Meng Hao moved with incredible speed, bursting into the region of the 33 Hells, with Xuan Daozi and Hong Chen hot in pursuit. Soon, all three were speeding through the area near the rifts, which was permeated with an aura of death.
Meng Hao’s eyes flickered coldly. He had chosen to enter this deathly region, and as such, was prepared for the deadly nature of the area. After looking around, he couldn’t be sure, but it seemed that only four or five of the 33 glowing rifts could be entered. Apparently the others were as yet unopened.
However, his eyes didn’t betray the slightest sign of hesitation as he shot directly toward the nearest completely opened rift.
It almost looked like a gaping mouth that sucked in life and breathed out death. As soon as Meng Hao neared it, he vanished.
Behind him, Xuan Daozi and Hong Chen gritted their teeth hard and then followed him in.
Further on back were the various trembling members of the Meng Clan. They only had Immortal Realm cultivation bases, so any Young Lord who had a brain would never ask them to participate in a struggle between Dao Realm experts.
However, this young master of the Meng Clan, who was referred to as a Young Lord, had given clear orders. Anyone who refused to comply would be severely punished once they returned to the clan.
Therefore, they could only grit their teeth and risk life and limb. There was no backing out, and therefore, it was with grieving, bloodshot eyes that they flew into the shining rift, one after another.
Not long after everyone followed Meng Hao into the 33 Hells, a collection of white bones suddenly rumbled in the same direction from off in the starry sky. They moved with incredible speed, and eventually came to a stop not far from the Meng Clan ship, revealing the figures that had been barely visible inside before. All of them had completely expressionless faces, and radiated powerful murderous auras.
When the Young Lord on the Meng Clan’s ship saw the bones, his face flickered. “Han… Han Qinglei!!”
The old man standing off to the side stepped forward protectively, and the ship’s shield was activated. Both of them looked nervously at the bones and the black-robed young man who sat in their midst, chin resting on his hand.
This was none other than the Echelon cultivator from the Eighth Mountain, Han Qinglei!
“Meng Clan….” he said, eyes flickering with killing intent as he glanced first at the Meng Clan’s ship and then the 33 Hells.
“Where is Meng Hao?” he asked coolly, his voice echoing out in all directions.
The Meng Clan’s Young Lord began to tremble. He could act fiercely toward his own clan members, and behave arrogantly in front of Meng Hao, but that was only because he didn’t know the difference between Heaven and Earth. When it came to Han Qinglei, though, he was instantly filled with dread.
The person to respond to Han Qinglei was the Young Lord’s Dao Protector. “Meng Hao went into that area over there,” he said. He was a cautious man who was well aware that Han Qinglei could not be underestimated. He was also aware of the deadly enmity which existed between Han Qinglei and the Meng Clan.
“The initial opening of the 33 Hells….” Han Qinglei frowned as he examined the 33 glowing rifts closely. Finally, an expression of determination appeared in his eyes. Uncharacteristically ignoring the Meng Clan’s ship, he sent the bones flying toward the 33 Hells.
All of his followers once again turned blurry as they clustered around him to follow.
Time passed. Several hours later, more beams of light could be seen flying through the starry sky in the area, which were cultivators of the Heavengod Alliance. They had come in pursuit of Meng Hao, but once they realized that the 33 Hells had appeared, cries of shock could be heard, and jade slips were pulled out to inform their sects.
It didn’t take long for the shocking news to spread throughout the Heavengod Alliance, and soon countless cultivators were flocking to the area. One powerful expert after another arrived. After all, the 33 Hells… were the most mysterious and enigmatic place in the entire Eighth Mountain and Sea!
In fact, they might even be the most mysterious and enigmatic place in the Mountain and Sea Realm as a whole!
The opening of the 33 Hells was something that would shake the entire Eighth Mountain and Sea!
Soon, more and more cultivators had gathered in the area. However, few people actually dared to enter. Apparently, Meng Hao wasn’t even that important anymore; what was more important was the good fortune to be had in the 33 Hells.
As soon as Meng Hao entered the world of that glowing rift which was the 33 Hells, he was cut off from the outside world. He was in another world, a world where everything was gray and filled with a boundless aura of death. Rubble could be seen everywhere, as well as numerous decaying shades who shuffled about blankly, occasionally letting out howls and roars.
The powerful aura of death was concentrated enough to extinguish one’s life force. As soon as Meng Hao entered this world, he could sense it, and his skin began to gradually wither. His life force slowly began to decay, and apparently not even his Eternal stratum was useful. His injuries worsened.
Off in the distance, an enormous stone stele could be seen rising up into the air. Despite how far away it was, Meng Hao could still see the faint characters written on its surface.
“Sealing Paramita…. Exalted Celestial Sea-Dao rests here, where his soul shall be suppressed for all time!”
The characters were filled with a powerfully domineering air, and the stone stele itself seemed to form the center of this entire world. It was almost as if it was the only seal holding this world in place. Underneath all of those characters, a name could be seen.
