Boundless spiritual energy poured into Meng Hao’s Cultivation base. Deep inside, his Second Dao pillar slowly grew more and more solid.
“If the spiritual energy weren’t constantly leaking, I could form the second Dao Pillar at any time!” Meng Hao sighed.
A few days later, he opened his glittering eyes. He had no idea how much of a stir he had caused in the outside world by stepping out of the third matrix at the same time as Wang Lihai and Song Jia.
Some people were speculating that Meng Hao must be a Chosen from some Sect. However, there was no way to confirm this, which just fuelled the guesses and rumors. Meng Hao’s performance made him somewhat of a dark horse.
Amidst the various discussions, the common conclusion reached was that Wang Lihai was having some problems. Were it not for that, he would have emerged much earlier.
Meng Hao looked at the puppy in front of him, and a warm look appeared on his face.
The puppy was now much bigger. It was about half the size of a person, like a baby ox. Thick, elegant, red fur covered its sturdy body, which seemed to brim with intense power. When it opened its mouth, its teeth seemed as sharp as swords. Its claws were as thick as human fists, and seemed sharp enough to rip open heaven and earth. Its eyes were crimson red, making it appear ferocious to the extreme. As it stood there, it would cause anyone to be shocked.
In fact, it was no longer a puppy. It had become a full grown dog, a Blood Mastiff!
It stood there, looking about coldly, as if the place where it stood was about to be encroached upon by others. If anyone attempted to approach Meng Hao, it would rip that person into pieces.
Meng Hao looked at the mastiff, and his expression grew warmer. In just a few months, it had grown from a tiny, unassuming puppy, into this current state. As they had fought their way through the various matrixes, they had formed a strange friendship.
They were wounded together, they charged forth together. They experienced life and death struggles, and baptism by blood, all together.
As if it could sense Meng Hao’s gaze, the mastiff turned its head and looked at him. The ferociousness instantly disappeared, replaced with happiness. Wagging its tail vigorously, it ran over to Meng Hao, stuck out its tongue, and licked his hand, looking at him with puppy dog eyes.
A smile broke out on Meng Hao’s face. When he ruffled the fur on the mastiff’s head, and saw the look of pleasure on its face, he couldn’t help but laugh.
Raising his head, Meng Hao looked back at the third matrix. There were still three people stuck inside. Ahead in the fourth matrix were three indistinct figures. Further ahead in the fifth, there was only one.
Meng Hao stood up, patting the mastiff and then striding, not into the fourth matrix, but into the glowing exit door. When he emerged, he was back in the volcano.
Months had passed during which Meng Hao hadn’t thought too much about the matter of his pill. He transformed into a colorful beam of light which shot toward Chu Yuyan. She sat there, eyes closed, meditating. As soon as Meng Hao arrived, she opened her eyes. Their gazes met, and then Chu Yuyan looked to the side. She lifted her hand up, and a medicinal pill flew out. Meng Hao snatched it. It was none other than the fifth minor pill.
His face was calm as he put the pill into his bag of the cosmos, then turned and disappeared. Not much time passed before he returned. When he did, he flicked his sleeve, and seven pills shot forward and landed in front of Chu Yuyan.
“These seven pills concocted together are the Seven Thunders Pill,” he said. He threw her a jade slip, which described the concoction formula. The exact amount of time needed to concoct the pill, however, had been erased by Meng Hao.
“Who is in first place?” asked Chu Yuyan, looking at Meng Hao and temporarily ignoring the Seven Thunders Pill formula.
“I can’t see what he looks like, but his Blood Divinity is a dragon.”
She thought for a moment. “He must be from the Li Clan.” After this, she looked down and began to study the jade slip.
Meng Hao was silent for a while. Then, he slowly said, “You have one chance. If you fail, I don’t have enough ingredients for a second try.” He looked at her for a moment, then turned around and became a beam of light which disappeared into the distance. His eyes sparkled. “When she finishes the pill, she will no doubt consider consuming it. However, the turtle shell makes it quite clear that it takes about three months to use the seven minor pills to concoct the final pill…. She doesn’t know this, so I will be sure to be there at the key moment.” As he thought about this, he flew up to the glowing shield above the mists. He examined it carefully again, then shot back down to the Blood Immortal’s sacrificial altar. Without hesitation, he re-entered the Legacy zone.
Back on the wide platform, the mastiff instantly reappeared. It now exuded the powerful pressure of the late Foundation Establishment stage, which didn’t affect Meng Hao in the least bit. Meng Hao took a deep breath. Then his body flashed as he and the mastiff flew into the fourth matrix.
A vast, endless desert stretched out as far as the eye could see. Even though no scorching sun was visible in the sky, suffocating heat rippled throughout this world. It was as if the entire place were a giant steamer basket, intent on cooking everything inside until it withered up.
Meng Hao examined his surroundings, his heart filled with vigilance. After having passed through the second and third matrixes, he now understood a bit more how they worked. However, this desert was completely silent; not a shadow of a moving thing could be seen. No archaic voice echoed out to an explanation.
Meng Hao sat there contemplatively for a while, then lifted his foot and took a step forward. The mastiff walked quickly by his side. Man and dog, together they walked forward into the desolate and uninhabited desert. After he had taken a few steps, Meng Hao looked back at the path they had trod, and noticed that the footprints he had left behind had turned black.
