps. Instead, he had immediately attacked with his trump card, a Soul Jade given to him by a late Ancient Realm expert from the Demonic Cultivator Horde.
The fact that he was still in a state of critical danger, even after his cultivation base had risen to the level of nine extinguished Soul Lamps… caused Elder Hai Sheng’s heart to tremble.
“Just what good fortune has this guy come across to become so powerful? Most importantly, it’s not just a matter of raw power; he’s vicious and merciless, plus extremely conniving!” As Elder Hai Sheng looked at Meng Hao, he felt an intense dread and terror rising up in him.
Meng Hao was an important person in the sect, so the Demonic Cultivator Horde had gone to great lengths to ensure that no one of the Dao Realm would be able to interfere. Furthermore, even peak Ancient realm cultivators were obstructed. Because of that, only two of the Demonic Cultivator Horde Elders had been sent out as part of the plan. That was their limit.
That was more than enough power to slaughter an Immortal Realm cultivator. Furthermore, Elder Hai Sheng had the Soul Jade as his trump card. To the Demonic Cultivator Horde, the power of nine extinguished Soul Lamps that he wielded was more than enough to clinch a victory. They assumed that nothing unexpected would happen that could upset the balance.
However, they… still underestimated Meng Hao!
Booms rang out. Meng Hao’s eyes were bloodshot as he levied shocking attacks against Elder Hai Sheng, over and over again. Elder Hai Sheng couldn’t escape, and was forced to remain within the sea of flames, growing closer and closer to death.
Every time he used the Eighth Demon Sealing Hex, Meng Hao had to pay a heavy price, and blood oozed out of his mouth. And yet, he attacked relentlessly and without stop. However viciously he treated others, he treated himself more viciously. That was the trump card he could use to secure victory against a more powerful opponent!
“Dammit!!” Elder Hai Sheng’s skin was on fire, and he was wracked with intense pain. He was almost on the verge of going mad, and the black-colored face superimposed over his own was beginning to flicker. Looking completely bizarre, he quickly performed a double-handed incantation gesture. When he looked up, the pitch black face let out a soundless roar. Elder Hai Sheng breathed in, raised both of his hands up, then shoved them out toward Meng Hao.
“Meng Hao… DIE!”
As his hands rose up, black mist poured out of his body, spreading out to fill the entire area with a sea of black fog.
Suddenly, Elder Hai Sheng was replaced by a gigantic heart. The heart was pitch black, and radiated wickedness and mystery. Furthermore, an archaic aura erupted out from it.
In unison with the aura’s eruption, cracking booms as loud as thunder could be heard coming from the heart.
The echoing sound caused Meng Hao’s face to flicker. Every movement of the bizarre heart caused the sound to echo out, along with a massive power that slammed down onto Meng Hao like a mountain!
At the same time, Meng Hao’s own heart was stabbed with pain. Every beat of the bizarre pitch-black heart caused strange power to stab against him like invisible blades!
Meng Hao’s heart felt like it was about to be ripped in two!
His cultivation base, his body, everything felt stabbing pain. Blood spurted out as the black heart hung there in midair, battering against the sea of flames.
This bizarre magical technique caused Meng Hao to begin to pant anxiously. His face was pale white, and his heart felt like it was about to burst out of his chest. He gritted his teeth and raised his hand, ignoring the intense pain.
When he waved his hand… eleven black pods flew out.
“Magical Pod Soldiers!” he cried. Popping sounds could be heard as the eleven black pods immediately transformed into eleven black imps. They were eyeless, with vicious, gaping mouths. Piercing screams could be heard as they rushed toward the black heart.
Elder Hai Sheng was instantly shocked by what was happening. Not only was Meng Hao unfamiliar with his own divine ability, this magic of turning tiny black pods into soldiers was something that Elder Hai Sheng had never even heard of before. The Demonic Cultivator Horde’s investigation hadn’t mentioned anything about this.
Even more shocking to Elder Hai Sheng was that, as the blackpod imps charged, their screams merged together into a shocking sound that caused the materialized black heart to begin to tremble. Then, it started fading, and the black fog that covered the sea started to retract.
Most unbelievable of all was that the pitch-black face that had appeared after crushing the jade slip earlier… let out a cry of alarm!
At that point, the blackpod imps descended onto the black-colored heart, merging into it as if to possess it!
“Impossible!” exclaimed Elder Hai Sheng, astonished.
This was the most dangerous thing about the blackpod imps; as soon as they appeared, the first thing they did was select a target to possess. It was only because of Meng Hao’s Life Death Hexing that he had been able to subjugate them. Furthermore, he had brought them under control one at a time. If all eleven had come at him simultaneously, he would also have been forced to flee.
