In almost the same moment that the boy began to close in on Grandma Meng, Meng Hao was up in the starry sky attempting to ignite his 21st Soul Lamp. Suddenly, his eyes flickered, and he looked down toward the Meng Clan ancestral mansion.
“Looking to die!?” he said, his voice echoing like thunder. Suddenly, he vanished, reappearing between the boy and Grandma Meng, still surrounded by the sea of flames.
It happened so quickly that the boy could never have anticipated it happening. Meng Hao’s speed was completely shocking, and the very instant that he appeared, he clenched his right fist and let loose a punch.
The Life-Extermination Fist!
As the fist rocketed out, the boy’s eyes gleamed, and he placed both hands together to perform an incantation gesture, then blew out a gust of air. Immediately, the black sea around him swept out to meet Meng Hao’s fist.
The fist slammed into the materialized sea, instantly shattering it. Seawater sprayed out in all directions, and the boy fell back, an expression of shock on his face.
Even as he retreated, Meng Hao’s 21st Soul Lamp appeared.
“Oh?” Meng Hao thought, eyes flickering coldly. “So it works that way too, huh?” Then he punched out again.
A huge boom could be heard, and the ground quaked. A huge rift was torn open in front of Meng Hao, and cracking sounds echoed out. The boy’s face fell, and an intense sensation of crisis welled up within him.
“Dammit, he still hasn’t transcended the tribulation. How could he be so strong!?” The boy didn’t hesitate for a moment. He made a grasping gesture, causing an enormous turtle shell to appear in the air in front of him. Eight ancient magical symbols could be seen on the surface of the shell, and yet when Meng Hao’s fist hit it, it exploded into pieces.
In conjunction with the explosion, the boy’s face went ashen, and he fell back yet again. However, his eyes flickered strangely.
“Eight Sealing Mountains!” As soon as the words left his mouth, the eight magical symbols on the remnants of the shattered turtle shell flickered, causing a mountain to suddenly appear above Meng Hao’s head, which then began to descend.
Next was a second mountain, a third and a fourth, all the way until eight mountains could be seen, all of which crushed down onto Meng Hao. Meng Hao’s legs trembled, and cracks radiated out on the ground down below. However, he simply began to chuckle, causing his cultivation base power to erupt out through the top of his head.
The eight mountains then collapsed into pieces, causing the boy’s eyes to widen with shock. It was also in that very moment that three more Soul Lamps appeared!
22. 23. 24!
24 Soul Lamps swirled around Meng Hao, flames flickering, causing him to emanate a profoundly ancient energy that made him seem like an Emperor straight out of ancient times.
Moments ago in the Meng Clan ancestral mansion, the members of the Meng Clan had been sustaining heavy casualties. However, then Meng Hao had appeared, launched two fist strikes, ignited numerous Soul Lamps and caused flickering flames to illuminate his surroundings. The result was that the battlefield went completely silent. Both the invading cultivators and the Meng Clan cultivators all began to back away.
When they looked at Meng Hao, their eyes were filled with terror, although for the members of the Meng Clan, that terror also contained… a bit of hope!
“Dammit,” thought the boy. “What momentum! Can I… even stop him? Just how many Immortal meridians did he actually open when stepping into the Immortal Realm!?” His eyes flickered with killing intent and suddenly, he stopped retreating and instead advanced, waving both arms out in front of him. A shocking whistling sound could be heard, and the air around him distorted as an enormous scorpion appeared. It was pitch black, and immediately let out a howling screech as it leapt toward Meng Hao.
As it bore down on him, Meng Hao’s eyes gleamed. He took a step forward, causing the Ancient mana within him to explode out in the form of another fist.
It was none other than… the God-Slaying Fist!
Heaven and Earth flashed with bright colors, and a howling wind kicked up. All of the surrounding cultivators coughed up blood and fell into retreat. Countless buildings and structures were transformed into ash, and even the distant sun and moon went dim. When the God-Slaying fist was unleashed, it led to boundless slaughter.
The boy let out an agonized shriek and simultaneously performed an incantation gesture. As for the scorpion, as soon as it made contact with Meng Hao, an enormous boom rattled out, and the air distorted so badly that no one could see what was happening.
When everything returned to normal, people could see the scorpion shattering into pieces. The boy was in full retreat, blood oozing out of the corners of his mouth. As for Meng Hao, he hovered in midair, energy surging, surrounded by three more Soul Lamps than the 24 he had already ignited!
He now had 27 Soul Lamps!!