Then, a black aura rose up from the footprints; the surrounding sand began to emanate a buzzing sound. From the speed with which the aura began to dissipate, it seemed as if it didn’t dare to even approach Meng Hao.
Suddenly, the black aura began to transform into a flower of three petals, which had the appearance of a demonic face. Then it disappeared.
Seeing this, Meng Hao eye’s narrowed. Suddenly, the mastiff began to howl. Looking off into the distance, Meng Hao saw a massive group of brown scorpions scurrying toward him. They seemed to be without number as they shot toward him from off in the horizon.
The mastiff flew up into the air, roaring. Above, the sky started to grow dark, as if evening were falling. But it was not evening, and if you looked closely at what above appeared to be dark storm clouds, you would see they were in fact clouds of winged scorpions, screaming through the air toward Meng Hao. In an instant, they had surrounded him, blotting out the sky completely.
“Poison….” thought Meng Hao. Looking back at his footprints he saw that the sand there was completely black. He turned and flicked his sleeve, comforting the mastiff, then walked toward the incoming scorpions.
The mastiff let out a threatening growl, following Meng Hao and eyeing the scorpions coldly.
But, as soon as Meng Hao neared them, they immediately fell back, emitting shrill, hissing shrieks. It seemed as if they didn’t dare to even come close to Meng Hao.
He didn’t slow down even the least bit. He walked forward, sending the scorpions into frenzied retreat. Sometimes a scorpion wasn’t fast enough. Immediately, a red tendril would emerge from the top of Meng Hao’s head and stab into its body, whereupon it would melt into a pool of black blood that sank into the sand.
It wasn’t just the land-based scorpions that acted in this way; the flying scorpions also gave him wide berth, not daring to get too close. Along with the mastiff, Meng Hao walked straight through all of them.
He walked across the land, surrounded by darkness. It seemed as if the poison in this place had no way to resist the power of the poison within Meng Hao’s body, and had no choice but to disperse in front of him.
Within Meng Hao’s two eyes appeared flickering flowers in the shape of laughing-crying demonic faces. Behind him gradually appeared… a three-colored Resurrection Lily!
The three-colors of the Resurrection Lily interlocked with each other and glimmered, making it impossible for any other poisons to exist nearby it.
Meng Hao’s face was expressionless. After he had walked for a day, an endless sea of vipers appeared in front of him. An acrid wind washed across his face. However, he just continued to walk forward, as if he hadn’t even noticed. When he approached, the vipers instantly began to twist and writhe, then let out anxious hissing noises as they slithered away. Some of them even allowed him to step directly onto their bodies. They would quiver, but offer no resistance. After he passed by they seemed to recover a bit.
It appeared as if within Meng Hao’s body existed the power of the sovereign of poisons. Facing this power, any other poison or poisonous creature had no choice but to lower its head in submission.
In contrast to Meng Hao, Wang Lihai proceeded through the desert with a frown, frequently consuming poison dispelling pills. In the seven previous Legacy tournaments of the past tens of thousands of years, this poison desert had appeared twice. The great Clans and Sects had taken special note of it. It didn’t appear every single time, because the spell matrixes often changed. But when it did, one needed to be completely prepared.
Even still, poison repelling pills were never completely effective, or were minimally effective against certain poisons. For example, at the moment Wang Lihai faced up against a thick poison mist.
Looking at it, his brow furrowed anxiously. From the first time he had stepped foot outside of the Wang Clan until now, he had never seen anything like it. He continued to wonder why the Patriarch had insisted that he be the one to come here. Thinking back to the look in the man’s eyes, there had to be some reason.
“There’s no way that I’ll actually die in here, is there?” His eyes flickered with a strange light.
Song Jia was also facing the poison mist in the fourth matrix. She had a beautiful face and an otherworldly countenance. Right now, a frown covered her face, despite the fact that a softly rippling shield surrounded her, protecting her.
The others who were in the fourth matrix were in similar situations. Time passed, and they slowly proceeded. Even the sand beneath their feet was poison, and they knew that if they were not cautious, they would die.
It can be said that without proper preparations, the fourth matrix is without a doubt a matrix of death. In fact, even having prepared, poison repelling items became less and less effective the further into the desert you went. You would have to rely on your Cultivation base, and your luck.
But Meng Hao was different…. He walked forward through the poison mist, his face expressionless. He drew in a breath, but the poison mist did nothing but float away from him. In fact, the air was completely clear for a space of thirty meters in all directions.
The mastiff followed Meng Hao eagerly. It seemed to be quite happy to take such a leisurely stroll through this matrix. It pounced forward and stepped down on a poison creature, batting it back and forth between its paws. It seemed to be having a lot of fun. It looked at Meng Hao, then bounded after him.
Seven days passed, and Meng Hao was already far, far ahead of any of the others. In the depths of the desert, he slowly stopped walking, looking forward in amazement. Something very strange had just appeared in front of him.
There, in an empty stretch of desert, was a place with no sand. It contained only a single flower.
This flower… had four petals that were composed of four colors. Its leaves were emerald green, and its petals had the appearance of a demonic face that was both crying and laughing at the same time…. This was none other than a four-colored Resurrection Lily.
A Resurrection Lily growing here, in this desert, in this spell matrix.
This chapter was sponsored by Christopher Weisser