The black heart was shaking in struggle, and the black mist was roiling backward. In the blink of an eye, massive rumbling could be heard as the heart shattered. Elder Hai Sheng once again appeared in the open, letting out a miserable shriek which echoed out in all directions.
No blackpod imps were visible on his person. All eleven were inside of him, causing the pitch black face superimposed over his own to twist as if it were struggling.
“What are these things!?” he said, voice trembling with fear. Suddenly, his cultivation base changed, quickly phasing between nine extinguished soul lamps and his original five.
Meng Hao’s eyes flickered with killing intent as he took advantage of the situation to close in. His right hand waved, materializing a divine ability, shoving Elder Hai Sheng back down into the sea of flames.
His unstable cultivation base made it difficult for Elder Hai Sheng to fight back against the power of the sea of flames. Also, because of the huge change to his cultivation base, flames wreathed his body, and his organs burned even more quickly.
“SCREWWWWW OOOOOOFFFFFFFFFFF!” Elder Hai Sheng roared madly. The sensation of imminent death was intense, and as he roared, his body grew larger. The scale on his forehead instantly spread out to cover him, and his two horns grew longer. In only a few breaths’ worth of time, he had transformed into a Sea Dragon!
He was now a huge, 300-meter long Sea Dragon!
This was his true form!
He was a pitch-black Sea Dragon, and as soon as he appeared, he threw his head back and howled, using some unknown technique to cause his whole body to distort. Popping sounds could be heard as the blackpod imps were suddenly ejected out of him.
However… as his body grew larger, he became more exposed, and flames covered him, burning him. In the blink of an eye, many of his scales were melted, revealing bones underneath.
“Meng Hao, I’m gonna EAT YOU!!” he roared. Enraged, his body twisted and his huge head shot madly toward Meng Hao. His eyes were crimson, and a foul wind blasted out as he opened his mouth wide to consume Meng Hao.
Meng Hao’s expression was the same as ever. His face was a bit pale, but as the dragon closed in on him, he took a deep breath, then clenched his fist… and punched!
One punch. Not the Life-Exterminating Fist, but rather… the Self-Immolation Fist!
A Devilish aura covered over all other auras as the punch shot forward. This was a punch that was willing to pay any price to succeed, as if this fist strike could put one on the path to being a Devil!
Colors flashed in the sky and the wind screamed. The sea walls of the death trap trembled. The attacking Sea Dragon shrank back, letting out a defiant roar as the punch landed!
A massive, ear-splitting boom rang out. Sea Dragon Elder Hai Sheng let out a bloodcurdling scream. He ceased attacking and attempted to dive back down into the sea of flames. Meng Hao coughed up eight consecutive mouthfuls of blood, and his vision swam. He then bit down viciously on his tongue, forcing himself to regain clarity.
Terror shone in the Sea Dragon’s eyes as he sank down into the sea of flames. He made no further attempts to flee, but instead sped downward toward the death trap sea wall located under water. Shockingly, he was willing to be hit with the backlash that would result from trying to break out.
Elder Hai Sheng had to escape, otherwise he would die!!
Rumbling sounds could be heard as Sea Dragon Elder Hai Sheng went mad. He battered the wall nine times before a huge hole appeared. His Sea Dragon body trembled as a massive backlash force slammed into him.
He was instantly covered in lacerations. Scales flew off in all directions, and his flesh was mangled. The backlash was intense, even leaving Meng Hao shocked.
In the blink of an eye, the Sea Dragon body was on the verge of shattering into pieces. Elder Hai Sheng let out a huge roar, and massive quantities of black mist began to pour out of him, which bore the brunt of the backlash. That was the power of the Soul Jade. After a moment, the backlash power faded away, and Elder Hai Sheng forced his way out into the Ninth Sea.
His Sea Dragon form was severely injured, and he was about to lose consciousness. He used all of the power he could muster to swim out into the Ninth Sea.
“Mother Ninth Sea, save me!!” he implored as he sped along. He had been born in the Ninth Sea, and grown up there, so to him, the Ninth Sea was his mother!
Almost as soon as his voice rang out, nourishing power from the Ninth Sea poured into his body, healing and restoring him.
Meng Hao was not too far behind him, eyes flickering with killing intent. When he saw the Sea Dragon’s body recovering, his gaze turned as sharp as daggers, and he let out a vicious cry:
“Ninth Sea, if you dare to save him, then I guarantee, when I achieve the Dao, the Ninth Mountain will have NO SEA!”