Meng Hao was completely shocked to be able to sense the qi flow of the Mountain and Sea Realm here, and it suddenly caused him to recall the fact that the Mountain and Sea Lord of the Eighth Mountain and Sea was supposed to be from the Meng Clan….
However, after arriving in the Eighth Mountain and Sea, everything he had heard and seen seemed to indicate the contrary, as if his memories were incorrect.
Meng Hao had been confused by that from the beginning, especially after hearing that the Lord of the Eighth Mountain and Sea was called Heavengod. From then on, he had begun to speculate about the situation.
“Heavengod. Heavengod…. has no surname attached to it.” Eyes flickering, he looked at the statue, sensing the qi flow of the Mountain and Sea Realm. That was something that no one other than him could detect.
Based on the fact that the statue’s face had been scraped off, Meng Hao got the feeling that there was some secret connection between Heavengod and the Meng Clan in the past.
“We’re home!” Meng De shouted. “Finally… we’re home!! Meng Chen, we’re home!” Meng De stood next to Meng Hao, looking excitedly at the Meng Clan continent and taking in a deep breath. From the look on his face, it was as if he suddenly had a new lease on life.
“Home….” Meng Hao murmured. When he thought about the members of his grandfather’s bloodline, his eyes flickered and turned to focus on one of the nine smaller continents attached to the larger one.
According to the Soulsearching he had performed on the Meng Clan cultivators on the ship, his grandfather’s bloodline was on the smallest continent among the nine.
Soon, the ship landed on the central continent, in the huge city that surrounded the statue. That was also the location of the Meng Clan ancestral mansion.
Meng De flew out, to where hundreds of Meng Clan cultivators were all waiting to receive him. Once he appeared, they clasped hands, bowed, and said, “We offer respectful greetings, Ninth Young Lord!”
Of course, Meng De was the Ninth Young Lord, and almost as soon as he heard that greeting, he seemed to revert to his old silkpants self. He nodded slightly as people clustered around him to escort him off into the distance. His father and mother had long since departed, and just as Meng De was about to leave, he seemed to remember Meng Chen, and turned. He looked at Meng Hao with a smile, then waved his hand, sending a jade pendant flying out.
Meng Hao caught it, after which Meng De spoke in a loud voice: “I’ll come looking for you in a few days.”
Meng Hao hefted the jade pendant and smiled. At first, nobody in the area had paid the slightest attention to him, but after Meng De gave him the jade pendant, people began to take notice of him, and their eyes glittered.
Meng Hao didn’t care about all of that. He disembarked from the ship, and then looked around at all the buildings. The entire place was unfamiliar, and the architecture was circular in design, much more flowing and unconstrained than the Fang Clan’s orderliness and stark, angular layout. As for the ancestral mansion, it was also constructed in a circular shape, and gave off a sophisticated, courtly air.
Numerous cultivators could be seen in the ancestral city as Meng Hao walked down the streets, and he quickly noticed that most of them were in the Spirit Realm. Immortal Realm cultivators were less common; for every hundred people he saw, only a handful were Immortals.
There were no shops in the area, nor were there any inns. In fact, it would probably be more appropriate to call this place the outskirts of the ancestral mansion, rather than a separate city. However, in size alone it was comparable to a city.
It was divided into certain districts, just like the Fang Clan was. There were the districts in the east, west, south and north, within which were huge courtyard residences where important clan members from the various bloodlines resided.
There was no Central District, nor was there a mausoleum, which might be expected. However Meng Hao could sense five unique auras inside the huge statue itself. Those auras were clearly auras of the Dao Realm!
However, of those five auras, two were very dim, almost on the point of being extinguished. The other three were much more vigorous, with one of them belonging to Meng De’s grandfather.
“Five Dao Realm cultivators…. Three have flourishing auras, two of them being 1-Essence, and one 2-Essences. Of the weak auras, there’s one Dao Lord and another… who I can’t ascertain. However, from what I can tell, that aura is on the verge of being extinguished.” Meng Hao looked away from the statue, eyes flickering as he sent his divine sense spreading out even further.
It only took a moment for his divine sense to fill the entire ancestral mansion, and for all the living beings therein to appear in his mind.
He glanced back at the statue, surprised that none of the five cultivators inside had detected his divine sense, nor activated any of the Meng Clan’s defenses. Meng Hao then thoughtfully began to retract his divine sense and head in the direction of the continent where his grandfather’s bloodline resided.
However, in almost the same moment that he made to leave, he suddenly stopped in place. There was a scene playing out somewhere nearby that he could see within his divine sense, which he then focused on.
An older woman could be seen in a courtyard residence, face ashen as she pleaded with a cold, arrogant middle-aged man. A younger woman lay at the man’s feet, covered with bruises and wounds. Her right hand was clenched tightly around something, and her face was deathly pale as the middle-aged man kicked her viciously over and over again.
“Big bro, stop!” the older woman pleaded. “Meng Ru is just worried about her bloodline relative, that’s why she stole the medicinal pill. Big bro….”
“She’s only a servant,” the man spat, “and she actually dared to steal a medicinal pill! It doesn’t matter why she did it, she deserves to die! If I don’t beat her to death, then wouldn’t everyone else try to imitate her?!” The middle-aged man’s eyes gleamed with killing intent as he reached down and grabbed the young woman by the hair. She was pretty, but had a red birthmark on her face, which the man seemed disgusted by. “You’re not bad except for that birthmark. How nauseating!”
