Just as Meng Hao was about to blast up into the sky and start fighting, the Daoist priest appeared in mid-air, beaming with a huge smile as he hollered, “Don’t go, my little disciple!”
Although his shout seemed casual, it actually caused the sky to shake violently, as if it were about to collapse. In fact, if you looked up, you would see innumerable rifts opening up.
The red mist which had been just about to shoot down, suddenly shrank back, as if whatever person was concealed inside were suddenly shaking, and going all out to retreat.
This sudden turn of events caused Meng Hao to stare in shock, and also, sadness. His original plan had been to leave Planet Luo River, and in the process, incite the Chosen in that red mist into fighting, then use A Writ of Karma to force him or her to owe Meng Hao money.
How could he ever have imagined that the Daoist priest would interfere? The level of this priest’s cultivation base caused Meng Hao’s eyes to widen slightly. He obviously had a very high position in the Righteous Noble Sect, and from the way he had shouted just now, Meng Hao could tell that he was a 3-Essences Dao Lord, comparable to Patriarch Blacksoul, or perhaps a bit higher.
That made Meng Hao even more depressed than before. Back when he couldn’t fight Dao Realm experts, he had virtually never encountered a single one. But now that he was capable of fighting them, they seemed to be popping up everywhere.
The reality of the situation was that it was because he was in a much different position now, and thus the people he encountered were different. In any of the various Mountains and Seas, the number of Dao Realm experts would never exceed several dozen. Most of them ended up as Patriarchs of various sects, and as such, were not the type of people ordinary cultivators ever encountered.
Take, for example, Patriarch Blacksoul. In a sect with hundreds of thousands of cultivators, there was only one Dao Realm cultivator, Patriarch Blacksoul!
And yet, because Meng Hao could fight Dao Realm experts, it was only natural that when he got involved in a situation, it would take the interference from them to resolve that situation.
As for this Daoist priest from the Righteous Noble Sect, he truly was a 3-Essences Dao Lord, and was one of three Dao Realm experts in that sect. In fact, he wasn’t even the strongest of those three, but rather the second strongest!
Having three Dao Realm experts meant that the Righteous Noble Sect was in a very strong position in the Heavengod Alliance, a trend which was very similar to the Ninth Mountain and Sea.
“There’s no need to flee, my little disciple. Come, come, return with me to the Righteous Noble Sect. With me around, nobody would ever dare to lay a hand on you!” The Daoist priest approached, staring at Meng Hao with wide eyes. Meng Hao subconsciously edged backward.
The Daoist priest didn’t seem to mind. The more he looked at Meng Hao, the more excited he got because of that righteous, noble aura on him, which was apparently very special. Although the aura was fading, it was still quite apparent. In fact, it was the most clearly visible such aura that the Daoist priest had seen for many years.
“Aiii, if only I could have found you before you started practicing cultivation. I could definitely have raised you into the most powerful expert in the Righteous Noble Sect! Although, it’s not too late. Come, come. Your name is Meng Hao, right? You know, if you join the Righteous Noble Sect, you can get a Daoist name!
“My Daoist name is the Noble Ran. Let me think for a second….” The Daoist priest slapped his thigh. Smiling radiantly, he said, “I got it! Your Daoist name is the Righteous Haowie!”
The disciples of the Righteous Noble Sect around him exchanged dismayed glances. All of a sudden, they were no longer looking at Meng Hao with hostility, but rather, with sympathy.
Meng Hao was turning a bit green in the face. The Righteous Haowie, the Righteous Haowie…. When he heard the name, he wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. Were it not for the fact that he could tell that the Daoist priest harbored no ill will against him, he would long since have gone ballistic.
“This is ridiculous!” Meng Hao said, flicking his sleeve. Face cold, he snorted, ignoring the Daoist priest and spinning to shoot up into the sky. He wanted to leave Planet Luo River, but at the same time, was wary of the Daoist priest.
Even though Meng Hao could sense that the man did not want to hurt him, it was still better to be cautious. In order to make sure the man didn’t try to stop him, he transformed into an azure roc, flapped his wings, and shot away, leaving behind nothing but a series of sonic booms.
The Daoist priest stood where he was and did nothing to block Meng Hao’s way. Instead, he looked on with a broad smile. The Righteous Noble Sect disciples behind him had strange looks on their faces as they tried to figure out exactly what their muddle-headed Patriarch was out to do.
“Well, if you want to leave, I won’t stop you. However, we are destined to be Master and apprentice, Noble Haowie. It has been fated by the Mountains and Seas. It has been fated… that within ten breaths of time, you will return.” The Daoist priest’s words were very mysterious. He stood there, hands clasped behind his back, looking every bit the transcendent being. Based on physical appearance alone, he appeared to be anything but ordinary.
Meng Hao sped along in azure roc-form, and within the space of a few breaths of time, he could see that out in the starry sky, tens of thousands of beams of light were shooting in his direction.
Boiling killing intent raged, distorting the starry sky. If that were all there were to it, it might not be a big deal. Meng Hao would still choose to leave. But soon, he realized that among those beams of light were the fluctuations of at least ten Dao Realm experts.
All of them were speeding in his direction!
Even Meng Hao’s scalp went numb at the thought of ten Dao Realm cultivators. That was not even to mention the fact that among those ten auras, two of them… exceeded the level of Dao Lords!