When Meng Hao saw that, his mind began to tremble, and the drop of Paragon’s blood inside of him began to boil. It transformed into qi and blood that filled Meng Hao, causing his heart to begin to beat in resonance with the world itself.
As his heart pounded, the lands around him shook, and at the same time, the shades shuffling around suddenly stopped in place and looked up at him.
It was in that exact moment that rumbling could be heard coming from behind him as Xuan Daozi and Hong Chen arrived.
“Meng Hao, it doesn’t matter that you’ve fled to this place, you’re dead!” Xuan Daozi shrieked, flying directly toward Meng Hao.
Killing intent flickered in Meng Hao’s eyes; ignoring how it increased his injuries, he gritted his teeth and transformed into an azure roc, shooting toward the stone stele and causing rumbling sounds to fill the lands.
He could just barely tell that something was beckoning to him from there.
Meng Hao flew at top speed, and as he got closer to the stone stele, the Paragon’s blood inside of him seethed even more. That in turn caused his wounds to begin to heal, much to Meng Hao’s delight.
Simultaneously, the shuffling shades down below suddenly began to shriek, and fly into the air toward both Meng Hao and Xuan Daozi, as if to prevent them from getting close to the stone stele.
That was the moment in which the clan members from the Meng Clan began to appear, one after another, their faces pale with astonishment as they looked around.
Massive rumbling could be heard as the rotting shades shot through the air. Some were cultivators and others were beasts, but all of them were adorned in a fashion that was clearly not from modern times. Obviously, they had been involved in the same ancient battle, and had been buried alive in this place along with the one who was being suppressed here.
Even as they neared Meng Hao, his eyes flashed as he fortuitously recalled something which had happened in the past. It was in the Ruins of Immortality in the Ninth Mountain and Sea, when he had encountered… the Sixth Generation Demon Sealer.
That was when he had learned the Sixth Demon Sealing Hex, the Life-Death Hex!
He clearly remembered how the Sixth Generation Demon Sealer had encountered entities similar to these, and had used the Life-Death Hex to control them.
There were many similarities between what happened back then and what was happening right now. The main difference was that this was the 33 Hells, and that had been in the Ruins of Immortality.
Without any hesitation, Meng Hao waved his hand toward the incoming shades, eyes glittering as he unleashed the Sixth Hex.
Dozens of magical symbols appeared in the palm of his hand, which radiated scintillating light. Suddenly, identical magical symbols appeared on the foreheads of all the entities charging Meng Hao. The entities then trembled as the magical symbols flickered in sync with Meng Hao’s, then flew off of their foreheads toward him, where they converged on the palm of his hand. He then closed his hand into a fist, and suddenly… could sense the dozens of shades inside of his mind.
And he could control them!
The Life-Death Hex had never been so easy to use, but Meng Hao didn’t have time to think about it. He immediately sent out orders, causing the dozens of shades to howl and then pass by Meng Hao to charge toward Xuan Daozi and Hong Chen.
Xuan Daozi was completely shocked. He had no idea what kind of magical technique Meng Hao had just used, but he could see that the strange shades were completely ignoring him. Xuan Daozi’s heart began to thump.
Hong Chen had a similar reaction.
Meng Hao didn’t even look back at what was happening. He continued onward, putting more distance between him and them. However, he wasn’t done with his counterattack. As soon as he started moving, he would unleash the Life-Death Hexing seal on any entity he saw, and send them all back to attack Xuan Daozi and Hong Chen.
Soon, he was in the region of the stone stele, and had sent over a hundred entities back to engage in fierce fighting with Xuan Daozi and Hong Chen.
The entities had no regard for their own lives or deaths. They only followed instructions. Auras of death swirled around them as they fought with incredible fierceness. Even as the booms rang out, Meng Hao arrived at the base of the stone stele.
When he looked up, he realized that the stone stele looked almost like an enormous staff, plunged deep into the earth. It was impossible to say how deep down it went. In either case, instead of saying that it was a stone stele, it would be better to say… that it was an enormous gravestone!
“If it’s a gravestone,” Meng Hao murmured, “then this place really is an enormous grave!” Because of the call of the gravestone, and the boiling Paragon’s blood, his cultivation base was being restored even faster.
A bright glow appeared in his eyes. His injuries had been severe, so if he could recover here, he didn’t care if it was because of the gravestone or even because of some ancient corpse. He quickly shot up into the air to appear moments later at the top of the gravestone, where he sat down cross-legged.
As he sat down, the entire gravestone began to rumble, and the Paragon’s blood inside of him boiled with more intensity. Furthermore, his cultivation base was being fully restored at a terrifyingly fast speed!
As he healed, he looked out coldly at all of the dozens of shades surrounding Xuan Daozi and Hong Chen, and his eyes gleamed with killing intent.
Simultaneously, as he sat there cross-legged, in the soil at the base of the gravestone, suddenly… two greedy eyes appeared, which stared up at Meng Hao.
“It’s been a long, long time… since I’ve seen any living being in my world. Even when people came in from the outside and stood directly in front of me, I could never see them. But him… I can actually see him!! A fresh, living body…. I, Greed, must have it!”