“Big bro, Ru’er’s older cousin is in the Immortal Realm. He’s one of the Ninth Young Lord’s bodyguards. All she took was a medicinal pill, you… you don’t have to go so far.” The older woman continued to plead anxiously, occasionally glancing down at the younger woman, who lay there, blood oozing out of her mouth.
The older woman had no way to know that, even as the words left her mouth, Meng Hao was actually only a few streets away in the ancestral mansion. A tremor ran through him, and he turned, his expression icy.
He had already heard that most of the members of his grandfather’s bloodline were stationed in the houses of other clan members, where they worked as servants in exchange for cultivation resources. As of this moment, Meng Hao was certain that the young woman he was seeing with his divine sense was a member of his grandfather’s bloodline, a younger bloodline cousin of Meng Chen.
Meng Hao didn’t hesitate for even a moment. He took a step forward and vanished, his action undetectable even by the five Patriarchs.
Back in the courtyard residence, the middle-aged man began to laugh coldly in response to the words just spoken to him.
“Her older cousin? You mean that pretty boy Meng Whatshisname? Meng Chen, right? You think a bodyguard deserves to get face from me?” The man knelt down and grabbed Meng Ru’s hand. Expression icy, he began to break her fingers one by one. She trembled from the pain, but gritted her teeth and didn’t make a sound.
Soon, the medicinal pill in her hand was revealed, which was already dissolving because of the blood that had oozed onto it. The middle-aged man grabbed it and threw into a nearby pond.
Meng Ru’s eyes went wide. She hadn’t shed a single tear before this moment, not even when her fingers were being broken. But now that she saw the medicinal pill dissolving in the pond water, tears began to flow down her face.
“Aww, what’s this? Crying?” The man laughed and reached down as if to wipe away the tears. Before he could touch her face, though, a hand appeared out of nowhere and grabbed his own hand.
The man stared in shock, then let out a shriek as he saw Meng Hao standing there next to the young Meng Ru. Without even thinking about it, he took a step backward.
“Meng Chen! How dare you!!” Although the man had been frightened, after realizing who it was, he seemed to regain his courage. With a shout, he unleashed his cultivation base, which was only in the Dao Seeking stage.
“Big bro….” Meng Ru said, slowly looking up. When she laid eyes on Meng Hao, she began to weep and shake from the humiliation she had just endured.
“Get your hands off me, Meng Chen,” the middle-aged man said. “Dammit, what gall you have! If you dare to hurt me, I’ll tell my big bro, and he’ll wipe out your entire bloodline.”
“Apparently you’ve forgotten that I’m also surnamed Meng. Or is that you don’t consider us to be part of the Meng Clan any more?” Meng Hao had put some thought into the current miserable state of his grandfather’s bloodline, but to see what was actually happening made him feel like a knife was slicing away at his heart.
Meng Hao suddenly clenched his hand down, causing cracking and popping sounds to ring out. The middle-aged man screamed as Meng Hao crushed his hand into a bloody pulp. Terror and pain washed through him, but even as the scream left his mouth, Meng Hao patted his back.
That motion caused more cracking sounds to echo out as each and every last bone in the man’s body was shattered into powder. Without a skeleton to hold him up, the man collapsed into a pile of twitching flesh.
No more sounds came out of his mouth as he lay there, no longer in the shape of a human. His current state was one of pain that far exceeded that of death. The woman standing off to the side was so frightened that her jaw dropped. The suddenness of what had occurred left her in a state of disbelief.
As for Meng Ru, she was also staring in shock.
“Big bro….” she murmured as Meng Hao helped her to her feet. He placed his hand over hers, healing her broken fingers and injured internal organs. As she regained lucidity, she began to pant as she suddenly recalled something. Grasping Meng Hao’s forearm, she said, “Big bro, hurry, we have to get back. It’s grandmother, she’s… dying….”
“Grandmother…. Grandma Meng!!!” A tremor ran through Meng Hao. Without the slightest hesitation, he picked Meng Ru up in his arms and flew off into the distance. 1
When he left, the older woman who remained behind in the courtyard finally screamed, which attracted the attention of other clan members. When they arrived, they saw the bone-less middle-aged man lying there, and they gasped.
“Who did this? This… is a cruelty worse than death!”
As you may be aware, there are numerous very specific forms of address for relatives in Chinese. In this case, Meng Ru specifically mentions her “paternal grandmother” which causes Meng Hao to think of his “maternal grandmother.” This would indicate that Meng Ru is an actual member of the Meng Clan, with her father having been surnamed Meng, whereas Meng Hao is related to them through his mother, but would not be considered an actual member of the clan. After all, his father’s surname is Fang. I’m going to forgo translating the literal forms of address because they tend to get very clunky, especially when used in dialogue as a form of address. Instead, Meng Hao’s “maternal grandmother” will be “Grandma Meng” or simply “grandmother” depending on the context. Please note, her surname is not Meng; in Chinese culture women don’t change their surname upon marriage. However, you can address a female by the surname of her husband in Chinese culture, assuming you use the right form of address. If I remember correctly, Meng Hao’s mom Meng Li was even called “Madam Fang” at one point. Similar forms of address exist for other relatives. I did the same thing in the past with Meng Hao’s grandfathers. Instead of referring to them as paternal and maternal grandfathers, I’ve been calling them Grandpa Fang and Grandpa Meng. I think this way makes it much more simple to understand who is being referred to, and at the same time keeps the same familial feeling as the original Chinese. By the way, astute readers might remember a few times where an “Old Lady Meng” was mentioned, a real mythological character who serves people the tea of forgetfulness in the Underworld. Meng Hao’s grandmother does not have any connection to that woman! ↩