“Ksitigarbha of the Fourth Mountain ignited 29 Soul Lamps,” the boy thought, face falling as he fell back. “This man… has already ignited 27 Soul Lamps. From the look of it, he still has more to go!
“Dammit, I slipped up. I should never have interfered or tried to force his hand. I essentially helped him to ignite his Soul Lamps!”
Meng Hao’s eyes shone with a bright light, and he licked his lips. During his brief exchange with the boy, he could tell that igniting Soul Lamps while fighting was actually much easier….
He wasn’t sure why, and was fairly certain that other people wouldn’t experience a similar thing in a state like his, but he did know that this was an opportunity that wouldn’t come again. As such, he didn’t take the time to try to figure out what was happening. Instead, he shot directly after the boy.
“Dammit,” the boy yelled to his subordinates, “all of you get out there and kill that old woman and everyone with her!” The boy’s terror regarding Meng Hao was growing, and he was feeling very disheartened. He just couldn’t reconcile himself with the fact that he had actually helped Meng Hao by fighting him.
The invading cultivators from the random sects hesitated, but the black-robed men from the Seventh Mountain and Sea didn’t. They instantly flew toward Grandma Meng and the others.
Grandma Meng and the others were completely outnumbered, and couldn’t possibly match up. At this point, killing intent flickered in Meng Hao’s eyes and he roared, “How dare you people!”
His voice was like Heaven-rending, Earth-crushing lightning. At the same time that he called out, he waved his hand, causing a massive quantity of black mist to surge out. Seething, it formed into a huge black hand which shot toward the black-robed men.
The black-robed men were initially shaken just by Meng Hao’s voice. Some of them began to bleed from their eyes, ears, noses, and mouths, then went stiff. Some directly exploded, down to their Nascent Divinities, and as for the others, before they could recover, the black mist palm smashed into them.
As the hand passed along, the black-robed men screamed and rapidly began to wither away.
“A curse! That’s curse power!”
“That’s the curse power of our Seventh Mountain and Sea! How does he know how to unleash it…? Nooooo….”
Miserable screams rang out as the black-robed men who had been converging on Grandma Meng all were transformed into black liquid, which then showered down onto the ground. Everyone who saw this happen gasped, especially when people heard the words uttered by the men before they died. That left the Meng Clan cultivators completely shaken.
“The Seventh Mountain and Sea….”
“They’re from the Seventh Mountain and Sea! Heavens! Cultivators from the Seventh Mountain and Sea are actually here, and there are so many of them. Could it be… that a Mountain and Sea War is starting!?!?”
Although the members of the Meng Clan were shocked, the clan rebels and the invading cultivators didn’t seem surprised at all, as if the matter wasn’t even a secret. Actually… they had been aware all along that the Seventh Mountain and Sea’s army would soon be coming to the Eighth Mountain and Sea.
A war between two great Mountains and Seas was beginning, and this day… was merely the first battle in that war.
Ignoring everything else, Meng Hao advanced toward the boy, whose face darkened as he looked back at Meng Hao.
“Do you really think I’m scared of you?” the boy said. “Since you’re looking to die, then even if you are in the middle of igniting your Soul Lamps, I… can still kill you anyway!” Gritting his teeth, he suddenly began to emit a green glow. At the same time, green grass sprouted beneath his feet, which rapidly grew to cover the entire area. In the short span of a single breath, the area surrounding the boy… became a huge grassy plain.
Enormous trees then began to rise up, and at the same time, a powerful plant-like aura began to fill the entire area.
On each and every bit of vegetation visible, faces could be seen which were none other than… the face of the boy!
“Get ready to be killed!!” the boy said. At the same time, the faces on the grass, trees, flowers and other types of vegetation all howled.
If that were all there were to it, it might not be a big deal, but at the same time, rain began to fall in the starry sky. The rain was black, and it rapidly formed into a huge sea. All of the drops of water in that rain and sea, shockingly, also had the boy’s howling face on them.
“Time to die!!”
The matter wasn’t over yet. The boy waved his sleeve, and immediately, he began to grow vastly larger. His black hair spread out, superseding the starry sky, creating a field of black that was like the dark of night!
His eyes then began to grow brightly, forming a contrast with the darkness. It was… light!
Of course, it was all illusory. All of the faces and the plants, the black rainwater, the light and darkness, and the boy’s enormous frame, none of it was real. Any cultivator would be able to see that it was all illusory. Furthermore, although some pressure emanated from these things, it wasn’t very strong!
It was at this point that all of a sudden, the enormous boy said one single word, a word that caused everything… to change.
The plants became real, the black rain became real, the darkness became real, the light became real!
This was the boy’s fifth Essence. Reality!