The seven days passed by in a flash. After Meng Hao concluded his sermon outside the log cabin on the Holy Island, the surrounding cultivators, beasts, birds, and even the vegetation and fish seemed to be completely absorbed in the process of being enlightened, even though he had already stopped talking.
Meng Hao slowly rose to his feet and looked around at all the beings surrounding him. After a moment of thought, he murmured, “Since we’re connected by destiny, I might as well help all of you one more time.”
He waved his right hand, causing the Immortal qi and spiritual energy in the area to churn. It then poured into the soil of the Holy Island, nourishing it, bolstering it for all eternity.
Now it was really and truly a Holy Land. For years to come, practicing cultivation for a single day there would be like cultivating for a year elsewhere. Even the land beyond the shores of the lake was affected. The effect wasn’t as strong, but it still made the entire area incredibly suitable for cultivation.
When he finished, Meng Hao looked back at the log cabin, then turned and vanished into thin air. The door closed, leaving behind the two statues in their red robes, which would remain sealed there forever, smiling and looking into each other’s eyes.
From that day forth, the Holy Island was open for all to visit. However… the log cabin was a place that could not be entered by anyone whose cultivation base was lower than Meng Hao’s.
Meng Hao left the island and went to Blood Prince Gorge in the Blood Demon Sect, which was now a restricted area that no one was allowed to enter. If the island was a Holy Land for the Southern Domain, then Blood Prince Gorge was a Holy Land for the Blood Demon Sect.
Patriarch Blood Demon had long since passed away into meditation. Meng Hao stood outside of his cave, clasped hands and bowed deeply.
He stayed in Blood Prince Gorge for seven days, although no one in the Blood Demon Sect was aware of that fact, ensuring that the seven days passed very quietly.
During that time, he removed the black bat from his bag of holding. He performed a soulsearch, but even with the current level of his cultivation base, he was still unable to uncover any useful information. All he knew was that the black bat was consumed with a powerful desire to possess him.
In addition, he was clearly able to detect the aura… of a renegade spirit. He even called the parrot out to check.
After a bit of curious investigation, the parrot told Meng Hao that the black bat… definitely had the soul of a renegade spirit somewhere in its bloodline. That information confirmed Meng Hao’s suspicions that the renegade spirit bat the mastiff had possessed in the Windswept Realm might not have been complete. After a bit of thought, he gave the black bat to the mastiff, who was clearly ravenous.
The mastiff howled and began to absorb it.
Seven days later, Meng Hao left Blood Prince Gorge. He also… imbued the place with Immortal qi, making it a extremely suitable place for cultivation, similar to the Holy Island. He also sealed the log cabin in Blood Prince Gorge.
He wasn’t sure when he might be able to return, and deep in his heart, he hoped… that when he returned with Xu Qing, everything would be the way he left it.
After leaving the Blood Demon Sect, he went to the Ancient Temple of Doom, where he waved his hand to create a statue. It was a statue… of the mastiff.
The mastiff was a blood spirit which had originated with the Blood Immortal. If that Blood Immortal were in Meng Hao’s presence right now, she wouldn’t be a match for him at all. However, Meng Hao felt it was still appropriate for him to help the mastiff create this statue, as a way of connecting it to its original ancestor.
After seeing the statue of itself, the mastiff looked around at the Ancient Temple of Doom with a complicated expression.
Eventually, Meng Hao left for the Rebirth Cave, taking the mastiff with him.
Throughout the years that Meng Hao had been away from the Rebirth Cave, cultivators continued to travel there to attempt rebirth. Unfortunately, none had succeeded, as was evidenced by the fact that there were more bones there than the last time he had been here. He proceeded in toward the depths of the cave until he found the same wall he had stood in front of the last time he had been here. He studied it, his eyes flickering.
Never for all eternity would he forget the door he had seen in this location last time, just as he had been about to leave. In that moment, it had almost seemed like an illusion which instantly faded away. However, Meng Hao was sure of what he had seen. 1
Because of the level of his cultivation base at that time, he had been unable to get an answer to the puzzle of that door. Now he was back, standing in front of that same wall, his eyes gleaming.
“I wonder if I’ll be able to unearth any more clues, given the current level of my cultivation base….” He unleashed his cultivation base, causing scintillating azure light to shine out. His Allheaven Dao Immortal Realm was more refined than before, and the fusion with his third Nirvana Fruit was now more complete.
As the power of his cultivation base spread out, he waved his finger in the direction of the wall, causing the azure light to spill onto the wall, illuminating it completely.
He stared at the wall as it began to transform. It seemed to wriggle and writhe, and gradually, an archaic and ancient door appeared.