There was no way he could leave now! Even if he somehow got away from Planet Luo River, he still wouldn’t be able to avoid being killed eventually. Unfortunately… Patriarch Blacksoul hated Meng Hao so much that he was willing to treat himself completely viciously.
Perhaps individual cultivators might be able to ignore the idea of having him as a slave for a thousand years, but to a sect as a whole, that was too much of a temptation. They would do anything possible to make that happen!
“Heavengod Alliance….” Meng Hao said, eyes flickering coldly. With a sigh, he rolled his eyes, turned, and headed back down toward the surface of Planet Luo River.
Even as he turned back, the ten Dao Realm experts joined forces to attack. Rumbling filled the air as the power of numerous Essences materialized, transforming into a stream of brilliant light, almost like an enormous whip, which slashed through the void toward Meng Hao even as he retreated back down toward the lands of Planet Luo River.
At the same time, the rest of the cultivators pushed forward with explosive speed.
Back down on Planet Luo River, the cultivators from the four local sects had just seen Meng Hao leave. Just moments later he returned, looking very out of sorts; countless beams of light could be seen behind him in the starry sky, as well as a seven-colored light stream.
As the seven-colored light stream closed in, Meng Hao’s face fell, and he quickly shouted out to the Daoist priest.
“Master, save me!!”
The transcendent-looking Daoist priest cleared his throat. Keeping his hands clasped behind his back, he slowly looked up and said, “Who is calling out for Master?”
He seemed to be refusing, but really… he was actually quite pleased with himself.
Meng Hao smiled bitterly. Behind him, the stream of light was closing in, bursting with killing intent. If it touched him, he wouldn’t be killed instantly, but it would definitely reopen the wounds he had just spent all this time healing.
Gritting his teeth, he said, “I’m… I’m the Righteous Haowie, oh Master, if you don’t save me right away, then I won’t recognize you as my Master!”
Immediately, the Daoist priest’s eyes began to shine as brightly as the sun and moon.
“Ah, fear not, my little disciple. Master is coming!”
Laughing with excitement, and looking somewhat smug, he suddenly took a step forward. When his foot landed, he was between Meng Hao and the seven-colored stream of light. Suddenly, he lifted his right hand in the air, angling his hand as if he were holding a brush, and then began to write characters in the middle of the air!
“How dare you bastards bully my apprentice! The Righteous Haowie is an upright person with a righteous, noble aura! Any enemy of his is an enemy of mine!
“You’re at the threshold of Planet Luo River, and this is the Righteous Noble Sect! Do me a favor and screw off!”
Colors flashed and the wind howled. As the Daoist priest waved his hand to write characters, magical symbols flickered, and at the same time, a righteous, noble aura suddenly exploded out from him. That in turn seemed to incite the aura of Planet Luo River itself, which surged out and slammed into the seven-colored stream of light.
Massive rumbling could be heard as the stream of light quivered and then collapsed into pieces. At the same time, the righteous, noble aura shot further out into the starry sky, becoming an invisible pillar of qi that caused the entire starry sky to tremble. The incoming cultivators were all shocked and stopped in place, not daring to get any closer.
Numerous shouts of rage could be heard after the stream of light collapsed.
“Xu Ran, you oaf, are you crazy!?!?”
“He’s always been crazy!”
“That’s Meng Hao! He’s not your apprentice, he’s the killer who took out the whole Blacksoul Society!”
“Xu Ran, is your Righteous Noble Sect actually going to violate the orders of the Heavengod Alliance!?!?”
The sound of their cries echoed out, causing the lands to quake, rivers to flow backward, and all living beings to tremble.
“I might be crazy sometimes, but not today!” the Daoist priest replied, his voice booming. “You’re the crazy ones! You might not be able to tell, but I can clearly see that Meng Hao has a righteous, noble aura. For him to have an aura like that means that anyone he killed deserved to die!
“If he exterminated the Blacksoul Society, that indicates… that the Heavens, the Eighth Mountain and Sea itself, and even the will of the entire Mountain and Sea Realm, wished the Blacksoul Society to be eradicated!
“It doesn’t matter who he is, Meng Hao or some other Hao. Today, he’s my apprentice, the Righteous Haowie!” With that, he swished his sleeve, causing massive rumbling to fill Heaven and Earth as he once again summoned the power of Planet Luo River to surge out into the starry sky.
Of course, for him to do such a thing twice, to fight back against ten Dao Realm experts and countless other cultivators, left him with blood oozing out of his mouth.
Meng Hao was shaken. He looked silently at the Daoist priest, feeling more than a little moved. After hearing the man talking about his supposed righteous, noble aura, Meng Hao suddenly began to speculate that it actually had something to do with the qi flow of the Mountain and Sea Realm.
They were now at an impasse. The cultivators who had come to kill Meng Hao remained out in the starry sky, unwilling to enter Planet Luo River. This was one of the original planets of the Eighth Mountain and Sea, not an artificial planet created by some almighty cultivator. It had existed for as long as the Eighth Mountain and Sea had, and was one of only four planets like it. Any powerful sects on those primary planets were important parts of the Heavengod Alliance.
Furthermore… they all had secret magics that enabled them to control the power of those planets themselves!