However, the door seemed unstable, as if it were shifting between being illusory and corporeal. It appeared to be exuding a sinister air, and Meng Hao was even able to detect a bit of wild energy that seemed to seep into him.
It was as if someone were erupting with rage, screaming words that he didn’t understand. It sounded like the murmurings of all living things crying out in his ears. With a cold harrumph, he said, “Illusions and lies!”
He reached out and pushed down onto the door, causing a rumbling sound to echo out. However, the door didn’t even budge.
He frowned and pushed on the door again more forcefully, but the result was the same.
All of a sudden, an archaic voice spoke from behind him. “You can’t open it….”
The voice spoke completely abruptly, and despite the level of Meng Hao’s cultivation base, he hadn’t been able to detect anyone behind him at all.
He spun around and saw an old man standing there. The old man had the demeanor of a transcendent being, and wore a slight smile on his face as he looked at Meng Hao.
Meng Hao gaped in shock; he instantly recognized this old man. It was none other than the man who had once painted him… Shui Dongliu!
“Senior Shui Dongliu!”
“You cannot, and must not, open that door,” Shui Dongliu said, looking at Meng Hao, his eyes beaming with admiration.
“What’s behind it?” Meng Hao didn’t take the time to think about why Shui Dongliu was here. Years ago, he had told Meng Hao that anyone who existed in his memory could not have their Karma severed by the Ji Clan. At that time he had guessed that such an ability revealed how incredibly powerful Shui Dongliu’s cultivation base must be.
In fact, Meng Hao could tell that Shui Dongliu… was probably even more powerful than he had imagined, although he had no proof to back up that feeling other than a hunch.
“It leads to another world,” Shui Dongliu said slowly. “Do you… want to have a look?” He waved his hand, causing a vortex to appear on the door. “Place your hand on the vortex, and you’ll be able to see.”
Meng Hao’s eyes flickered. After a moment of thought, he extended his hand and placed it onto the vortex. In the instant that he touched it, his vision suddenly swam.
When it became clear, he was looking at a starry sky. It was vast and boundless, and there were no Mountains and Seas, nor were there any planets. There was only a boundless void, within which Meng Hao saw several gargantuan butterflies. The butterflies were so indescribably large that entire worlds existed on their wings!
There weren’t just worlds, there were cultivators!
As the butterflies flew through the starry sky, it was possible to detect lines stretching out behind them, connecting them to an enormous land mass, which they were dragging behind them.
That land mass was shaped like a person!!
The butterflies dragged the landmass through the starry sky, and as they passed through the void, the stars shattered, and the Heavens collapsed!
Meng Hao took a deep breath as the vision of the world faded away, and everything returned to normal. The door on the wall was still there, but the vortex was gone.
“They’re going to be here soon….” Shui Dongliu said, his voice reverberating through the Rebirth Cave.
“They’re coming from outside the 33 Heavens. When they arrive at Planet South Heaven, then South Heaven will be displaced. In that moment… the catastrophe will begin.” Meng Hao turned around again, and Shui Dongliu had vanished without a trace, although the echoes of his voice could still be heard.
Meng Hao stood there silently for a moment, looking at the door as it slowly faded away. The wall returned to normal, and Meng Hao stood there, lost in thought.
Meng Hao knew a lot about the history of the Mountain and Sea Realm, and knew that it was facing a grave crisis and catastrophe. He was also aware that… it had something to do with the copper mirror in his bag of holding.
“It’s coming, and there’s no hiding….” he murmured. “However, before it comes, there’s still time to get stronger.” Then he turned his head in the direction of the Ancient Dao Lakes, and his eyes gleamed with anticipation.
Beneath the Dao Lakes was the Divine Flame world, a place he very much looked forward to visiting again. The last time he had been there, he had braved great danger to extract a bit of the Essence of Divine Flame. In fact, that Essence of Divine Flame had become one of his trump cards.
Now, he would go back to visit the Ancient Dao Lakes again, and the Divine Flame world underneath them. This time… he would not only take away a sliver of the Divine Flame, he planned to take away more, whatever he was capable of laying hands on….
To him, it was a location where he could vastly increase his battle prowess.
Meng Hao left the Rebirth Cave, filled with anticipation. He and the mastiff transformed into a beam of light that shot through the air at top speed. The clouds trembled, and colors flashed in the sky, and in the space of a few breaths of time, he had appeared in the air near the Ancient Dao Lakes.
He looked down at all the lakes, and his eyes came to rest on the largest of them. Eyes flickering with an intense, sharp gleam, he shot down from the sky like a meteor, kicking up a huge wind as he shot toward the central lake.
Closer and closer!